Stanford University

FAQ

  • What is the Distinguished Careers Institute (DCI)?

    The Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute (the DCI) offers highly accomplished individuals from all walks of life the opportunity to come to Stanford for a yearlong residential program of personal renewal and societal engagement. The program seeks participants who are ready and eager to pause, think, explore, develop and prepare for their futures as citizens of their local, national, and global communities.
  • Can my spouse or life partner participate in the DCI?

    Yes, the DCI welcomes the participation of spouses or life partners. For those who wish to be actively engaged in the program there is an additional fee of $28,000 and they are formally designated as DCI Partners.
  • What are the components of the DCI program?

    A “scholarly” pathway is designed for each Fellow and Partner that includes course materials, research and experiential learning and that engages Stanford students through intergenerational opportunities. Read more
    DCI Fellows and Partners have the opportunity to audit courses throughout the university with instructor’s permission and in line with University policy.
    Read more
    Faculty-Fellow Dialogues promote discussion around a broad range of topics. The Focus on Transformation series provides opportunities to reflect on life journeys and consider issues of transition and change. Signature colloquia are deeper dives into current social and intellectual issues.
    Read more
    The DCI fosters occasions for Fellows and Partners to interact with undergraduate and graduate students in research, academic and service projects. In addition, Fellows form new social networks that last a lifetime.
    Read more
    The program gathers data that can refine the program as well as delineate life-career transitions, including how they are managed in the current workplace environment. In addition, Fellows and Partners are offered the opportunity to participate in a longitudinal study.
    Read more
    All Fellows and Partners have faculty mentors who provide guidance as needed over the course of the year in all aspects of their program. Read more
    If desired, Fellows and Partners may have a comprehensive health assessment and an individualized program designed to promote physical and cognitive well-being.
    Read more
    Fellows and Partners will have the opportunity to work with faculty and other professionals as they reflect on their lives and chart their future course. They also have access to search firms in making the transition to their new endeavors beyond their DCI year.
    Read more

    The DCI will be anchored in the Stanford Center on Longevity and will embrace the incredible strengths and opportunities of the entire university. The components of the program include:

    Weekly Discussion Seminars
    The DCI’s Weekly Discussion Seminars include Faculty-Fellow Dialogues, an informal lunch series bringing the DCI Fellows and partners together with leading Stanford faculty to promote dialogue and discussion around a broad range of topics drawn from the rich and diversified offerings of Stanford University. The other seminar program is Focus on Transformation, an early evening reception series that brings Fellows and Partners together to share lessons learned from their life journeys, to deepen knowledge about transforming lives through the lens of different diverse disciplines and to share lessons learned by Fellows and Partners during their participation in the Institute.

    Colloquia
    Colloquia provide opportunities for deeper dives into key social and intellectual issues of our time. Occurring over one or two days, they have innovative and interactive formats and seek to engage Fellows and Partners as active contributors.

    Scholarly Pathways
    Each Fellow undertakes a scholarly pathway in one of the broad interdisciplinary areas listed below. DCI Partners may also select a scholarly pathway if they wish. The pathway includes course materials, research and experiential learning and opportunities to engage Stanford students through intergenerational opportunities.

    • Arts and the Humanities
    • Business, Leadership and Entrepreneurship
    • Education, Teaching and Learning – from the classroom to the design lab and boardroom
    • Energy and the Environment
    • Engineering Sciences and Design
    • Health and Healthcare – Innovation and Discovery, Policy, Healthcare Delivery, Clinical Practice (including Global Health • Initiatives), Bioethics
    • Independent Study
    • International Studies and Programs
    • Social Sciences, Policy and Public Service

    Intergenerational Learning and Social Networking
    The program fosters occasions for Fellows and Partners to interact with undergraduate and graduate students in research, academic and service projects of shared and mutual interest. Intergenerational learning, in which both students and Fellows act as teachers and learners, is a valued feature of the DCI. In addition, Fellows form new networks that can last for lifetime.

    Research
    The program gathers data that can refine the program as well as delineate life-career transitions, including how they are managed in the current workplace environment. In addition, Fellows and Partners are offered the opportunity to participate in a longitudinal study designed to evaluate the impact of the DCI on their continuing life journey by assessing various biological, physical, cognitive and social concomitants of life transitions.

