The Pierce County-based Russell Family Foundation has opened the application process for its eighth round of Jane’s Fellowships, set to begin in January and last 15 months.

The program is designed for difference makers in South Sound communities looking to broaden their networks, diversify their skills, and further develop their leadership experience.

Applications are being accepted through Sep. 1. Candidates, who must be Pierce County residents, are required to submit a letter of recommendation and references. The foundation is holding optional information sessions in July and August, both across the county and via conference call.

Selected nominees — up to 13 — will participate in individual and group skill development across the 15 months, receive stipends for personal use, and access foundation technology, according to the foundation’s website.

Upon completing the program, graduates will join the fellowship’s alumni network, which includes the first seven classes of recipients. Graduates will also have access to individual development accounts and matching grants in the year following their completion of the program.

The foundation began Jane’s Fellowship Program in 2004, named for Tacoma community and business leader Jane Russell. Fellows are intended to follow Russell’s “exceptional creativity, courage, and commitment to the diverse needs of Tacoma and Pierce County,” the website states.