Congressional Fellowships for Political Scientists
"The opportunity to spend a year seeing Congress and the American policy process from the inside opened vistas and broadened perspectives for me in incomparable ways. The career I have pursued was shaped by my fellowship experience."
Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Political Scientist Fellow 1969-70

"Everything I've done professionally has flowed from the Congressional Fellowship Program."
Thomas Mann, W. Averill Harriman Chair, The Brookings Institution, Political Scientist Fellow 1969-70

The purpose of this fellowship is to give early- to mid-career political scientists an opportunity to learn more about Congress and the legislative process through direct participation. A comprehensive orientation begins each year in November. Office assignments as full-time legislative aides in the House of Representatives or Senate run from December to August. Fellows receive a stipend of $38,000, plus a small travel allowance.


  • U.S. citizenship or permanent U.S. residency;
  • a Ph.D in political science completed within the last 15 years or a dissertation in political science near completion (ABD); and
  • a scholarly interest in Congress and the policymaking process.

Fellows are selected in a nationwide competition. Candidates must first submit their applications for a paper review before being invited before an outside selection panel. Interviews take place at the APSA offices in Washington, DC.

APSA reimburses lodging and travel to and from interviews. Applicants not currently in the United States must fund their own transportation should they be selected for an interview. Interviews will be announced in January. All finalists will be notified in February.

Applications for Congressional Fellowships for Political Scientists must be submitted online and include:

  • a detailed CV;
  • a personal statement explaining how the Congressional Fellowship relates to your professional goals (around 500 words);
  • the names and contact information for three professional references who have agreed to write letters of recommendation; and,
  • a sample of your best writing (one published or unpublished manuscript). 

Applicants should direct recommenders to the Congressional Fellowship Program's Recommendation Submission Form and ask them to submit their letters by December 1. 

Applications must be received by December 1

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