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Boggs Congressional Fellowship

The Boggs Fellowship is designed to train potential leaders in public policy formation to examine issues from the perspective, experiences, and needs of women.

In January 2014, the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute (WCPI) became the new home for the WREI Congressional Fellowships on Women and Public Policy program. The fellowship program places current or recent graduate students in the Washington, D.C. offices of Members of Congress and congressional committees. Fellows work 40 hours per week from January through July as legislative aides on public policy issues.

Following a mandatory two-week orientation to Capitol Hill in January, Fellows meet once a week at issue seminars with women’s advocates, congressional staff, researchers, and lobbyists. In recent years, Fellowships have been made possible by Amgen; PepsiCo; the Kahn Foundation; Betta, Emily, and Martha Ehrenfeld; and the Newcomb Institute of Tulane University, among others.

In 2019, Fellows received a stipend of approximately $3,400.00 per month gross. An additional sum of up to $1,000 is provided for the purchase of health insurance with submission of a bill from a provider. WCPI is not responsible for funding transportation to and from Washington, or for finding lodging for students. It is up to each Fellow to make all arrangements for satisfying their institution’s academic requirements.

Purpose

The program is designed to: 

  • Develop a cadre of talented women experienced in public policymaking at the national level
  • Encourage more effective participation by women in policy formation at all levels of government
  • Examine how policies affect women and men differently and encourage the formulation of policy options that recognize the needs of all people
  • Promote activities that encourage the translation of research into policy
  • Raise awareness that domestic and international issues affecting women are interdependent
  • Increase understanding that those issues often defined as “women’s issues” are in fact “human issues” of equal importance to men and women.

An intensive two-week orientation program for all Fellows begins in early January in Washington, D.C. Orientation attendance is mandatory for all Fellows with no exceptions. During orientation, Fellows interview for House and Senate assignments. Fellows are generally placed in their Hill offices by late January; they work through July 2019. Required weekly meetings continue through the course of the program. Fellows are granted seven days of vacation that can be taken at any time with the approval of the congressional office and notification to WCPI.

Eligibility

Only students who are currently enrolled in a master’s, doctoral, or professional degree program at an accredited institution in the United States, or who have completed such a program within the past 18 months, are eligible. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for the program.

WCPI strongly recommends that applicants have completed at least nine hours of graduate coursework before applying, and have a demonstrated interest in research or political activity relevant to women’s social and political status.

Competition often includes attorneys, doctors, MBAs, and PhD candidates with extensive professional and volunteer experience. To examine the credentials and Fellowship work of previous Fellows, click here.

Selection Criteria

Fellows are selected on the basis of academic competence, as well as demonstrated interest in the public policy process. They are expected to be articulate and adaptable and to have strong writing skills. Applicants with a variety of traditional and non-traditional academic backgrounds will be considered. Candidates should have received their undergraduate or graduate degree from Tulane University.

Application

Applications for spring of 2021 will be reviewed in June and July of 2020 – please check back in early spring 2020 for the application.

The most heavily weighted part of the application is a 1,500-word autobiographical essay demonstrating interest, experience, and writing ability. Applicants must also present official transcripts of previous academic work (college and graduate level) and three letters of reference mailed directly to Newcomb Institute. Semi-finalists will be interviewed in June and July. Awards will be announced by early August.

Mail Official Transcripts to:

Boggs Congressional Fellowship Program 
Newcomb Institute
43 Newcomb Place
New Orleans, LA 70118