Graduate Policy Scholars

In response to students’ growing desire to engage in policy leadership, in Fall of 2017 the Clark-Fox Policy Institute launched a new program to help prepare them for policy practice. Now in partnership with the Social Policy Institute at Washington University, the Graduate Policy Scholars program offers students the opportunity to supplement their robust curriculum with experiences and training outside the classroom.

Spanning an academic year, the program offers accepted graduate students a specialized learning opportunity to build capacity for policy practice. It is a rigorous and immersive experience that helps 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. Participants can expect to develop skills in advocacy, analysis, and activism; build knowledge of government processes and how to effect change; and engage with policymakers, civic leaders and change agents.

The self-directed program design allows 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 guidance and support needed to complete the program. In addition to immersive policy experiences, students also receive training in policy skill development.

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 legislators about a current policy issue
  • Supporting community-based organizations with calls to action
  • Writing policy briefs connected to a policy area of interest

The first two cohorts included exceptional social work, public health, and social policy students from the Brown School. In response to expressed interest from students in other programs, the 2019-2020 cohort was made open to all graduate students at Washington University.

Graduate Policy Scholars represent a growing network of students and alumni committed to advancing social change and equity through policy.

Applications for the 2019-2020 cohort are being accepted through Thursday, September 26 at 5 PM