Public Service Fellowships

Public Service, Federal Government, & Congressional Fellowships

There are many opportunities to develop your career in public service by way of  fellowships. These worthwhile programs serve as entry points into government for professionals of almost all career tracks and levels of experience. 

As a starting point, MAPS has compiled and arranged this list of well-known fellowships for the benefit of our members and the general public. Please visit their respective sites below to learn more about what they offer, what they’re looking for, and important application deadlines.

For a more comprehensive search for public service fellowships that extends beyond government, AMAL (Advancing Muslim American Leadership), a non-partisan, public service volunteer initiative that cultivates the civic potential of young Muslim Americans, maintains an expansive database of public service-related opportunities to support and encourage careers in NGOs, national and local government, multilateral institutions, social enterprise, and the media.

For Students and Young Professionals

The following are a selection of fellowships for students, PhD candidates, post-doctorates, and young professionals.

These selective fellowships build up your professional experience or facilitate long-term entry into specific Federal agencies, groups of Federal or Congressional offices based on area of study or career track, or provide living and learning accommodations to DC-bound young professionals.  

Muslim Public Service Network (MPSN) – Summer Fellowship
Since 1994, the MPSN Fellowship has been a one-of-a-kind summer experience that educates, connects, and inspires talented Muslims to make a difference through public service. Components of the MPSN Summer Fellowship include cooperative living for students and young professionals undertaking summer internships in Washington, D.C., and career mentoring from well-placed MPSN alumni. Through living, learning, and working together in the MPSN residence, fellows build relationships across ideological differences, while the experience includes an eight-week graduate level lecture series on Islam and public ethics.

Congressional Leadership Development Program (CLDP)
Now powered by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), CLDP provides unique access to networks inside government departments, sectors, support groups and other allies in Washington. CLDP trains fellows to engage with elected officials and public figures in ways that create discourse and influence policy change. Accepted fellows will work with MPAC staff to apply for and secure internships/fellowships on Capitol Hill throughout February and March. The summer program itself lasts 10 weeks.

Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) 
The PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. It was created more than three decades ago by Executive Order and has gone through many changes over the years. The Program attracts and selects the best candidates possible, but is really designed with a narrower focus – developing a cadre of potential government leaders. It provides some sustenance during the first years of employment and encourages development of leadership capabilities. The PMF Program inculcates a lasting bond as well as a spirit of public service, ultimately encouraging and leading to a career in the government.

White House Fellowship
White House Fellowships offer exceptional emerging leaders first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal government. Selected individuals typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top-ranking government officials. There are no formal age restrictions. However, the Fellowship program was created to give selected Americans the experience of government service early in their careers. Employees of the Federal government are not eligible unless they are career military personnel.

APSA Congressional Fellowship Program for Political Scientists
The American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellowship gives early to mid-career political scientists an opportunity to learn more about Congress and the legislative process. Office assignments as full-time legislative aides in the House of Representatives and/or Senate for candidates with a PhD completed within the last 15 years or a dissertation near completion, and a scholarly interest in Congress and the policymaking process.

International Leadership Foundation (ILF) Civic Fellowship Program
The International Leadership Foundation Civic Fellowship is a civic leadership development program designed specifically to foster the next generation of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders in public service. ILF Civic Fellowship provides an 8 to 10-week public service internship at federal agencies, scholarships, and a variety of seminars and workshops on civic engagement and career, personal, and leadership development.

Running Start Congressional Fellowship
Semester-long Congressional Fellowship on Capitol Hill with congresswomen and weekly trainings on how to run for office. Fellows intern for a female Member of Congress and learn how to run from women in office and the people who helped them get there. Fellows live together in a house on Capitol Hill, free of charge, and are provided with a living stipend for the semester.

Local Government Management Fellowship (LGMF)
The Local Government Management Fellowship (LGMF) is a career-development opportunity designed to attract recent MPA/MPP (or related programs) graduates to be placed in full-time management-track local government positions. Finalists are selected based on academic performance, demonstrated leadership potential, commitment to public service, communication skills, initiative, creativity, and positive attitude. They then interview for 12-month fellowship appointments at local governments across the country, during which they receive direct mentorship from a senior government leader at the organization.

JPSM Junior Fellows Program

The Junior Fellow Program supports career opportunities for those who have the knowledge and skills to design, collect, and analyze large-scale databases by offering a paid research assistantship, plus educational benefits that can expand the horizons of what you can do in your career. Junior Fellows will be placed at various statistical and survey organizations.

