AERA Inaugurates Congressional Fellowship Program

December 2015

With the unanimous support of Council, AERA is launching a Congressional Fellowship Program commencing in 2016—the Centennial year of the association. This initiative reflects AERA’s commitment to connect research to policy. Council approval included AERA’s underwriting this program with its own resources for an initial five years.

The aim of the Congressional Fellowship Program is to provide education researchers with an opportunity to participate first-hand in the policy making process and bring their expertise and knowledge to their roles on a committee or Congressional member’s staff. The Fellowship also provides an opportunity for members of Congress to consider research and data in addressing issues central to their priorities and agendas.

The Congressional Fellowship Program will bring up to three doctorate-level education researchers to Washington, D.C., each year. The one-year Fellowship will provide an opportunity for these researchers to work closely with policy makers in congressional offices on Capitol Hill. They will contribute their substantive expertise in ways that will help increase the use of education research in the policy process. The program is directed to education researchers at all career stages with a passion for and interest in contributing to and learning from dedicated engagement and public service in policy-making.

“I applaud AERA Council for its enthusiastic support of this program. Central to the mission of the association is connecting sound research to policy sectors, and developing a fuller comprehension of how research, data, and methods can better serve the policy process,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Fellows who return to academia or research institutions will have new understandings about not only the work they might pursue, but also how to communicate with Congress and the federal government. We expect that our fellows over time will be an excellent resource in our efforts to enhance communication and engagement in the public sphere.”

The AERA Congressional Fellowship Program is an important component of the association’s emphasis on expanding the reach, accessibility, and visibility of education research to policy makers and the public. AERA is partnering with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and its AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship Program. AERA congressional fellows will benefit from a comprehensive two-week orientation from AAAS as well as professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year. AERA will provide additional professional development and networking opportunities targeted specifically to education researchers. Education researchers at all career stages are encouraged to apply.

The call and online application will be posted on the AERA website on January 5, 2016. The first round of Congressional Fellows will be selected in spring 2016 and will commence their fellowships in fall 2016. The EXTENDED application deadline is March 8, 2016.