Candidate Training Program Application

We are not currently accepting applications for the virtual 2020 Candidate Training ProgramApplications were due by midnight on June 10, 2020.


  1. PLEASE NOTE: This is an online application. There is no way to save a partially completed application and return to work on it later. For this reason, we recommend that you prepare everything you will need to complete the application in advance.
  2. After you have read the instructions, questions, and have prepared everything you will need to complete the application, follow the link at the bottom of this page. That link will take you directly to the online application for the Candidate Training Program Class of 2020. Again, please remember to prepare everything you will need prior to filling out the online application. There is no way to save your work and return to it later.
  3. The CTP application includes a series of short essay questions in addition to some basic contact and background information, as well as attendance information. See below for details.
  4. Please make sure you have noted the dates of the program (below) and can attend all sessions.
  5. Applicants may also submit up to two letters of recommendation and a resume. These are not required; we will not review more than two letters. Letters must be received by midnight on Wednesday, June 10, but should be submitted by the day you apply, if at all possible. Letters of recommendation and resumes can be sent to

Essay Questions

The CTP online application includes a number of short-answer essay questions. Each question requires a 250 to 500-word answer. Be aware that the essays are a significant part of the selection process and very important to making admissions decisions. The essay questions on the Candidate Training Program online application are as follows:

  1. Describe your recent leadership activities. What do you consider to be your highest leadership achievement so far?
  2. What academic, community, governmental, political, professional or other activity are you most proud of? What barriers have you encountered while pursuing this activity?
  3. What political office are you planning to run for? When are you planning to run?
  4. What does state or local government in Virginia do well?
  5. What would you like to change about government in Virginia?
  6. What specific skills, knowledge or resources do you hope to acquire as a result of participating in the Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program?

Contact/Background Information

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

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


The 2020 Candidate Training program will be offered virtually via Zoom. Please review your calendar and the program dates below. To complete the CTP application, you will need to indicate your availability for each session and discuss any planned absences.

Program Dates:

Session 1: Wednesday, June 17th, 2020: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Session 2: Wednesday, June 24th, 2020: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Session 3: Friday, June 26th, 2020: 8:30am - 4:45pm
Session 4: Saturday, June 27th, 2020: 8:30am - 4:15pm
Session 5: Wednesday, July 1st, 2020: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Session 6: Wednesday, July 8th, 2020: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Session 7: Wednesday, July 15th, 2020: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Session 8: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020: 3:00pm - 7:00pm

Please remember, once you start the application there will be no way to save partial work. If you have any questions about the CTP application, contact Sarah Campbell.

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