Frequently Asked Questions

When is the 2018-19 Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute?

The 2018-19 class of the Policy Institute consists of four, two-day retreats held in Madison. All retreats are held in-person; video and phone call participation is not allowed. If you are invited to participate in the Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute, you shall commit to attend all scheduled Institute trainings in Madison, spend an average of two to four hours a week communicating regularly and effectively with your team between retreats. The 2018-19 Institute will be held on the following days:

  • Retreat 1: Friday, December 7, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 8, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Retreat 2: Friday, January 11, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, January 12, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Retreat 3: Friday, February 8, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Retreat 4: Friday, March 1, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 2, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

What is the cost for Participation in the Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute?

The Institute is provided at no cost to participants, and sponsorship is not required for participation, the Wisconsin Women’s Network invests approximately $1,200 per participant to organize and conduct the Policy Institute. As an all-volunteer operated non-profit organization, the Wisconsin Women’s Network works hard to ensure that cost is not a barrier to participation. Therefore, we request and encourage organizations with staff and/or volunteers invited to attend the Policy Institute to fully or partially sponsor participation. Institute graduates return to their organizations and communities equipped with the knowledge, skills, expertise, and connections to impact policy changes at the state and local level.

The Wisconsin Women’s Network is particularly committed to making the Institute available to women from diverse socioeconomic, LGBTQ+, generational, geographic, racial and ethnic backgrounds who cannot otherwise afford to participate. It is the policy of the Wisconsin Women’s Network to ensure equal opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, or any other characteristic of identity or background. Residency in the state of Wisconsin is required for participation in the Policy Institute.

What is the Timeline for Applications and Selection?

Institute participants will be selected through a multistep application process. The selection committee will review all completed applications received by the deadline and conduct phone interviews. Applications and recommendations must be submitted through the online forms by noon on Friday, August 10, 2018. You will be contacted by Monday, August 13 to schedule a phone interview. Missing your scheduled phone interview will result in you being removed from consideration for this year’s Institute. Participants who have been accepted into the Institute will then be notified of their selection by Friday, August 31.

What if I Have Questions Prior to Applying?

Please do not hesitate to ask questions prior to submitting your application. You may email Lead Instructor Vicky Selkowe at vsselkowe@gmail.com or call her at (608) 772-6046. You may also email the Wisconsin Women’s Network at info@wiwomensnetwork.org.

What Are the Criteria For A Successful Application?

There are several criteria for a successful application to the Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute. Successful applicants will:

  1. Possess interest in, passion for, and/or content knowledge of one or more of the Institute’s focus areas of women’s health, safety, or economic security;

  2. Demonstrate how your participation in the Wisconsin Women's Network Policy Institute will increase your policy advocacy work at your organization and/or in your community. If you do not represent an organization, be able to demonstrate how your participation will help a specific community or community group in which you are involved;

  3. Have the full support of your employer or volunteer organization to participate in the Institute and to spend time working on a policy project that includes advocacy;

  4. Be committed and available to attend all four training retreats for the full time of each retreat. All retreats are held in-person in Madison. For participants who live two or more hours from Madison, Friday night hotel accommodations will be made for each retreat. Light breakfast items, lunch, and snacks during the retreats are provided. Retreats are scheduled for the dates below:

    1. Retreat 1: Friday, December 7, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 8, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    2. Retreat 2: Friday, January 11, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, January 12, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    3. Retreat 3: Friday, February 8, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    4. Retreat 4: Friday, March 1, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 2, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  5. Be willing to work on a team to collectively develop a policy project and actively work on the project even if the specific policy issue is not a top priority for you, your organization, or your community, recognizing that the skills you learn on a policy project will be broadly applicable and useful to you after the Institute has concluded. Team members must be willing to communicate effectively and work to bridge differences in personalities and styles to collaborate successfully as a team;

  6. Be able to dedicate an average of two to four hours a week to Institute-related activities, in addition to the four retreats during the four month period of the 2018-19 Policy Institute;

  7. Be willing and prepared to bring what you have learned in the Institute back to your organization or community;

  8. Be willing and prepared to engage with the network of Institute participants and to continue advancing public policy agendas that benefit Wisconsin’s women and girls after completion of the training;

  9. Have daily access to reliable communications technology and commit to checking and responding to all Institute-related emails frequently; and

  10. Have a passion for and eagerness to learn about how to more effectively make a difference in the lives of Wisconsin’s women and girls!

Who Should Fill out My Letter of Recommendation? 

Your letter of recommendation - a required part of your application - should be completed by someone who can speak to your interest in growing your advocacy skills and your commitment to issue(s) related to women's health, economic security, and/or safety. Ideally, your recommendation form is completed by your supervisor at work so he/she can also address the organization's support of your participation in the Policy Institute. If that's not possible, that's fine, but please find someone else who can speak to your interest and commitment to advancing policies that will benefit Wisconsin's women and what you will gain by participating in the Policy Institute.