FAQ - Scholar Accountability Policy
All Scholars selected after 2005 are subject to the Foundation's Scholar Accountability Policy. This policy requires that Scholars who receive funding from the Foundation work for three of the seven years following graduate school in public service.
How does the Foundation define public service?
The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, the uniformed services, public interest organizations, non-governmental research and/or educational organizations, and non-profit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment.
The Service Requirement:
What if a Scholar takes time off to raise a family or care for a friend or family member?
Scholars who are raising a family or caring for a friend or family member should indicate that they are acting as a caregiver in their Employment Status report. The Foundation will not count such time against the Scholar. The waiver requirement in the Accountability provision is intended to provide the Foundation sufficient flexibility to accommodate these situations. Scholars acting as caregivers will still need to file annual Employment Status reports.
What about part-time public service employment?
Whether, or how, part-time employment counts toward the service requirement is very fact dependent. While the intent of the requirement is that Scholars would be employed full-time as public servants, the Foundation understands that some Scholars may occupy part-time positions. The Foundation will decide such cases as they arise. Generally, the Foundation may require additional years of reporting or documentation of other public service activities to fulfill the service requirement.
Does employment before graduate school count toward the service requirement?
No. While the Foundation encourages Scholars to spend time in public service before continuing to graduate school, that service occurs before the Scholar receives their educational stipend from the Foundation. The Foundation's purpose, and the intent of the accountability policy, is to encourage a public service career after a Scholar completes their Foundation-funded graduate education. This purpose is best achieved by focusing only on employment in the public service after graduate school.
Why does the Foundation require three years of public service employment in the first seven years after graduate school?
The Task Force on Scholar Accountability examined various public service career paths and discussed alternatives with Scholars, members of the Board of Trustees, and Foundation staff. The Task Force believed that the accountability policy should provide sufficient flexibility to accommodate a Scholar who needed a period of private sector employment to pay off debt or gain experience, who required time away from employment for family or other reasons, or who wished to change careers. The Task Force recommended these periods of required public service as a way to provide that flexibility.
The Employment Status Report:
When am I required to file a report?
Scholars are required to file an employment report the July 15th following his or her completion of a Foundation-funded graduate degree.
How do I file a report and what should it include?
To file an employment status report, please log into the website and click the Scholar Reporting link on the right hand side of your dashboard. Select "Employment Report" as the type of report. In the body of the report, please include your name, updated email address, your current job title and employer and whether your work is public or private sector. You do not need to go into a great deal of detail unless your job title or duties are not self-explanatory.
Who determines whether employment is public or private sector?
It is up to the Scholar to make the initial determination whether their employment is public or private sector. Once a report is filed, the Foundation will review the responses, and follow up as appropriate. Scholars may be asked to provide additional information to support their designation of public or private sector. Any disputed case will be decided by the Executive Secretary. A Scholar will be notified of the decision and given time to appeal to an Appeals Committee made up of non-Foundation staff.
I will be taking a fixed term position after graduate school (e.g. working as a law clerk, completing a post-graduate fellowship). How should I indicate that on my form?
The Foundation does not distinguish from positions of a fixed-term, like clerkships, and other full-time employment. If your employment fits within the definition of public service listed above, select public service.
My school requires a period of residency, externship, or fellowship after graduation. How should I indicate that on the report?
If your residency, externship, or fellowship is considered employment (and is not class-bound or dissertation-related), please fill out the form as you would for employment. Medical students should begin filing reports as soon as their period of residency begins. The Foundation is aware that there may be limited choice of residency appointments and understand that Scholars may be placed in private sector appointments that are not of their choosing. In that case, the Foundation will extend the period of reporting to allow the Scholar to fulfill the service requirement.
I am continuing with my schooling, should I submit a report?
If you are continuing with school and not using Foundation funds, you should file a report indicating that you are still in school. You will need to file reports until you have satisfied your service requirement.
I am not employed. What should I include in my report?
Explain the situation in limited detail (e.g. "Acting as a caregiver and not working outside of the home.") and provide a sense of the time frame during which you will not be employed. The Foundation will review your situation and act accordingly. If you are not employed, the Foundation will not make any attempt to collect funds from you.
The Appeals Process:
How will the appeals process work?
There will be two different avenues of appeal. First, in the event that a Scholar designates their employment as public sector and the Foundation disagrees, the Scholar may appeal, in writing, to the Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary has 30 days from receipt of the appeal to respond. Should that appeal be unsuccessful, the matter should be referred to the Foundation Legal Counsel for decision. If the Scholar is ultimately unsuccessful, they will have the opportunity to re-visit the issue before the full appeals board should the Scholar ultimately fail to meet the service requirement.
The second point of appeal would be for those Scholars who have not fulfilled their service requirement. These Scholars can file written appeal to the Executive Secretary within 30 days of the Foundation’s decision. If the Executive Secretary agrees with the Foundation’s decision, the Scholar has three months to file written appeal to the Appeals Panel. If a Scholar appears before the Appeals Panel, they must execute a waiver of file confidentiality so the Appeals Panel can look at the Scholar file.
The Appeals Panel shall consist of three members appointed by the Executive Secretary with the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees. Members of Foundation staff and the Board of Trustees are ineligible to serve on the appeals panel. At least one member of the Panel will be an alumni of the Truman program. The Foundation's Financial Desk Officer will act as a liaison to the Appeals Panel to maintain custody of the Scholar file and be available should procedural questions arise.
If you have a question that is not listed here, please email Deputy Executive Secretary Tara Yglesias.