    Mentors
    All Fellows and Partners have mentors who provide guidance as needed over the course of the year in all aspects of their program including choice of courses to audit, choice of scholarly pathway to pursue, introductions to faculty and programs, and planning for the next phase of their lives.

    Life Journey and Transition Counseling

    Fellows and Partners have the opportunity to work with faculty and other professionals as they reflect on their lives and chart their future course. They also have access to search firms in making the transition to their new endeavors beyond their DCI year.

    Physical and Cognitive Health
    If desired, Fellows and Partners may have a comprehensive health assessment and an individualized program designed to promote physical and cognitive well-being, including health maintenance, exercise and nutrition.

    University Courses
    
DCI Fellows and Partners have the opportunity to participate in courses throughout the university with instructor’s permission and in line with University policy.

  • When does the program begin?

    The 2016 program will begin in January 2016 and run through the end of the calendar year.
  • What is the DCI program calendar?

    Stanford University is on the quarter system. DCI Fellows arrive in January, the beginning of the winter quarter. The program is full time during the winter and spring quarters and is less scheduled over the summer quarter. It resumes at a full time level for the autumn quarter and concludes in December. For the 2016 program the dates are:

    • Winter Quarter: January 4-March 18
    • Spring Quarter: March 28-June 8
    • Summer Quarter: June 20-August 13
    • Fall Quarter: September 25-December 15

  • What would be a typical schedule for a Fellow?

    Each week’s schedule includes a weekly lunchtime seminar and a weekly late afternoon seminar with all members of the DCI cohort and faculty from across the University. In addition, each Fellow participates in one or two courses that meet at various times during the week and is engaged in other academic activities that involve time commitments on a regular schedule. There are monthly evening events with speakers from Stanford and Silicon Valley and quarterly 1-2 day colloquia. Beyond these structured activities Fellows and Partners may wish to take advantage of the many opportunities at Stanford for such activities as lectures, concerts, and sports events.
  • What are the expectations for residency at Stanford?

    Since the DCI program is full time for the winter, spring and autumn quarters, Fellows and Partners benefit the most from their participation if they are able to be on campus most days of the week during these quarters. Residency during the summer quarter is optional and depends on whether the Fellows and Partners participate in specifically designated summer programs. The seminar programs and think tanks are not held over the summer.
  • Is there office space for Fellows on campus?

    Yes, the DCI has shared office space in the heart of campus where Fellows can work and connect with one another.
  • What about housing for Fellows?

    Fellows and Partners are responsible for finding their own housing.The DCI Office provides information about resources that Fellows and Partners can use in securing housing in the local area.
  • What is the cost of the program?

    The fee to attend the DCI for the 2016 program is $62,000.
  • Is there any financial aid available for the program?

    There is currently no financial aid available for DCI Fellows and Partners. We are actively seeking philanthropic and other outside support so that we can offer financial aid and hope to secure funds for this purpose.
  • What do I get at the end of the program?

    Fellows and Partners receive a Certificate of Completion from Stanford University at the conclusion of the program.
  • What are the criteria to be a DCI Fellow?

    We seek exceptional individuals who:

    • have built a career of major accomplishments (20-30 years) and who now seek to deepen their knowledge and/or embrace new fields
    • wish to undergo a personal transformation and have a significant impact on others by making an enduring difference in their communities and beyond.
    • are eager to actively participate in and contribute to the unique learning environment of Stanford University

    Fellows will be selected based on how their participation in the program will shape their future life journeys. A record of successful collaborative efforts will be considered along with the knowledge, skills, and accomplishments of applicants. Consideration will also be given to what future Fellows will contribute to the program and the broader global community.

  • How do I apply?

    The application form is online at http://dci.stanford.edu/application/.
  • What is the application deadline? When will the fellows be selected and notified?

    Applications for the 2016 program will be reviewed in four rounds. The deadlines and decision time frames are as follows.

    Application Deadline
    April 2, 2015
    May 1, 2015
    June 1, 2015
    July 1, 2015

    Decision Time frame
    May
    June
    July
    August