ELP Application Process


We look forward to receiving your application to the Emerging Leaders Program. Please read through all of the instructions below before you complete the online application. If you have questions about the Emerging Leaders Program, please contact JaVori Warren: jw3uj@virginia.edu.   

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Application Timeline

  • April/May: Applications and financial aid requests accepted
  • June/July: Interviews and selection
  • July: Acceptance packets distributed; forms and payments due
  • August/September/October: The eight-day program meets (3 days in August, 2 days in September, and 3 days in October)

Application Requirements:

  • REQUIRED: Completing an online application that includes: short essay questions; and background/contact information
  • OPTIONAL: Submitting by email (do not mail) to JaVori Warren: resume; and two letters of recommendation (no more than 2 will be reviewed)
  • OPTIONAL: Submit financial aid application; more detailed instructions available on the financial aid application

Application Deadlines

Applications Open:
Applications Close:
Financial aid completed by:
Supplemental materials submitted electronically by:
Program Applications Open Applications Close Application Process Link to Application
Emerging Leaders Program Mon, April 3, 2023 Mon, May 22, 2023

Application Components

PLEASE NOTE: This is an online application. We are not able to save partially completed applications. For this reason, we recommend that you prepare everything you will need to complete the application in advance of filling out the online form.

Application Short Essay Questions

The online application includes a number of short-answer essay questions. Each question requires an answer of 250 to 500 words. The essays are a significant part of the selection process and very important to making admissions decisions. The essay questions on the online application are as follows:

  1. The ELP brings together young professionals working in and around politics with a variety of experiences.  Share with us something you would hope to learn from a potential classmate who is different from you in some way.  Why is this important to you?  

  2. Describe a time you had to build consensus within a group or navigate a conflict within a group.  What skills did you utilize in this process?  What was the result of your efforts?  Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently, if anything?

  3. What is one thing that state or local government does well in Virginia?  What is one thing you would like to change about government in Virginia?

  4. What are your future political or professional goals?  What specific skills, knowledge, or resources do you hope to acquire as a result of participating in the ELP? 

  5. Each class is selected to bring together unique individuals who care about politics and policy in Virginia.  If you were to be selected, what unique attribute, experience, or perspective do you feel you would contribute to the cohort? 

  6. What specific skills, knowledge or resources do you hope to acquire as a result of participating in the Sorensen Institute Emerging Leaders Program?  How will these skills help you advance your career or activities?

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Application Contact and Background Information

You should also be prepared with the following information to successfully complete the application:

  • How did you learn about the Sorensen Institute?
  • Current employment: employer, your title, your supervisor, work address and phone number
  • Education: high school, college, graduate school, and any relevant non-degree training programs
  • Past Employment: list past employers including your title, supervisor, and dates of employment
  • Activities: list organizations and activities that demonstrate your commitment to public service, community involvement, and/or volunteer work.
  • Contact information: your current mailing address, home phone, work phone, cell phone, and email address 
  • Two references


If you have questions about the Emerging Leaders Program or the application process, please contact JaVori Warren: jw3uj@virginia.edu.