Federal Policy Fellowship Application Process

The deadline to apply for the 2020-2021 Federal Policy Fellowship Program has passed (January 3, 2020).

Application Timeline

  1. Deadline for Application: January 3, 2020, 11:59pm Eastern
  2. Notification of Status & Invitation to Interview: Mid-End of February 2020
  3. Semi-Finalist Interviews Conducted in Washington, DC: Mid-End of March 2020
  4. Executive Branch Finalist Phone Interviews with Potential Executive Branch Placements: Early-Mid April 2020
  5. Notification of Fellowship Offers: May 2020

Application Submission Instructions

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Applicants must receive a doctoral-level degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., M.D.) relevant to child development prior to the start of the fellowship.
  2. Each applicant to the SRCD Federal Policy Fellowship Program must be a member of SRCD and be a U.S. citizen.
  3. The federal fellowship is a training opportunity suited for individuals throughout their career development. Early, mid-career, and advanced-career applicants are encouraged to apply.

I. What items are required for the application?

Five items are required for the application.

  1. Statement of interest (1,000 word limit) describes:
    • The applicant's background and qualifications for the fellowship
    • Current areas of research, primary questions of interest, and methodologies used to address the questions
    • Basis for interest in the fellowship, including policy areas or issues of interest and skills to be acquired
    • Career goals, including how the fellowship would support those goals
    • Mid-career applicants: As part of your statement of interest, please be sure to indicate how the fellowship will build on your career experiences to date and provide you a basis to contribute at your placement.
    Candidates may consider addressing the following questions in their statement of interest:
    • Why are you interested in the SRCD Executive Branch or Congressional Policy Fellowship, or both? Why are you interested in working in policy?
    • What are your career goals and how would the fellowship help you achieve these goals?
    • How will you leverage your background to bridge between research and policy?
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing the following:
    • How does the applicant’s expertise, skill set, and interest prepare the applicant for a successful fellowship experience?
    • What is the applicant’s knowledge base and how does the applicant’s expertise relate to policy?
    • To the best of your knowledge, what drives or motivates the applicant to pursue this fellowship?
  3. Current C.V.

II. How do I submit an application?

Application materials must be submitted through an online portal.

III. How will the applications be evaluated?

Candidates for the SRCD Federal Policy Fellowship program will be evaluated based on the following evaluation criteria:

  • Demonstrates relevant academic background in development science (e.g., topically relevant graduate coursework)
  • Demonstrates strong research skills (e.g., research methods coursework, methodologies used in publications)
  • Previous professional experiences related to the application of research to practice (e.g., clinical)
  • Record of publications, presentations, and professional activities commensurate with experience and appropriate to discipline
  • Demonstrates clear understanding of the distinctions between the Executive Branch and Congressional Policy Fellowships and how the fellowship experiences differentially inform development, implementation, and evaluation of policy
  • Demonstrates strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Alignment of interests and career aspirations with the fellowship program


Watch the webinar on tips and tricks for applying to the SRCD U.S. Federal Policy Fellowship presented by Dr. Kelly Fisher, SRCD's Director for Policy.