Payne Fellowship Program
The USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program seeks to attract outstanding individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program
For college seniors or graduates who want to become Foreign Service Officers in the U.S. Department of State, the Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program provides benefits of up to $95,000 over two years toward a two-year master’s degree, arranges internships on Capitol Hill and at U.S. embassies, and provides mentorship and professional development support.

Robertson Foundation for Government Fellowships
RFG seeks to support outstanding graduate students from public service, policy and administration schools who represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives, with a common embrace of government service as a future calling. By supporting their education through academic fellowships and funding for government internships, RFG enables fellows to emerge from graduate school with lower or no financial burden so that they may pursue federal careers with complete dedication.

Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship
The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State.   It welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need.  Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity.

Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program
The Mansfield Fellowship Program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1994 to build a corps of U.S. Federal government employees with proficiency in the Japanese language and practical, firsthand knowledge about Japan and its government. Applicants must be federal government employees with at least two consecutive years of service and are subsequently required to serve at least two years in the Federal government.

Barbara A. Ringer Copyright Honors Program
The Ringer Honors Program offers 18-24-month paid fellowships for attorneys in the initial stages of their careers who demonstrate promising ability and interest in copyright law. Ringer Fellows work closely with United States Copyright Office senior attorneys on a range of copyright-related law and policy matters.

Dave Kennedy Fellowship
The Institute for Justice recruits the most talented law students from across the country as summer fellowship program participants, called Dave Kennedy Fellows. The program offers an unparalleled professional opportunity to substantively contribute to active and future strategic litigation in both state and federal courts.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
The Science & Technology Policy Fellowships program provides opportunities for scientists and engineers to contribute to federal policymaking while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy.

Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship
The Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program is a full-time hands-on training and educational program that provides early career individuals with the opportunity to spend 12 weeks at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation.

Cybersecurity Talent Initiative
The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative is a public-private partnership aimed at recruiting and training a world-class cybersecurity workforce. Participants selected for the program will be guaranteed a two-year placement at a federal agency with cybersecurity needs.

Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship
Launched in 2017, the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship (DOE NNSA LRGF) provides excellent financial benefits and professional development opportunities to students pursuing a Ph.D. in fields of study that address complex science and engineering problems critical to stewardship science.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Scientific Internships and Fellowships
Whether you’re an undergraduate looking to pursue a career in science, a graduate science student seeking experience in regulatory science, a postgraduate looking for fellowship opportunities, or a senior scientist pursuing research experience in your field of expertise, FDA offers you many paths to learning about the exciting field of regulatory science.

Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship
The FAIT Fellowship, funded by the United States Department of State, provides undergraduate and graduate students in IT-related fields with tuition assistance, as well as mentorship and professional development, to launch their careers in the Foreign Service as Information Management Specialists.

Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program
The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program provides students with educational opportunities to gain real-world, hands-on research experience with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy. The MLEF program was created in 1995 with the goal of improving opportunities for under-represented and minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

NASA Postdoctoral Program
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides early-career and more senior scientists the opportunity to share in NASA’s mission. NASA Postdoctoral Fellows work on 1 to 3 year assignments with NASA scientists and engineers at NASA centers and institutes to advance NASA’s missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics, engineering, human exploration and space operations, astrobiology, and science management.

Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education Department of Defense Fellowship Program
To ensure the robust supply of scientists and engineers to meet the U.S. Department of Defense’s future science and technology needs, the ORISE program places individuals from the academic community (students, recent graduates, and faculty) in DoD research projects.

Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program
The Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion in the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) Fellowship
The STPI Fellowship provides recent bachelor’s degree recipients with an opportunity to use their critical thinking and analytic skills to work on science and technology (S&T) policy areas, including energy and the environment, space sciences, innovation and competitiveness, evaluation, life sciences, information technologies, national security, and STEM education. Fellows will be involved in collaborative research for leaders in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and other Federal Government organizations.

USGS Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program
The Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides Fellows research experiences that enhance their scientific stature and credentials. The USGS invites postdoctoral scholars to conduct concentrated research in association with selected members of the USGS professional staff. Fellows will have two-year appointments to the USGS, receiving a full salary and benefits at the GS-12 level. Applicants must have their PhD degree no earlier than 5 years before the application opening date.

