Federal Policy Fellowship Application Process

The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 Federal Policy Fellowship Program has passed (January 4, 2021).

Application Timeline

  1. Application site open by December 1, 2020
  2. Deadline for Application: January 4, 2021, 11:59pm Eastern
  3. Notification of Status & Invitation to Interview: Mid-End of February 2021
  4. Semi-Finalist Interviews Conducted in Washington, DC: Mid-End of March 2021
  5. Executive Branch Finalist Phone Interviews with Potential Executive Branch Placements: Early-Mid April 2021
  6. Notification of Fellowship Offers: May 2021

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). Please utilize SRCD’s Statement of interest template for your submission, making sure you adhere to the guidelines on the template. Describe your:
    • Background and Qualifications: What is your specific background and experience that would qualify you for the fellowship (e.g. coursework, training, professional experience related to the application of research to policy or practice)
    • Research Expertise: What are your current areas of research, primary questions of interest, and methodologies used to address the questions?
    • Policy Interests: Why are you interested in working on policy and what types of knowledge and skills do you hope to develop through the fellowship?
    • Career Aspirations: What are your career goals and how would the fellowship and the specific placement experience (i.e. Executive or Congressional) support your career goals? For Mid-career applicants:  How will the fellowship build on your career experiences to date and provide you a basis to contribute at your placement?
    Candidates may consider addressing the following question in their statement of interest:
    • How will you leverage your background to bridge research and policy during your fellowship and career?

    *Note: For the SRCD U.S. Executive Branch Policy Fellowship, applicants will asked to indicate on the application submission page which federal agency placements are of interest to them (we understand that you do not have complete familiarity yet.) To learn further about possible placements, read about past fellows’ experiences at different placements.

  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, internships, employment)
  • 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 and potential placement experiences


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.