Economic Mobility Fellowship Program Call for Applications for the 2022–2023 Fellowship Year – Due 4/4/2022

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 2022–2023 with an anticipated start date in late summer of 2022. 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 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Office of Human Services Policy (ASPE/HSP) at the Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC.  To learn more about ASPE and the work they do, check out this video.

The 2022–2023 Fellow will work on the team responsible for analyzing policies, conducting research activities, and coordinating interagency work related to early childhood programs administered by the HHS Administration for Children and Families, such as Head Start, pre-kindergarten, and childcare.

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 ASPE. Fellows will be matched with a mentor, attend quarterly trainings, and have funding to attend a research conference each year.

Please see the position description for more information. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a final deadline of April 4, 2022.

Position Information and Benefits

  • Fellowships are for one year, with the possibility of an extension for an additional year.
  • Compensation is between $55,000–$60,000/year and includes health insurance.
  • Fellows will be matched to a mentor.
  • Stipend to attend a research conference each year is provided.

COVID-19 Policies

Fellows will be asked to follow the same COVID-19 policies as HHS employees. Beginning April 10, 2022, HHS employees will return to onsite work at least once a week. ASPE/HSP staff will return to the office at least each Wednesday at the Humphrey Building location in Washington, DC.

HHS will also continue to use multiple mitigation strategies to ensure the safety of their workplace consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance, including staying up to date with vaccinations, screening testing, masking, ventilation, cleaning and disinfecting, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. The HHS Workplace Safety Plan provides the latest guidance and information on these important topics.


The Fellowship is open to U.S. citizens who have completed their master’s degree within the past year (anytime between spring/summer 2021–spring/summer 2022). 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. Applicants should have a general understanding of U.S. social welfare policies with personal or professional experience working with families from diverse backgrounds who are engaging with federal human services programs. Expertise is desired in early childhood education, including the Child Care and Development Fund and related topics (e.g., child care markets, licensing, QRIS). Applicants should also have training, professional experience, or the ability to develop expertise in human services program evaluation including conducting surveys, interviews, and case studies. In addition, they should have the ability to identify and integrate equity strategies into research and evaluation design, co-creation, and reporting.

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 4, 2022. Note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the recruitment may end earlier than April 4, 2022 if a qualified applicant is 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 how you meet the key skills and experience outlined in the position description. Explain your career goals and how this Fellowship will help you meet those goals. Describe what aspects of diversity you will bring to the field of policy analysis and practice. Your letter of interest should be two pages or less. Statements exceeding this length may not be read.
  2. Current resume
  3. Transcripts (from master’s degree program)
  4. 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 related to a policy/program area relevant to early care and education.

Applicants who are asked to participate in an interview will do so via Zoom and will be asked to bring contact information for three references to the interview. 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.