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Design Fellowship, our four-month, immersive fellowship, will help innovators like you design and scale equity-centered solutions to DC’s most pressing educational challenges.

FAQs Am I eligible? Take the quiz CONTACT US

During the fellowship, you will receive customized tools, coaching, and financial support to design, test, adapt, and scale a right-sized pilot solution. After the fellowship, you will have ongoing access to our tools, a vibrant community of designers, and the wider CityBridge network to help you implement and scale your idea. You will also be eligible to apply to  the CityBridge Design Residency program.

Design Fellowship supports three different types of teams through the same shared experience of workshops and coaching:

  • School Transformation: Teams at existing DC Public Schools and DC public charter schools that want to design or redesign an element of their school program.
  • Ventures: Teams that want to start or grow a social enterprise that supports rigorous and equitable public education.
  • New Start Charter: Teams that want to begin the work of designing a new public charter school in Washington, DC.

Meet our 2022 Innovators for Equity

“My experience with CityBridge has been the most significant thing that I have engaged in in my service in public education to this point. I have really appreciated it and it has really genuinely impacted [my school] in a positive way.” – Anna Katt, Design Fellow (School Transformation)


  • Explore and define a student-centered problem and the conditions that shape it
  • Design two pilots to test, adapt, and scale innovative and equity-centered solutions
  • Learn and collaborate with a like-minded community of educators, entrepreneurs, and leaders


  • Four dynamic workshops 
  • Individualized coaching 
  • Grant funding of $5,000 per team
  • Custom design tools and methods 
  • Access to a vibrant and committed community
  • Ongoing support to continue piloting during the semester following the workshops
  • Additional supports for school-based teams focused on a priority problem area


  • Teams of educators based in existing DCPS or charter schools interested in address an equity-centered challenge
  • Teams of entrepreneurs and educators interested in starting a new education venture or charter school in DC 
  • Participants who are able to commit four to six hours between each monthly full-day workshop to apply the tools with students and the school community, and to work with their team and CityBridge coach

The Fellowship is designed for teams, not for individuals. We encourage teams consisting of three members.

Interested in learning more about exactly what teams do in Fellowship?

Am I eligible? Take the quiz Frequently Asked Questions


The exact dates for Design Fellowship will be finalized in late spring 2022—the dates below are subject to change. Fellowship workshops are on Thursdays once per month.

  • Priority Application Deadline – April 15, 2022 
  • Final cohort selected – May
  • Kickoff – August 11 (2 hours, morning)
  • Workshop 1 – September 15 (full day)
  • Workshop 2 – October 20 (full day)
  • Workshop 3 – November 17 (full day)
  • Workshop 4 – December 15 (full day)

The application for Spring 2023 Fellowships will open in the fall. Sign up for our emails to stay in the know!

Additional Schedule and Curriculum Information


  • Two-hour Kickoff workshop to build community, ground work in equityXdesign framework
  • Meet with CityBridge coach
  • Begin conducting empathy interviews with stakeholders like students, teachers, families
  • Draft a “theory of change” to understand the work of your school or organization
  • Readings on equity design and the building blocks of equitable learning environments

September and Workshop 1

  • Full-day workshop focused on analyzing empathy research and refining theories of change
  • Run a “Quick Win” to practice basic piloting skills and deepen empathy research
  • Meet with your team’s CityBridge coach for support on drafting a Theory of Change and running “Quick Win”
  • Readings on the science of learning and development

October and Workshop 2

  • Full-day workshop on designing a first pilot that will run during the month between Workshop 2 and Workshop 3
  • Meet with your CityBridge coach to get support on pilot design and implementation
  • Run your first pilot!
  • Readings on coalition building and conditions for innovation in schools

November and Workshop 3

  • Full-day workshop on focused on reflecting on and learning from your first pilot and designing a second, larger pilot
  • Plan the coalition building work necessary to expand and sustain your pilot
  • Meet with your CityBridge coach to get support on pilot design and implementation

December and Workshop 4

  • Full-day workshop on coalition building, refining plans for your second pilot, and synthesizing your learning from the semester

After Workshop 4

  • Meet with a CityBridge coach at least twice during the following semester to capture learnings from your second pilot

Dive into the full Design Fellowship Curriculum.