Applied Career Exploration Program (ACE)

Applied Career Exploration (ACE) Program 


Advancing your career with the ACE Fellowship

Skills-based hiring is on the rise. Now more than ever, employers are widening their applicant pools to welcome talent from a wide array of educational backgrounds. This is good news for graduate students, whose expert-level education and transferable skills combine to add immense value to roles that might not traditionally require their degree.

However, it is not enough to have skills. In competitive job markets, it is those who can clearly demonstrate their skills who will rise to the top of the applicant pool. The ACE fellowship program is designed to connect you with non-academic units across the university to solve real-world problems. ACE fellows utilize and expand their skills while collaborating with professional teams focused on issues relevant across industry sectors. From contributing to sustainability initiatives and DEI policy research, to implementing public outreach and program development strategies, ACE fellows gain the hands-on experience necessary for successful careers beyond the academy.

As an ACE fellow, you can expect to enhance in-demand skills such as:

  • Effective Communication
  • Data Analysis & Visualization
  • Policy & Program Analysis
  • Consulting
  • Project Management
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Digital Fluency
  • Synthesizing Information


How the fellowship works

During the ACE fellowship appointment, graduate students work on a specific project under the supervision of a host unit within University of Delaware. The project may be in an in-person, hybrid or remote format. Duties, responsibilities and time commitment will vary depending on the needs of the host unit and will be described in the Handshake job posting details.

ACE fellowship responsibilities may include projects such as:

  • data collection, analysis and other research support; 
  • creating content such as reports, podcasts and videos; 
  • assisting in the processes to commercialize discoveries and technologies; 
  • performing background and preliminary analysis for specific policies;
  • conducting literature reviews, benchmarking with peer institutions, and organizing and facilitating focus groups with stakeholders.  


ACE Fellowship eligibility

  • Applicants must be enrolled full time in a graduate program at the University of Delaware and must be in good academic standing (maintaining a 3.0 GPA or above). Note that some fellowships may prefer masters and/or doctorate-level students.
  • In order to accept the fellowship, your combined on-campus employment, including contracted (TA/RA/GA) and/or hourly work, must not exceed 29.5 hours per week. If your ACE fellowship has a time commitment beyond 9.5 hours per week and you plan to hold a GA/RA contract during the ACE fellowship term, you must receive a written permission from your research advisor, program director or supervisor before applying for the ACE fellowship. Please consult the university’s employment policy for graduate students on contract.
  • International graduate students are encouraged to consult International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) before starting the application process to ensure that they meet the U.S. federal government’s immigration eligibility requirements to participate in the program. 


Funding and duration

The host unit will provide a stipend to its graduate fellow for the duration of their fellowship. Before accepting the fellowship, the Graduate College will confirm the student’s eligibility and academic standing. 


How to apply

Interested students can apply for specific fellowships using the Handshake links on this page. Application materials are shared with the hiring host unit and each unit conducts its own screening, interview, and selection processes. 


Application timeline

The Graduate College announces fellowships that will be offered during the upcoming summer at the beginning of each spring semester, and fellows are typically selected by April. Application review timelines may differ for each fellowship. Please review the position details in Handshake carefully.


Application checklist

  1. Browse current openings to identify opportunities of interest. The links below will redirect you to the Handshake job posting.
  2. Carefully review details of the position and application requirements.
  3. Determine if you are eligible for the position based on the following criteria
    • ACE program eligibility (see above)
    • The degree program in which you are currently enrolled. Some positions are open to both master’s and doctoral students.
    • Estimated time commitment of the position. Your combined on-campus employment, including teaching, research and graduate assistantship, must not exceed 29.5 hours. 
  4. Prepare your application materials. Every fellowship position requires a resume and a cover letter. Some positions may ask for additional documents. Your resume and cover letter should highlight how your background and experiences align with the responsibilities of the position. Submitting a general cover letter and resume may limit your chance of getting an interview. Please put efforts into tailoring your application materials (it’s also great practice for when you apply for a real job later). Resources to assist with preparing your application materials are available on the Graduate Student Career Services site.
  5. Complete this survey as part of the fellowship application.
  6. Ensure that all required documents are submitted in Handshake by the application deadline.


How to upload application documents in Handshake

  • Click on an ACE fellowship position below to view the full job posting
  • Upload your application materials as Word documents.
  • Name your resume “[Last name]_Resume_[Position title].” [Position title] should be the title of the specific fellowship opportunity. Example: Ramos_Resume_DEI Analyst
  • Name your cover letter in this format “[Last name]_Letter_[Position title]. ”[Position title] is the title of the specific fellowship opportunity. Example:  Ramos_Letter_DEI Analyst
  • Follow job application conventions expected in the United States. For example, do not include your personal information (birthdate, social security number, student ID number, etc.) or your photograph in the application.
  • Once your application documents are submitted in Handshake, it is not possible to modify your documents. Please review carefully before submission.

Have questions about the ACE fellowship? Please email Suprawee Tepsuporn, senior assistant dean for graduate professional development.

Current Positions Available Through the ACE Program

University of Delaware Student Life

Student Involvement Office ACE Fellow

Play a key role in the development and coordination of the Fall Involvement Fair, a critical event aimed at engaging students and fostering a sense of belonging at UD. Gain hands-on experience in higher education event planning; obtain skills in assessment and evaluation to improve programming; collaborate with various stakeholders, including faculty, staff, and student leaders; and contribute to the creation of a vibrant campus community. Apply by March 27.

University of Delaware Student Life

Fraternitiy and Sorority Leadership and Learning (FSLL) Assessment and Student Development Fellow

Gain hands-on experience in assessment and evaluation of higher education programming. Analyze pre-collected data, create summary reports, and consult with staff in the FSLL office on how the data informs improvements to future programs. Contribute to identifying ways to better tell FSLL’s story with data. Apply by March 27.

Past Positions Available Through the ACE Program

Agribusiness Analyst

Work as part of an interdisciplinary team on an agricultural technology that offers chemical-free treatment of insect, pests and diseases on valuable food crops such as strawberries, grapes and blueberries. Conduct research and analyses to support and recommend market launch and growth strategies.

DEI Policy and Program Analyst

Help build more inclusive and diverse workplaces and enhance biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry corporate practices. Analyze policies, best practices, and trends in DEI, and work with senior staff and leaders to understand NIIMBL’s current culture and practices.

Science Education and Outreach Specialist

Develop a new high school and university outreach curriculum focused on providing foundational awareness of the biopharmaceutical industry through a team-based project. Research, develop, and write a web-based resource guide that will augment the new curriculum module..

Assessment and Student Development Fellow

Provide assessment, consultation, evaluation, potential implementation, and recommendations of programs and services that help the UD Career Center achieve its educational priorities, improve operations and maximize support and resources for students.

Full Stack Developers

Conduct research and analyses, technical development, and support pilot programming to develop and recommend implementation and product launch strategies for a company working to expand wealth generating opportunities for the underprivileged.

Sustainability Council Summer Fellow

Assist in collecting sustainability-related data such as curriculum, finance, procurement, and emissions for UD’s Sustainability Council and help identify how the University can improve its sustainability practices

EDI Program Assessment Fellow

Conduct a needs assessment with current graduate students, graduate college staff, and others within the university in order to inform  the design of an EDI education plan.

User Experience Research Associate

Spearhead the design of a descriptive study of user needs and behavior, striving to answer the broad question of user experience at Morris Library.