Political Scientists 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 and/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 completed within the last 15 years or a dissertation 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 travel to and from interviews and arranges for hotel accommodations. 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.

There are no application forms. Please submit seven (7) packets containing the following, in order:

  • a detailed resume;
  • 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  • a sample of your best writing (one published or unpublished manuscript).

All materials must be collated on three-hole punched paper. Grouped materials will not be accepted. Applications may be clipped, but no report covers, please.

Applicants are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation. Letters should be addressed to the CFP Selection Committee and sent to the applicant. Letters by e-mail and fax will not be accepted.

Applications must be postmarked by December 1. Applicants are asked to forward completed application to:

Congressional Fellowship Program
American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036