Federal Policy Fellowship Application Process

The deadline to apply for the 2023-2034 SRCD U.S. Federal Policy Fellowship has now passed.

Timeline of Selection Process

  1. Application submission site opens: By December 1, 2022
  2. Deadline for Application: January 4, 2023, 11:59pm Eastern
  3. Notification of Status & Invitation to Interview: Mid February 2023
  4. Semi-Finalist Interviews Conducted in Washington, DC: End of February or Early March 2023
  5. Executive Branch Finalist Phone Interviews with Potential Executive Branch Placements: March 2023
  6. Notification of Fellowship Offers: April 2023

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. Applicants must be members of SRCD.
  3. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

I. Application Materials

Five items are required for the submission of a complete application.

  1. Statement of interest (1,280 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: Please describe how your training background and experience in child development would make you a strong candidate for the fellowship (e.g. consider coursework including research methods courses, 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? 
    • Commitment to DEI: What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your developmental science career? This could take many forms including, how research is conducted, how it is translated into policy and practice, and how it should inform conversations or considerations about factors that influence child development. 
    • Policy Interests: Why are you interested in working on policy issues relevant to child development and what types of experiences have contributed to this interest? 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 inform your work in the future?

    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?

    Note: The Selection Committee will only read three (3) letters of recommendation for each applicant. If an applicant submits additional letters of recommendation, SRCD will randomly select which three (3) letters of recommendation the Selection Committee will review for that applicant.   

  3. Current C.V. addressing the following:
    • Your current C.V. should include your academic appointments and professional experiences, scholarly products, awards, professional service and other relevant scholarly work. If applicable, please include other professional products in your C.V., such as technical reports or policy briefs.   
  4. Transcript (official or unofficial). Your transcript will be used to confirm that you have an academic background in developmental science.

II. How do I submit an application?

Application materials must be submitted through an online portal.

III. How will candidates be evaluated through the selection process?

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

  • Demonstrates strong training in developmental science (e.g., topically relevant child development, research methods, and statistics graduate coursework).
  • Demonstrates expertise conducting high quality research that makes important contributions to the field (e.g., record of publications, presentations) commensurate with experience.
  • If applying to both the Executive Branch and Congressional Fellowships: 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, learning goals, and career aspirations with the fellowship program goals and potential placement experiences including interest in applying research to policy issues in the field.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of, and a commitment to, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

frequently asked questions



Watch the webinar on tips and tricks for applying to the SRCD U.S. Federal Policy Fellowship.

view the full transcript here