Economic Mobility Fellowship Program Call for Applications for the 2023–2024 Fellowship Year – Deadline Extended 4/7/2023

The Economic Mobility Fellowship Program is a federal government-university partnership that seeks to broaden the pipeline of research staff working on issues of poverty, inequality, and economic mobility in the United States.

The Institute for Research on Poverty is calling for applications from individuals who have recently completed/or are about to complete a master’s degree for a full-time fellowship for 2023–2024 with an anticipated start date in late summer of 2023. The fellowship is for one year with the potential of renewing for a second year. The fellowship is contingent on the availability of funding.

Fellows will be employees of the University of Wisconsin–Madison in a Research Internship position with the Institute for Research on Poverty and will work in-residence at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Currently we expect the following placements:

  • One fellow in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Office of Human Services Policy (ASPE/HSP) | Position Description
  • One to three fellows in the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Community Services | Position Description.

Fellows will be able to continue their training following receipt of a master’s degree by engaging in poverty and economic mobility research through their position at HHS. Fellows will be matched with a mentor, attend quarterly professional development trainings, and have funding to attend a research conference each year.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a final deadline of April 7, 2023.

Position Information and Benefits

  • Fellowships are for one year, with the possibility of an extension for an additional year.
  • Compensation is between $56,000–$61,000/year and includes health insurance.
  • Fellows will be matched to a mentor.
  • Fellows will have up to $1,200 to attend a research conference each year.


The Fellowship is open to U.S. citizens who have completed their master’s degree within the past year (anytime between spring/summer 2022–spring/summer 2023). The master’s degree should be in public policy, public administration, social welfare, public health, psychology, child development, education, program evaluation, research methods, or a related field. See position descriptions for a full list of key skills and experience.

We particularly welcome applicants belonging to groups that are underrepresented in academia. IRP uses the definition of underrepresented outlined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Underrepresentation can exist in various forms, including one’s race or ethnicity, ability status, gender identity or sexual orientation, or current or past economic disadvantage.

Application Process

Submit the following documents as one file on the Application Form by April 7, 2023. Note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the recruitment may end earlier than April 7, 2023 if qualified applicant(s) are identified before that date. Use the application form to submit the following in one pdf document:

  1. Letter of Interest: Please detail your interest, background, and qualifications for the Fellowship. This should include:
    • identification of which position(s) you are applying for – ASPE or OCS or both;
    • how you meet the key skills and experience outlined in the relevant position description(s) (ASPE position description | OCS position description);
    • an explanation of your career goals and how this Fellowship will help you meet those goals; and
    • description of the aspects of diversity you will bring to the field of policy analysis and practice.
    • Note that your letter of interest should be two pages or less. Statements exceeding this length may not be read.
  2. Current resume
  3. Three references: References should include at least 1 professor from your master’s degree program and at least 1 recent supervisor in a paid position. All references should include each reference’s name, title, email address, and phone number.
  4. Transcripts: Transcripts can be official or unofficial but should include all master’s degree program classes taken to date with corresponding grades.
  5. Relevant research/writing sample: The writing should be brief (ideally 2-5 pages) and focused on a policy-related topic that demonstrates research or analysis skills, or includes a tool, resource, or memo. Ideal writing samples will be on topic related to a human service program(s) administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Applicants who are asked to participate in an interview will do so via Zoom. Successful applicants will be required to go through a security background check, which includes fingerprinting, prior to appointment.

Please contact if you have further questions.