National Poverty Fellows Program Call for Applications for the 2023–2024 Fellowship Year – Due 11/30/2022

The National Poverty Fellows Program is a federal government-university partnership that seeks to build the capacity of researchers to conduct high-quality policy-relevant research on poverty and inequality in the United States and to contribute to the effective use of research and scientific knowledge in the formation of public policy.

The Institute for Research on Poverty is calling for applications for up to six postdoctoral fellows for 2023–2024 with an anticipated start date in late summer or early fall of 2023. The fellowship is for one year with the option of renewing for a second year. The fellowship is contingent on the availability of funding.

Fellows will be in residence in one of three federal offices within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Currently we expect the following placements:

  • Three fellows in the Office of Community Services (OCS) | Position Description
  • Two fellows at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) – one in the Division of Economic Independence (DEI) and one in the Division of Data and Improvement (DDI) | Position Description
  • One fellow at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation | Position Description

In the application, you will have the opportunity to indicate preferences for placements in particular offices if you wish. Please see the position descriptions and other information about each office at the links above to learn more about their roles within the federal government and the potential responsibilities of fellows placed in those offices.

Applications are due by November 30, 2022.

Position Information and Benefits

  • Fellowships are for one year, with the possibility of an extension for an additional year.
  • Compensation is around $92,000/year and includes health insurance.
  • Twenty percent of the fellows’ time is allotted to their own poverty- or inequality-related research.
  • Fellows will have an IRP academic research mentor, an outside policy mentor, and will also have networking opportunities with IRP’s 240+ research affiliates.
  • A $3,000 budget is provided that can be used to support conference travel, professional development opportunities, and research expenses.
  • Fellows will receive support for two scholar-in-residence visits to IRP at the University of Wisconsin–Madison per year.


The fellowship is open to U.S. citizens who are up to 6 years post-Ph.D. in the social or behavioral sciences with a substantive background in poverty, economic inequality, and social policy from any accredited educational institution. Applicants should have strong research skills, experience with program evaluation, excellent communication skills, particularly in terms of translating research for policy audiences, and work well as part of a team. Successful applicants will be required to go through a security background check prior to appointment.

Application Process

There are three main steps in the application process:

  1. Submit the Intent to Apply Form
  2. Contact three academic reference letter writers who can assess your ability to be successful in this program. When all three letter writers have agreed to write you a letter of reference, fill out the Reference Letter Writers Form with their names and e-mail addresses. Please do this as soon as possible to allow your writers plenty of time to respond to your request for a letter. Providing this information will generate an automatic e-mail instructing them about how to write and submit their letter of support. We ask that all reference letters be received by December 7, 2022, so please confirm with letter writers that they have received the e-mail and can submit their letter by December 7.
  3. Submit the following documents on the Application Form by November 30, 2022.
    • Current CV
    • Statement of interest: Please detail your interest, background, and qualifications for the Fellowship. This should include your substantive background in poverty, inequality, and social policy research and your experience with quantitative and qualitative research and analysis. Explain your interest in the connection between research and policy, as well as your career goals and areas of interest. This statement should have a maximum of 1,200 words. Statements exceeding this length will not be read.
    • Relevant research/writing sample: We ask that you provide a sole-authored or first-authored piece. If you are not the sole author or first author of the sample, you will be asked to explain your role in the research and writing process.

Please contact Dave Chancellor if you have further questions.