Student Opportunities

Clark-Fox Policy Institute Graduate Policy Scholars

Clark-Fox Policy Institute Graduate Policy Scholars


The desire to engage in policy leadership continues to grow among students, and in response the Clark-Fox Policy Institute launched a new program in the Fall of 2017 to help students prepare for policy practice. As Graduate Policy Scholars, Brown School students have the opportunity to supplement their robust curriculum with experiences outside of the classroom.

Spanning an academic year, the program offers accepted students a specialized learning opportunity to build capacity for policy practice. It is a rigorous and immersive experience that helps Brown School students understand the formation of social policy as a high-impact tool for positive social change. Students are offered a host of rich experiences, one-on-one mentoring and advising, and trainings outside of the classroom. Participants can expect to develop skills in advocacy and electoral activism; build knowledge of government processes and how to effect change; and engage with policymakers, civic leaders and change agents.

The program has been designed to be self-directed, allowing students to choose their personal learning priorities and to work at their own pace. At the same time, multiple mechanisms are employed that allow students all the guidance and support they need to complete the program prior to their graduation.

Some of the skill-building experiences completed by scholars included:

  • Observing or attending policy related events in the St. Louis region or Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Contacting their legislators about a current policy issue
  • Supporting community-based organizations with calls to action
  • Writing policy briefs connected to a policy priority relevant to their field placement or area of interest

In addition to the immersive policy experiences, students also received trainings in policy skill development. Some of the training offerings include:

  • The Translation of Empirical Research into Evidence-Informed Policy
  • Legislative Advocacy: How to Connect with Your Elected Officials and Make an Impact
  • Community Organizing and Advocacy: Taking Your Movement to The Streets
  • Campaign Crash Course: A Practical Blueprint for Anyone Seeking Office, Managing A Campaign, Or Otherwise Hoping to Influence an Election

The inaugural cohort consists of twenty-nine exceptional social work, public health and social policy students; these scholars represent the pioneers of a growing network of policy scholars committed to social justice and racial equity.

Director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, Gary Parker, shared a letter following the Inaugural Policy Scholar that can be read here.