The program’s three basic goals are: (1) to increase the likelihood that research on youth will contribute to public policymaking, (2) to increase Fellows’ understanding of the kinds of research that contribute to policy, and (3) to expand the pool of leaders in the field who can integrate science and policy. Fellows participate in trainings by the American Academy of Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the SRCD and are then placed in congressional offices for 12 months as staff members of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. During this time, Fellows research legislation, attend hearings, write memoranda, draft speeches and floor statements, and often oversee a specific legislative portfolios. Fellows are often early-career researchers or doctoral students in psychology, human development, education, or similar fields.
The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Congressional Fellowship Program allows researchers to learn first-hand about the federal policymaking process and context, and the role of research within it.