The purpose of this fellowship is to provide psychologists with an invaluable public policy learning experience, to contribute to the more effective use of psychological knowledge in government, and to broaden awareness about the value of psychology-government interaction among psychologists and within the federal government.

Fellows spend one year working on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Activities may involve drafting legislation, conducting oversight work, assisting with congressional hearings and events, and preparing briefs and speeches. Fellows also attend a two-week orientation program on congressional and executive branch operations, which provides guidance for the congressional placement process, and participate in a yearlong seminar series on science and public policy issues. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) administers these professional development activities for the APA fellows and for fellows sponsored by over two dozen other professional societies.

A prospective fellow must:

  • Demonstrate excellence in scientific and/or professional psychology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of policy issues.
  • Have a strong interest in applying psychological knowledge to the solution of societal challenges.
  • Be able to work quickly and communicate effectively on a wide variety of topics and be able to work cooperatively with individuals with diverse viewpoints.

An applicant must:

  • Have a doctorate in psychology (from an APA accredited doctoral program and internship, if in the area of professional psychology) or related field by the application deadline.
  • Be a psychologist, a member of APA (or applicant for membership), and a U.S. citizen.

Stipends for these fellowships range from $75,000 to $90,000, depending upon years of postdoctoral experience. In addition, the fellowship provides reimbursement for health insurance coverage and a $3,750 stipend for professional development and relocation expenses during the fellowship year.

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