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The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) co-sponsor the Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship to give genetics professionals an opportunity to contribute to the policy-making process.


The extent to which the discoveries from genetics and genomics research are translated into the improved health of the American people is greatly influenced by policy decisions guiding research and the integration of genetics and genomics tools in the clinical setting.

The Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship is designed as a bridge for genetics professionals wishing to transition to a policy career. This unique fellowship provides three separate types of experiences: time spent in the National Institutes of Health within the Executive Branch; a staff position on Capitol Hill serving elected officials in the Legislative Branch; and experience working with ASHG in the non-profit science advocacy sector. This variety of assignments provides experience for fellows in multiple areas of policy-making and helps build a professional network that advances their careers in policy.

This is a fellowship program designed for genetics professionals with an advanced degree who are early in their careers and interested in the development and implementation of genetics-related health and research policies at a national level.

Duration of Fellowship: 16 months
Start Date: Late August to September 1
Compensation Package: annual $76k stipend plus benefits

For more information, view Frequently Asked Questions about the Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship.

Selection Process

A committee of representatives from ASHG and NHGRI will review application materials, interview finalists, and recommend up to three candidates to the organizational leaders for the final selection decision. Candidates are asked in the application materials to explain their motivation, areas of interest, and future plans.

Candidates are expected to have an advanced degree in human genetics or related field. Exceptional applicants with other advanced degrees and clearly demonstrated experience-based knowledge in science policy could be considered. Ideally, candidates will have completed graduate training, but be early in the career development path. In addition to possessing a scientific knowledge base, the candidate must have a well-articulated interest in policy. Demonstrated skills in oral and written communications are essential. United States citizenship is not required, but candidates must be eligible to work in in the U.S. (i.e., the fellowship organizations will not sponsor visas).

Questions about applying for the ASHG/NHGRI Fellowship can be directed to:

Cristina Kapustij, M.S.
Chief, Policy and Program Analysis Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute
E-mail: cristina.kapustij@nih.gov

Derek Scholes, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy
American Society of Human Genetics
E-mail: dscholes@ashg.org


The activities of the fellow will vary with each rotation. They will include research and analysis on a wide range of policy issues impacting biomedical research and its clinical application, and summarizing those analyses for different audiences. Writing tasks may include crafting new policy position statements, preparing testimony, summarizing legislation and drafting speeches. The fellow will participate in a variety of forums and will be expected to represent the involved organizations effectively in individual meetings and larger settings.

Rotations 2019-2020 Fellowship

  • Sept. 2019 - Dec. 2019
    Policy and Program Analysis Branch, Office of the Director, at NHGRI: Participate in a variety of ongoing ethical, legal and policy activities as well as other processes, such as development of the federal budget.
  • Jan. 2020 - Sept. 2020
    Congressional office and/or Committee involved in genetics-related public policy issues: Work within the personal office of a Member of Congress or a Congressional committee with jurisdiction over biomedical research, health or science. Fellows determine their positions based on availability and their own interests, and participate fully in staff functions during this time.
  • Oct. 2020 - Dec. 2020
    Advocacy at ASHG: Work within the ASHG science policy office on Society advocacy initiatives and policy issues related to genetics research, the use of genetics in the clinic, and the non-clinical applications of genetics in society.

Current and Former Fellows

The fellowship offers candidates an opportunity to develop a desirable skillset and build a professional network over the course of three enriching experiences. Learn more from past ASHG/NHGRI Fellow Testimonials.

Year Fellow Current Employer Title Office Rotation in Congress
2018 Eve Granatosky NHGRI Genetics and Public Policy Fellow Sen. Richard Blumenthal
2017 Nikki Meadows Senate HELP Committee Genetics and Public Policy Fellow Rep. Louise Slaughter/Senate HELP Committee
2016 Christa Wagner Association of American Medical Colleges Senior Legislative Analyst Sen. Sherrod Brown
2015 Caroline Young NIH Office of Science Policy Health Science Policy Analyst Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
2014 Katherine Blizinsky Rush University and NIH - All of Us Research Program Assistant Professor and Policy Director Sen. Patty Murray
2013 Katherine Donigan U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Staff Fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren
2012 Laura Koontz U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Personalized Medicine Staff Rep. Louise Slaughter
2011 Cristina Kapustij NIH - National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Chief, Policy and Program Analysis Branch Rep. John Dingell
2010 Kyle Brown Office of the Governor of Colorado Health Policy Advisor Senate HELP Committee
2009 Selvi Sriranganathan Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States Certified Genetic Counselor Rep. Eddie Bernice-Johnson
2008 Sara Selgrade NIH - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Section Chief for Legislative Activities Senate HELP Committee
2007 Pam Bradley Personal Genome Diagnostics Associate Director, Scientific Affairs Senate HELP Committee
2006 Ed Ramos NIH - All of Us Research Program Team Lead Sen. Barack Obama
2005 Derek Scholes ASHG Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy Senate HELP Committee
2004 Mike Stebbins Science Advisors President Senate Minority Leaders Office
2003 Jennifer Leib HealthFutures, LLC Partner Senate HELP Committee
2002 Daryl Pritchard Personalized Medicine Coalition Vice President, Science Policy Rep. Louise Slaughter

