APA Executive Branch Science Fellowship Program

APA will sponsor one fellow for a one-year appointment, beginning Sept. 1, 2015, to spend a year working as a special assistant in an executive branch research funding/coordinating office.

Sponsor: Science Directorate


APA Executive Branch Science Fellows spend one year working as special assistants in executive branch science mission agencies, most often in research funding and coordinating offices. Specific placement is determined based on the fellows’ expertise and interests in coordination with APA staff. Placement opportunities often include the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy. Activities may involve soliciting research applications and running peer review panels, staffing intergovernmental scientific task forces and committees, producing scientific media materials, responding to congressional inquiries, working on agency budgets and programming, and preparing briefs and speeches.

Along with fellows sponsored by more than two dozen other professional scientific societies, APA fellows attend an orientation program on congressional and executive branch operations as well as a yearlong science and public policy seminar series administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and APA. APA will sponsor one or more fellows for a one-year appointment beginning Sept. 1, 2015. APA provides a fellowship stipend, as well as allotments for health insurance coverage, professional development, relocation expenses, and travel and lodging for the 2016 APA convention. Final selection of fellows will be made in early spring of 2015.

For questions contact Heather Kelly of the APA Science Directorate.


A prospective fellow should:

  • Demonstrate excellence in scientific psychology.
  • Understand the application of psychological knowledge to national research and policy issues.
  • Be able to work quickly and communicate effectively on a wide variety of topics and work cooperatively with individuals having diverse viewpoints.

An applicant must:

  • Have a doctorate in psychology (from an APA-accredited doctoral program) or related field.
  • Be a member of APA (or applicant for membership) and a U.S. citizen.

A minimum of two years postdoctoral experience is preferred. If you are a current predoctoral psychology intern, please have your dissertation advisor email Dr. Heather Kelly certifying that you have met all other requirements for completion of your PhD.

How to Apply
The 2015 application cycle is now closed.

Please check back in fall 2015 for information about the 2016 fellowship.

A complete application must include the following:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae providing information about educational background, professional employment and activities, professional publications and presentations, public policy and legislative experience, and committee and advisory group appointments.
  • A statement of approximately 1,000 words addressing your interest in the fellowship, contributions you believe you can make to the federal scientific research process, what you want to learn from the experience and how the fellowship fits within your overall career goals.
  • Three letters of reference, specifically addressing your ability to serve successfully in the executive branch as a fellow, should be sent to Dr. Heather Kelly at the address below. Hard-copy letters in sealed envelopes may be sent from the reference writers or by the applicant to Dr. Kelly, and/or email versions of reference letters may be emailed by the reference writers only to Dr. Kelly, directly from their email accounts.

Application materials should be sent to:

Dr. Heather Kelly
Executive Branch Science Fellowship
Science Government Relations Office
American Psychological Association
750 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242

For additional information, please contact Dr. Heather Kelly, fellowship director, at 202-336-5932 or visit the fellowship website.