SRCD U.S. Policy Fellowship Programs

SRCD offers two policy fellowship programs: Federal and State. Both offer immersive opportunities for researchers to learn about policy development, implementation, and evaluation, and how to use developmental science to inform public policy at either the federal or state level in the United States.

The SRCD Federal Policy Fellowship Program includes two types of fellowships, the Congressional Policy Fellowship and the Executive Branch Policy Fellowship. The SRCD State Policy Fellowship Program includes the State Policy Pre-doctoral Fellowship and State Policy Post-doctoral Fellowship.

The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 U.S. Policy Fellowship Programs has passed (January 4, 2021). Find out more about the fellowships:

Federal Policy Fellowship    State Policy Fellowship

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Why Become a SRCD Policy Fellow?

  • To understand the linkages between research and policy through an immersion experience
  • Engage in the policymaking process
  • Learn how developmental science can be utilized to improve policy development, implementation, and evaluation
  • Use research to inform federally-funded programs and policies that serve diverse populations
  • Learn how to communicate effectively with policymakers and other stakeholders
  • Further expand your career opportunities and network
  • Learn how to formulate more informed and useful questions for policy-related research
  • Strengthen your skill sets with professional development opportunities

Who Should Apply?

Scholars from a variety of backgrounds and scientific disciplines are encouraged to apply. Just as SRCD itself is an interdisciplinary organization, our fellows have backgrounds from a range of disciplines focusing on child development issues. SRCD embraces a commitment to, and support for, diversity in the child development field. This includes training and engaging a workforce that is representative of diversity in all its forms. We encourage fellowship applications from scholars of color, scholars from underrepresented cultural and ethnic backgrounds, first-generation college graduates, scholars with disabilities, and scholars from the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • SRCD Federal Policy Fellowship Program
    • Individuals with a doctorate from any discipline relevant to child development.
    • Early, mid-career, and advanced professionals.
    • Applicants must have received a doctoral-level degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., M.D.) prior to the start of the fellowship.
  • SRCD State Policy Fellowship Program
    • Individuals who have completed a doctorate within the past two years in any discipline relevant to child development. These applicants must have received a doctoral-level degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., M.D.) prior to the start of the fellowship.
    • Current doctoral candidates studying any discipline relevant to child development who have completed at least two years of coursework.

I am greatly appreciative of the incredible learning opportunity that the SRCD Policy Fellowship has provided. It has given me a platform to apply my training as a developmental psychologist to the very policy-relevant work that is being conducted on a federal level to improve early childhood systems nationwide.

— Former SRCD Executive Branch Fellow
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Which Fellowship Is Right for Me?


How Do I Apply?

Previous fellows found it helpful to speak with former fellows about the application process and/or their fellowship experiences. We recommend you reach out to former fellows that you may know in your own extended network. If you’d like to reach out to a former fellow outside your network, you can also view list of previous SRCD Policy Fellows. Alternatively, you can contact to set up a connection with a former fellow.


What Can I Expect From the Fellowship Experience?

The SRCD Federal Policy Fellowship Program began in 1978 with congressional placements. In 1991, the fellowship program added placements in federal executive branch agencies. The SRCD State Policy Fellowship began recently in 2017. To date, there is a network of approximately 200 fellowship alumni. Each year, we ask SRCD Policy Fellows to write a reflection of their experiences in the program. Read first-hand accounts of the policy work to which our fellows are contributing.

Policy Fellowship Experience    2020 - 2021 SRCD Policy Fellows



Contact us via email at or call 202-800-0666.

Federal Policy Fellowship FAQs    State Policy Fellowship FAQs