Other Policy Fellowships and Interns

NHGRI regularly receives inquiries from geneticists and genomicists interested in pursuing science and health policy, but who are not eligible for the NHGRI/ASHG Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship. To assist such individuals, NHGRI has compiled a list of other policy-related fellowships and internships that may be of interest.


NSF Summer Scholars Internship
Summer Scholars students come through outside organizations including Hispanic Association of Colleges and UniversitiesQuality Education for Minorities Network, and Washington Internships for Native Students

Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Interns will work with the Intern Coordinator to identify an independent research project related to science and technology policy and assist with research, writing, planning, and organizational activities that support the Institute's mission.

Early Career (Masters or Ph.D. or M.D.)

AAAS Fellowships
Executive Branch agencies with a range of policy portfolios (incl. NIH, NSF, HHS, others) host Fellows for one-year. Congressional Fellows spend one year serving on the staffs of Members of Congress or congressional committees, in legislative areas that would benefit from scientific and technical analysis and perspective. Both have a paid annual stipend with allowances for benefits. Doctoral level degree required.

American Medical Association
Government Relations Advocacy Fellowship for medical students to work as a full-time paid member of the AMA's federal advocacy team for one-year.

American Academy for Microbiology Colloquium Fellowship
This year long Fellowship is for a recent microbiology Ph.D. recipient to further develop skills in science communication and public outreach.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Hellman Fellowship
One-year paid fellowship for early career scientists (must have a PhD). Fellow will work with senior scientists and policy experts on critical national and international policy issues related to science, engineering, and technology.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Paid 1-2 year fellowship for recently graduated PhDs to work in public affairs office of ASBMB's headquarters.

California Science and Technology Policy Fellowships
The California Council on Science and Technology places scientists (Ph.D. or equivalent experience) and engineers in the California State Legislature for one-year appointments with stipend.

David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship
One-year fellowship to recent graduates from member institutions (Association of University Programs in Health Administration) with a minimum master's degree. The post-graduate program introduces fellows to public- and private-sector functions in health policy development in D.C.

FDA Commissioner's Fellowship Program
Two-year paid fellowship for individuals with doctoral-level training, where they will receive regulatory science training and the chance to conduct cutting-edge research on targeted scientific, policy or regulatory issues under the mentorship of an FDA senior scientist.

Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship
Paid 16-month fellowship sponsored by the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The program is designed for early-career genetics professionals with advanced degrees. The fellow will have the opportunity to participate in policy analysis at NHGRI and ASHG, and to work directly within the U.S. Congress.

Mongan Commonwealth Fund Fellowship Program (Cambridge, Mass.)
One-year fellowship (with second year practicum extension option) with stipend for the study of minority health policy at Harvard Medical School for doctors (M.D. required) interested in pursuing a career in policy or public service.

Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship
Paid, 12-week fellowship for early-career individuals (graduate enrollment or degree required) to work at the National Academies and learn about science and technology policy.

Presidential Management Fellow
Funded leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. Fellows serve in a variety of government agencies including NIH, among others. Can serve as a pathway to federal employment.

Satcher Health Leadership Institute
Ten-month paid program for post-doctoral students to learn science policy curriculum at Morehouse School of Medicine

The Royal Society (U.K.) MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme
Research scientists from the UK (applicants are required to have at least two years postdoctoral research experience) are paired with MPs and civil servants for reciprocal visits and communication.

