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Pracademic Fellowship Program

Deepening Connections Between Federal Executive Agencies and Political Scientists

Over the past several decades, limited opportunities have existed for faculty members in political science, public management, public policy, and related fields to move between the academy and the world of practitioners. The Pracademic Fellowship Program directly addresses this gap by supporting mid-career faculty members to work in federal government agencies in the Washington, D.C. area. Pracademic fellows work directly with decision-makers involved in programs of their interest and receive a first-hand vantage point of a federal agency’s decision-making environment. Participation in the Pracademic Fellowship Program enables political scientists to bring an enhanced understanding of real-world management and policy challenges to their research and classroom.

What is "Pracademic"?

The term pracademic refers to an individual whose is trained in the academy but also has applied research interests involving policymakers and practitioners in the public services. In some cases, pracademics have occupied positions as both academics and practitioners. Pracademics play “indispensable roles of translating, coordinating and aligning perspectives across multiple constituencies.” (Posner 2009

Who is the target constituency for the Pracademic Fellowship Program?

The program is open to faculty members in political science, public management, public policy, public administration, and related fields whose research and teaching interests would benefit from a fellowship in the federal executive service. The Pracademic Fellowship program is an immersive experience. Fellows are placed in agencies to contribute to the agency’s work while also gaining important insight for future research and teaching. 

In the past, fellowship residencies have overlapped with faculty sabbatical opportunities, making the program particularly well-suited to mid-career faculty. 

How are fellows placed? 

The Pracademic Fellowship Committee works with fellows to secure placement in an agency of interest to them. Applicants should identify which preferred agency or agencies for their placement as well as their primary policy or program areas, in their applications. Applicants are also encouraged to make contact with potential host agencies to gauge their interest in supporting the placement of a Pracademic Fellow at their agency. Applicants who have made initial contact with a potential host agency are encouraged to include that information in their application. If you have any questions about placement or how to initiate contact with an agency, please contact Abby Paulson at [email protected] 

What is the duration of a pracademic fellow’s placement?

The Pracademic Fellowship Program has a flexible start date and duration, which is very helpful in meeting the needs of the fellow and their placement agency. Typical fellowships last between one semester and one year. 

What support does the Pracademic Fellowship offer? 

The Pracademic Fellowship offers a stipend to participating fellows. This support can complement  sabbatical support from a fellow’s home university or support from sponsoring institutions.

How to Apply

Applications for the Pracademic Fellowship Program should include the following:

  • A curriculum vitae, including at least two references (name and e-mail contact information only). 
  • statement of interest including 
    • A brief summary of proposed plans (timing and duration of fellowship, potential home institution support, area in which you would like to work and, if known, agencies with which you would like to work). 
    • A description of how this experience would contribute to the applicant's teaching and research.
    • Optional: a brief description of any initial contact with a potential host agency, organization, or individual. 

Applications are due October 14, 2022. Please submit application materials using this form.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Pracademic Fellowship Program or the application process, please contact Abby Paulson at [email protected] 

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More about the Fellowship

The Pracademic Fellowship program was inaugurated in spring 2016 with two participants.

Read more about their Pracademic experience at the Environmental Protection Agency in La Porte and Opp (2016). APSA Pracademic Fellowship: The Third Epoch: A Pracademic View of the EPA's Office of Policy. PS: Political Science & Politics, October 2016, 49(4), 923-926