SRCD Congressional Policy Fellowship Program

The SRCD Congressional Policy Fellowship Program is designed to provide greater interaction between the developmental research community and Congress. Fellows spend one year with a placement that involves working for a congressional committee, in the office of a member of Congress, or in a congressional support agency that works directly for members or committees of Congress. Although the responsibilities of each fellow vary by office, past fellows have worked on drafting legislation, bringing research to bear on re-authorization of programs or appropriations, and advising members of Congress through research that bears on federal programs and services affecting children, youth and families. Fellows may also prepare or assist in congressional hearings and briefings or preparing briefs and speeches.

Following the two-week science policy orientation program at AAAS in September, fellows will interview with congressional offices to determine a placement. AAAS organizes the placement process. Placements for SRCD Congressional Policy Fellows are not determined until after the orientation process in September of the fellowship year, and ethics rules prohibit contact between fellows and offices until that time.

Selection Process

Applications are reviewed by the SRCD Federal Policy Fellowship Selection Committee, which often includes members of the SRCD Science and Social Policy Committee. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their research accomplishments, references, and written statement of interest. Candidates who will be interviewed are then selected. Notification regarding interviews typically occurs by February and interviews are held in the spring. SRCD selects between one and three fellows for one-year appointments to begin the first week of September. When candidates are notified that they have been selected for a fellowship, they will have up to one week to accept the offer.

During the Fellowship Year

The SRCD Congressional Policy Fellowship is awarded for one year, beginning September 1st and continuing through August 31st. Under rare circumstances, SRCD Congressional Policy Fellows may request to extend the fellowship for the remainder of a legislative session. They must do so by March 1 of the fellowship year. Fellowship stipends use the government pay scale, taking into consideration previous experience and salary. For information about fellows’ stipends, please visit the Federal Fellowship FAQs.