The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program aims to create a cadre of leaders who will serve as change agents in health and aging policy to ultimately improve the health care of older adults. The year-long fellowship offers a rich and unique training and enrichment program that is focused on current policy issues, communication skills development, and professional networking opportunities to provide Fellows with the experience and skills necessary to help affect policy.
The Residential track includes a year-long placement in Washington, DC or at a state agency. Residential Fellows are immersed full-time in a policy-focused placement that is determined in the initial phase of the fellowship. Placements may include working as a legislative assistant in Congress, as professional staff in executive agencies, or with 'think tank' organizations, for example.
The Non-Residential track allows Fellows to remain at their home institutions and requires that they dedicate at least 20% of their time to a "virtual" placement and/or project with federal agencies, Congressional offices, or health and aging policy organizations. This may involve short periods of travel throughout the year to relevant sites. Non-residential Fellows may focus on a health policy project that is global, federal, state, city, or community-based.
The VA Track is a specific non-residential track for VA staff to represent the Department of Veterans Affairs as a VA/Health and Aging Policy Fellow. VA/Health and Aging Policy Fellow participate through the non-residential track of the fellowship.
Fellows can engage at many levels of policymaking – global, federal, state, community – through The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program. The fellowship experience is enhanced by our partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), University of Washington, Northwestern University, and most recently with The Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. By participating in the fellowship, Fellows will not only expand their own professional networks - they will also serve to strengthen the network of professionals in that community working in the field.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Both residential and non-residential Fellows are required to attend the 6-week Orientation in Washington, DC at the beginning of their fellowship, from the end of October to the beginning of December. Nothing is scheduled during the week of Thanksgiving. Fellows are also brought together periodically over the course of the fellowship year for HAPF Program events.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
The program has a broad interdisciplinary focus, and Fellowship cohorts have included physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, food scientists, city planners, healthcare administrators, epidemiologists, economists, and lawyers from academic and practice settings, spanning career stages from newly minted PhDs to senior professors and community leaders. Applicants must have a strong commitment to health and aging issues, and should specify how the program would meet their particular career goals. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who have career plans that anticipate continued work in the U.S. after the fellowship period. Candidates from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.