AERA Congressional Fellowship
AERA Congressional Fellowship

The call for applications for the AERA 2024–25 Congressional Fellowship Program is now open with instructions for applying and eligibility requirements. Applications are due February 7.

The AERA Congressional Fellowship Program offers a valuable professional development opportunity by embedding high-quality education researchers in congressional offices and reflects AERA’s commitment to expand the reach, accessibility and visibility of education research to policy makers and the public. 

The aim of the program is to provide education researchers with an opportunity to participate first-hand in the policymaking process. Fellows work on the staff of a member of Congress or a congressional committee. The fellowship also provides an opportunity for fellows to contribute their scientific expertise on issues central to the priorities and agendas of members of Congress.

AERA Congressional Fellowship Recipients

The Congressional Fellowship Program brings up to three doctorate-level education researchers to Washington, DC, each year to work closely with policymakers and staff on Capitol Hill. AERA seeks candidates across career stages, areas of research specialization, and work sectors with a solid foundation and accomplishments in research (appropriate to career stage) and interests in policymaking and public service.

AERA Congressional Fellows benefit from a comprehensive two-week orientation as well as professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year. AERA partners with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that administers these professional development activities to AERA fellows and fellows of other research societies. AERA also provides additional professional development and networking opportunities targeted specifically to education researchers.

Fellowships begin on September 1 and end on August 31 of the following year. All fellowships are located in a congression office in Washington, DC.

As part of the program, Congressional Fellows receive:

  • A 12-month stipend of $70,000 for fellows with 0-7 years of postdoctorate, full-time employment as of September 1; a stipend of $80,000 for fellows with more than 7 years of postdoctorate, full-time employment by September 1.
  • Reimbursement for uncovered health insurance up to $3,500 for the 12-month year.
  • Reimbursement up to $2,500 for professional development and relocation expenses during the fellowship year.
  • Travel, lodging, and registration covered by AERA to attend the AERA Annual Meeting.

View AERA's webinar, "Sharing Education Research on Capitol Hill," here.

2019 AERA Annual Meeting Panel:
Connecting Research to Policy on Capitol Hill

AERA Congressional Fellowship Recipients


Xavier Monroe recently completed his doctorate in education policy and sociology of education at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. He is founder of Newhouse Consulting, which focuses on translating research to effect real-world change through policy and practice. His research explores actualizing equity-minded policies, reform implementation, and STEAM opportunities especially for underrepresented and marginalized communities. (Fellowship Placement: Rep. Rick Larsen (WA))
Walker Swain is an associate professor in the Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia. He previously worked as a middle school science teacher in Louisville, Ky., and received his doctorate in leadership and policy studies from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Tim Kaine (VA))


Heather K. Olson Beal is a professor in the James I. Perkins College of Education’s Department of Education Studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. She earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University in 2008. Beal teaches courses in educational foundations, family and community engagement, and educational policy and advocacy. (Fellowship Placement: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX))

Elizabethe Payne is founder and director of the Queering Education Research Institute, which bridges gaps between research, policy, and practice in support of gender and sexual minority students in K-12 schools. She earned a PhD in social and philosophical foundations of education at the University of Houston in 2002. Payne’s research explores LGBTQ-inclusive education policy, educator experiences working with gender and sexual minority students, and the school experiences of LGBTQ+ young people. (Fellowship Placement: House Committee on Education and Labor - Policy Staff)


Carly Champagne is a SRCD/AAAS Federal Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She earned her doctorate in education from Temple University in 2019. Her research focuses on teacher-student interactions, qualitative methods, and structural barriers to child and family well-being. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM))

Dominiqua Griffin is an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Cancer Institute and CEO and Founder of Black Women PhDs. She earned her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision, with a dual title in comparative and international education from Pennsylvania State University in 2018. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Christopher A. Coons (DE))


Carolina Silva Martinez is Executive Director of Scholarships A-Z. She earned her Ph.D. in cultural studies and social thought at the Washington State University College of Education. Her research has focused on both immigrant students and Native American students. (Fellowship Placement: House Committee on Education and Labor - Majority Staff)

Wei-Ling Sun is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations at The University of Texas at El Paso. She earned her Ph.D. in educational policy from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her research examines the social and political dimensions of discipline policy reforms and culturally responsive school leadership. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Amy Klobochar (MN))


Rachel Feldman is a senior research scientist at NORC where she studies educational policy enactment and organizational responses, including individual, school, district, and governmental responses to policy implementation. She earned her Ph.D. in educational policy studies in 2017, with a concentration in policy studies, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Bob Casey (PA))

Kendrick Davis is Associate Professor of Research at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. He earned his Ph.D. in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania in spring 2018. Prior to joining USC, he served as the Vice President for Policy Research for the Campaign for College Opportunity. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Kamala Harris (CA))


Jennifer Ayscue is research director for the Initiative for School Integration at The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at the University of California, Los Angeles. Ayscue earned her Ph.D. in education from UCLA in 2016. Her research examines how policy shapes the opportunities that students are able to access, and seeks to both understand and impact patterns of inequality and segregation that persist in schools across the nation. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Tina Smith (MN))

Paul Rubin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. He received his Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia in 2017. Rubin’s higher education policy research focuses on federal financial aid policies, institutional test-optional admissions policies, and state-level policies designed to impact college completion. (Fellowship Placement: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA))

Zewelanji Serpell is an associate professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Howard University in 2002. Zewelanji’s research focuses on the learning experiences of African–American students in school and examines sociocultural processes that promote or inhibit learning. (Fellowship Placement: Rep. Bobby Scott (VA))

Kathryn Wentzel is a professor of developmental science specialization and educational psychology specialization at the University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in psychological studies in education from Stanford University in 1987. Her research examines the social correlates and antecedents of adolescent motivation and achievement. (Fellowship Placement: Rep Tim Ryan (OH))


Jenna R. Sablan is an Assistant Research Professor at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in the McCourt School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on college access, higher education policy, and K–12 to higher education transition. Sablan has a Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. (Fellowship Placement: Senate Budget Committee - Sen. Bernie Sanders)

AERA Congressional Fellowship Coverage
  • ​Read the June 2023 AERA Highlights story about the two congressional fellows for 2023–24 here
  • Read the August 2022 AERA Highlights story about the two congressional fellows for 2022–23 here
  • Read the May 2019 AERA Highlights story about the two congressional fellows for 2019-20 here 
  • Read the June 2018 AERA Highlights story about the two congressional fellows for 2018-19 here
  • Read the June 2017 AERA Highlights story about the 2017-2018 class of congressional fellows here
  • Read the June 2016 AERA Highlights story about the first congressional fellow here
  • Read the December 2015 AERA Highlights story announcing the fellowship here
Voices from the Field

Congressional Fellow (2018-19) Kendrick Davis provides tips for sharing research with policy makers in AERA Highlights

Congressional Fellows Q&As

AERA 2017-18 Congressional Fellows discuss their experience on Capitol Hill and connecting education research with policymaking in this Highlights story.