The 2023-2024 Graduate Policy Scholars

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

Program Overview

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, accepted graduate students participate in skill-building and netwroking opportunities to build capacity for policy practice. Students are offered a host of experiences, including mentoring, 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. By participating in the program, Scholars-in-Training can expect to:

  • Deepen their understanding of social change through policy
  • Consider proposed and existing policies through an equity lens
  • Develop skills in advocacy, political efficacy, and electoral activism
  • Engage with policymakers, civic leaders, and change agents
  • Cultivate relationships with other scholars and GPS alumni

I was given the privilege of meeting government and elected officials in private settings so we could have honest conversations with them and talk to them about our concerns directly. I learned a vast amount outside of the classroom during my first year of graduate school, and this program is a part of that learning experience.

Hidaia Salem, BSN, MPH ’19, Graduate Policy Scholar ’18

Our Graduate Policy Scholars have gone on to work in a variety of fields including civil service, public office, and community development.

  • Robert Sagastume, 2018 Clark-Fox Policy Institute Practicum Student
  • Aura Aguilar 2020 Graduate Policy Scholar quote
  • Romario Smith 2020 Graduate Policy Scholar quote

Learn more about how our Graduate Policy Scholars are using their training on the CFPI Where are they now? page

Graduate Policy Scholars News and Events

Meet the GPS Advisors

Become a Graduate Policy Scholar

Candidates must be Washington University students enrolled in a graduate degree program, and demonstrate an interest in social or public policy, research, community organizing and/or advocacy; and a commitment to understanding and addressing disparities, inequity and oppression.

Applications for the 2024-2025 Graduate Policy Scholars cohort will open in September 2024.