The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Postdoctoral Fellowship in Comparative Health Policy
A ten-month postdoctoral fellowship for research about contemporary health or healthcare policy in two or more countries of the Asia-Pacific, including the social and economic implications of demographic change.

Mid-career (Ph.D. with experience, faculty position)

American Society for Microbiology Congressional Science Fellowship
Paid one-year fellowship for mid-career microbiologists to work on the staff of an individual congressman, congressional committee, or with some other appropriate organizational unit of Congress.

Australian-American Health Policy Fellowships Program
Ten-month paid fellowship for mid-career U.S. professionals of various disciplines to conduct research and work with Australian health policy experts on issues relevant to both countries.

National Academies Jefferson Science Fellowships
Paid one-year fellowship for tenured, or similarly ranked, academic scientists, engineers and physicians from U.S. institutions of higher learning to spend one year at the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for an on-site assignment in Washington, D.C. that may also involve extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and/or missions.

The Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowships Program
Year-long paid residential fellowship for mid-career health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy. Fellows experience and participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care, and health policy.

Available for Range of Degrees

Belfer Center, Harvard University
Funded one-year research fellowships in science, technology, and public policy, with a possibility for renewal. Fellowships are available to pre-doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers and professionals.

Bioethics Fellowships for Pre- and Post-doctoral Candidates
Fellows conduct mentored theoretical and empirical research in the ethics of health policy, international research ethics, human subjects research, genetics, or other fields of interest.

Center for American Progress ScienceProgress.org Internship
Quarterly internships (Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring) for all education backgrounds, with stipend.

Health and Aging Policy Fellowship
Year-long, paid program for range of junior and senior scientists, academics, and health care providers. The residential track allows fellows to participate in the policymaking process on either the Federal or state level as legislative assistants in Congress, professional staff members in executive branch agencies or policy organizations. The non-residential track allows fellows to remain at their home institution but work on a policy project that involves brief placement(s) throughout the year at relevant sites.

OSTP Internship Program
Up to three month unpaid internship with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which advises the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. Assignments provide educational enrichment, practical work experience, and network opportunities with other individuals in the science and technology policy arena.

Phoebe S. Leboy Public Policy Fellowship
Two-year salaried fellowship to work in Washington, D.C., as a full-time team member of the Association for Women in Science National Office. Some example duties include tracking legislation and analyzing policy issues at the nexus of gender and science, working with key AWIS advocacy partners including scientific and engineering societies, representing AWIS at key coalition meetings and conferences, and developing talking points, letters, and other advocacy documents. For more information, contact Janet Bandows Koster, Executive Director & CEO, at koster@awis.org

Three-month internship, with stipend, in the office of the Director of Science Policy to assist the organization with its mission to make research to improve health a higher national priority through education, advocacy and public policy activities. Internship is available for college seniors, graduate students or recent graduates and a fellowship is available to those with a Ph.D.

Science and Technology Policy Institute
The Science Policy Fellowship Program at the Science and Technology Policy Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a two-year fellowship where recipients work with researchers on analyses related to science and technology policy. Fellows may be involved in research for the Office of Science and Technology Policy and for federal agencies like the National Science Foundation and the NIH.

Congressional Offices

Additional opportunities to get involved in science policy are available through federal or state legislators. Look into working for a senator or representative on science and health policy or go through the different congressional committee/subcommittees involving health/science policy:

Senate Committees
House Committees

National Institutes of Health (For Intramural Fellows)

Detail Opportunities in the Office of Extramural Programs
Unpaid detail (3-6 months) open to intramural postdocs (currently at NIH) interested in learning about research training programs and policies. Work 12-16 hours a week with the NIH Extramural Research Training Officer and staff, and attend monthly meetings of the NIH-wide Training Advisory Committee. Discuss the possibility of a detail with your PI and ensure that you can be temporarily spared from your other assignments. Then send an e-mail and your CV to Jennifer Sutton, Extramural Program Policy and Evaluation Officer, at suttonj@mail.nih.gov.

Fellowship Opportunities in Federal Technology Transfer
For postdoctoral fellows who currently hold an IRTA or CRTA position at the NIH and who want to make the transition to a career in technology transfer. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must commit two years to the program.

Opportunities for Short Administrative Assignments at the NIH
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and several components of the Office of the Director offer current postdoctoral trainees at the NIH the opportunity to spend three months on an administrative or science policy detail.

Last updated: July 11, 2017