Background and Objectives
One of today’s greatest policy challenges is how to ensure that the U.S. health care system can meet the needs of a rapidly increasing aging population. Overcoming this challenge will require the translation of cutting-edge science and practical clinical experience into sound health policy. The goal of the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program is to provide professionals in health and aging with the experience and skills necessary to help lead this effort, and in so doing, shape a healthy and productive future for older Americans.
The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program offers two different tracks for individual placement: (1) a residential track that includes a nine-to-12-month placement in Washington, D.C. or at a state agency (as a legislative assistant in Congress, a professional staff member in an executive branch agency or in a policy organization); and (2) a non-residential track that includes a health policy project and brief placement(s) throughout the year at relevant sites. Core program components focused on career development and professional enrichment are provided for fellows in both tracks.
Eligibility and Selection
Fellows are selected each year through a national competition based on their commitment to health and aging issues, leadership potential, and interest in impacting policy. The program has a broad interdisciplinary focus, and fellows have included physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, dieticians, healthcare administrators, epidemiologists, economists, and lawyers from academic and practice settings, spanning career stages from newly minted PhDs to senior professors and community leaders. The program is open to U.S. citizens at all career stages, with a focus on those early or midway through their careers. The program seeks to achieve racial, ethnic, gender, and discipline diversity; applicants from groups that historically have been underrepresented are strongly encouraged to apply.
Fellowship Stipend and Other Financial Support
Stipends for residential fellows vary and are commensurate with each individual’s current base salary (up to $100,000 annually). In addition to a stipend, financial support will be provided for relocation (up to $4,500), and health insurance, if not able to be covered by institution (up to $400/month). The program does not cover employment taxes, compensate for retirement savings, or adjust the stipend for cost-of-living differences.
Non-residential fellows may receive up to $10,000 to cover approved project related expenses and travel costs. It is expected that applicants will secure institutional, in-kind support that will allow them to commit 20% of their time to their policy project. Non-residential applicants who are early in their career and cannot secure full institutional, in-kind support for their fellowship participation may apply for partial salary support from the Health and Aging Policy Fellows program, up to a maximum of $15,000.
Travel costs to fellowship-related meetings for all fellows will be reimbursed by the NPO and are in addition to fellows’ stipends and non-residential fellows’ budgets.
The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program has been made possible through the generous support of The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John A. Hartford Foundation.
Additional funding is provided by the CDC and the GSA’s National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence and through partnerships with other agencies and organizations.