Sustaining Technical and Analytical Resources (STAR)
Through fellowships, internships, and strategic partnerships, STAR supports building the capacity of diverse global health professionals and organizations at all levels to make inclusive, collaborative, and innovative contributions to global health.

PostBaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (Postbac IRTA/CRTA)
The NIH Postbac IRTA program provides recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional (medical/ dental/ pharmacy) school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time research at the NIH. Postbac IRTAs/CRTAs work side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research.

For Mid Career to Senior Professionals

The following are a selection of fellowships for mid career or senior professionals to enrich their careers in public service, or enter it for the first time from the private or non-profit sectors.

These selective fellowships invite you to apply your experience, talents, research, or expertise in related areas, toward specific Federal agencies or groups of Federal or Congressional offices.

White House Fellowship
White House Fellowships offer exceptional emerging leaders first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal government. Selected individuals typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top-ranking government officials. There are no formal age restrictions. However, the Fellowship program was created to give selected Americans the experience of government service early in their careers. Employees of the Federal government are not eligible unless they are career military personnel.

White House Leadership Development Program 
The White House Leadership Development Program (WHLDP) engages a diverse annual cohort of GS-15 career employees to work on the federal government’s highest priority and highest impact challenges. The Program is sponsored by the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and supported by the Performance Improvement Council (PIC).

Excellence in Government Fellowship
The Excellence in Government Fellows program is the premier leadership development course for federal employees at the GS-14 to GS-15 levels. For more than 30 years, EIG has helped federal employees develop strong leadership skills through application-based learning, highly interactive activities, authentic self-reflection, personalized coaching and governmentwide networking. Graduates go on to plan, design and implement innovative solutions to address the federal government’s biggest challenges and improve their agencies’ effectiveness.

President’s Management Council Interagency Rotation Program
In 2011, the President’s Management Council (PMC) and the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council launched the PMC Interagency Rotation Program to bolster cross-agency exposure for high-potential GS 13-15s.  The PMC Interagency Rotation Program enables emerging Federal leaders to expand their leadership competencies, broaden their organizational experiences, and foster networks they can leverage in the future. The program provides each participant an interagency rotation assignment to help develop or enhance specific leadership competencies identified by both the participant and their home supervisor, and expand PMC participants’ interagency experience either within or outside their current area of expertise.  

HillVets House Fellowship
HillVets is the community of Veterans, Servicemembers, and their supporters interested in governance, international affairs, policy and politics. HillVets provides a fellowship for veterans interested in engaging in policy, politics, or government, and provides leadership training for veterans currently in the National Capitol Region.

Franklin Fellowship
Franklin Fellows are senior and mid-level professionals who serve a one-year fellowship at the Department of State or at USAID, working as experts and consultants on a wide range of issues and subjects. Franklin Fellows contribute their knowledge, experience, and specialized skills while gaining first-hand insight into the world of foreign policy and development.

ASME Federal Government Fellowship Program
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers was the first engineering society to establish a Federal Government Fellowship Program in 1973. The program enables selected ASME members to devote a year to working in government, providing engineering and technical advice to policy makers in the U.S. Congress, the White House, and federal agencies.

Engineering & International Development Fellowship
IEEE-USA Engineering & International Development Fellows serve as advisors to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The fellowship offers an opportunity for member of the science, technology, and engineering community to provide valuable technical expertise to USAID while learning about and contributing to the foreign policy process.

Jefferson Science Fellows Program (JSF)
The JSF program engages the American academic science, technology, engineering, and medical communities in U.S. foreign policy and international development.  Open to tenured, or similarly ranked, faculty from U.S. institutions of higher learning, selected Jefferson Science Fellows spend one year on assignment at the U.S. Department of State or USAID serving as advisers on issues of foreign policy or international development.

AIP State Department Science Fellowship Program
This American Institute of Physics (AIP) Fellowship is intended to enhance the science & technology capacity of the U.S. Department of State by enabling at least one scientist annually to work at the Department’s Washington, DC headquarters for a one-year term. Scientists at all career stages, including mid- and late-career professionals, are encouraged to apply If they have a PhD or equivalent research background in physics or a closely-related field.

Presidential Innovation Fellowship (PIF)
The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) pairs industry’s top technologists, designers, and strategists with federal changemakers to co-create bold solutions for public good. Embedded within agencies as “entrepreneurs in residence” for one year, our fellows bring the best of data science, design, engineering, product, and systems thinking into government. Technologists join as GS-15 senior professionals from every big tech, startups, research labs, and more.