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Prospective Fellow Resources

 

application

The APSA Congressional Fellowship Program includes several fellowship categories within each year’s class. The APSA directly recruits and sponsors fellowships for political scientists and journalists and for the APSA-MCI Communications Congressional Fellowship for scholars and journalists. In addition to fellows from these professions, each fellowship class includes federal government employees sponsored by their home agencies and professionals in other fields sponsored by a range of organization.

 

Qualifications and application procedures, including deadlines, vary by fellowship category. Please see below for more information on how to apply and the fellowship year. Check out the Fellowship FAQs for additional questions or read about the experiences of fellowship alumni.

Applications for APSA-sponsored fellows for the 2022-2023 fellowship year have now closed.
Applications for the 2023-2024 fellowship year will open in Fall 2022.
Overview

Applicants interested in fellowships for political scientists and journalists, or interested in the APSA-MCI Telecommunications Congressional Fellowship for scholars and journalists with a focus in telecommunications, should apply directly to APSA here.

Qualifications

For Political Scientists

Political Science fellows have completed a PhD in the last 15 years or will have defended a dissertation in political science by November of the fellowship year. The program is open to scholars in all fields of study within political science who can show a scholarly interest in Congress and policymaking.

For Journalists

Journalist fellows are early and mid-career print and broadcast journalists (including online journalists) who have a professional interest in Congress. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree and two to ten years of professional experience in print or broadcast journalism, which may include or consist of experience in professional online journalism.

For the APSA-MCI Telecommunications Fellowship

Applicants for the APSA-MCI Telecommunications Congressional Fellowship are early and mid-career journalists and scholars in all disciplines and fields with a professional interest in public policy and telecommunications. Applicants may be scholars who have completed a terminal degree in the last 15 years or will have defended a dissertation by November of the fellowship year, or may be journalists who cover this topic with two to ten years of professional experience in either print or broadcast journalism (including online journalism).

For All Fellowship Categories

Preference is given to those without extensive Capitol Hill experience.

Stipend

Recipients of the APSA Congressional Fellowship will receive a stipend of $57,000. The stipend covers the 9.5-month period of the fellowship from November to August and is paid in twelve installments starting in September of the fellowship year. Fellows also receive funds to cover travel to and from Washington, DC, and funds for a trip to the district of the Member of Congress for whom they work.

Application Procedure

The application period for APSA-sponsored fellowships opens in fall and closes in January. The application must be submitted online and include:

  • a detailed resume or cv
  • a 750-word personal statement explaining how participation in the fellowship relates to the applicant's professional goals
  • one sole-authored writing sample (political scientists and MCI-communications scholars) or news article, broadcast script, or clip (journalists)
  • the names and contact information for three professional references who have agreed to write letters of recommendation

Applicants will be notified if selected for an interview, which will be held around March of the application year. Applicants are notified of the final status of their applications shortly after the interviews.

Optional Programs

Applicants may apply through the fellowship application form for two optional programs that take place in September and October, immediately before the start of the main fellowship year in November:

Applicants may apply for either or both programs. Applicants who apply for and are accepted to both programs may participate in these two programs concurrently. Applicants must be selected as APSA Congressional Fellows in order to be selected for the optional programs, but selection as a Congressional Fellow does not guarantee selection for either program. Applicants will be notified of their selection for any optional programs at the same time they are notified of their selection as Congressional Fellows.

Applicants for the Congress and Foreign Policy course submit a 250 word description of their background in foreign policy and professional interest in the course.

Applicants to the Steiger Fund submit a 500 word proposal, including a concrete work plan, describing the project subject, its proposed scholarly contributions, the project aims, and the expected outcomes.

Successful applicants to the William A. Steiger Fund will receive an additional stipend for September and October when they are working on their supported research project.

The Congressional Fellowship Program will cover the cost of tuition for fellows selected for the Congress and Foreign Policy Course.

Overview

Since the 1960s, the Congressional Fellowship Program has included fellows who are U.S. federal government employees and who are sponsored by their home agencies during the fellowship year. Prospective fellows are nominated for participation in the Congressional Fellowship Program by their home offices, which may nominate up to three candidates each year.

Qualifications

Nominees must have a minimum grade of GS-13 or equivalent at the time of nomination, at least two years of federal service in the executive branch, and long-term career goals relevant to a congressional experience.

Application Procedure

Sponsoring agencies select up to three candidates to nominate to APSA. Nominations are to be submitted to APSA by the headquarters-level training officer or coordinator for executive development. Please contact APSA at [email protected] if you are interested in submitting nominations. For each candidate, the nomination package must include:

  • a detailed resume with contact information, current grade, work experience, education (degree dates and subject majors), summary of languages, special skills, and interests
  • a statement assessing the nominee's executive potential and need for training by the supervisor(s) or agency Executive Resources Board
  • a 500-word statement by the nominee presenting a need for training, the relevance of training to career goals, and the utilization of training by the agency

Nominees are invited to interview at APSA in the summer and will receive final notification from APSA of their application status shortly thereafter. Sponsoring agencies provide full financial support to successful applicants for the duration of their fellowship, and cover the cost of administrative fees to the APSA Congressional Fellowship Program.

U.S. government employers interested in sponsoring fellows for the first time are invited to contact the APSA Congressional Fellowship Program office at [email protected] or call 202-483-0995 for more information.

The APSA Congressional Fellowship Program also includes fellows from several other sponsoring organizations. For more information on deadlines and application procedures, please see the links below. See our sponsor organizations page to learn more about the process of sponsoring a fellow.

graduation (1)

The APSA Congressional Fellowship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of Congress and policymaking through fellowship placements in the Senate, House of Representatives, and other select offices. Fellows also attend an intensive orientation and enjoy an array of enrichment activities throughout the fellowship year.

The fellowship class includes several different categories of fellows, including political scientists, journalists, and telecommunications scholars directly recruited and sponsored by APSA; federal government employees sponsored by their home agencies; and fellows from different professions sponsored through one of our partner organizations. The program begins each year in November with an intensive orientation and concludes in August. See the full schedule below. Fellows in categories specified below may begin their fellowship year in September through two additional programs.


Main Fellowship Year – November-August

  • Orientation - November

    Throughout this month-long program, fellows engage in daily seminars with policy specialists, congressional staffers, scholars, journalists, and other experts on Capitol Hill. Learn more here.
  • Fellowship Placements – December/January - August

    Fellows secure their own placements by interviewing for positions with the offices and committees of their choice. Learn more here and also see our roster of recent placements.
  • Congressional District Trip – Spring/Summer

    This weeklong trip provides an opportunity to interact with Members and to differentiate between their roles in Washington and in their home district. Learn more here.
  • Fellowship Enrichment Programs – January-August

    Enrichment programs provide additional learning opportunities throughout the fellowship year. Learn more:
    Spring Seminar Series
    US-Canada Exchange Program
    Maryland Statehouse Visit
  • Closing Reception – July

    The year-end Closing Reception, traditionally held in the Mike Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol, honors each departing class. The presence of Senators, Representatives, and other officials, along with numerous friends and supporters of the program, serves as testament to the work fellows have completed throughout the year.
  • Post Fellowship

    After the fellowship year, fellows are encouraged to stay in touch and engaged with the program. More resources for alumni can be found here.