Friday, March 5, 2010

Congressional Black Caucus Congressional Fellows Program

Application deadline: April 22, 2010 (postmark date)
Program dates: August 30, 2010 - August 26, 2011
To apply online: -Congressional Fellows Application

The CBCF Congressional Fellows Program was created in 1976 in order to increase the number of African Americans working as professional staff in the U.S. Congress. The Congressional Fellows Program offers public policy training to young professionals by providing them with an opportunity to work on Capitol Hill.

Program Description
CBCF Fellows work in congressional member and committee offices, attend leadership development seminars, complete a community service project and produce policy papers. Office assignments as full-time legislative aides run from September through August. During the office placement, Fellows gain invaluable experience as they assist in the development of legislative and public policy initiatives. Fellows work 40 hours per week on a range of staff assignments, including legislative analysis, responding to constituent mail, drafting talking points and speeches for members, and coordinating logistics and public testimony for Congressional hearings.
Fellows also have educational enrichment opportunities through seminars on policy and politics. These seminars explore hot-button policy issues, the politics of policymaking and policy implementation, and evaluation of policy already implemented. Fellows are also exposed to the history and work of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and prepared to analyze the impact of policies on African Americans and other minority groups.

• U.S. citizen or permit to work in the U.S.
• Graduate or professional degree completed prior to the start date fellowship
program. In some instances, extensive and relevant work experience may be
substituted for educational requirements
• Familiarity with the federal legislative process, Congress and the Congressional
Black Caucus (CBC) and its members
• Demonstrated interest in public policy, and commitment to creating and
implementing policy to improve the living conditions for underserved and
underrepresented individuals

Selection Process
Selection as a CBCF Fellow is based on a combination of the following criteria:
• A record of academic and professional achievement
• Evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth
• Demonstrated interest in public policy
• Quality of paper application and interview performance

All of these qualities combined with strong writing skills, adaptability, and demeanor are taken into consideration when selecting a class of CBCF Fellows. Some other considerations are whether the program seems to be a good match for applicant’s stated professional goals and objectives and evidence of commitment to studying the impact of policy on African Americans and minorities.

CBCF seeks to create fellowship classes that bring together individuals who represent a diversity of policy-focused areas, in order to complement and enrich the Experience of all program participants.

Fellows are selected in a nationwide competition. Typically, CBCF accepts less than 10 percent of those who apply. While the number of fellowships depends upon funding, CBCF usually offers six to nine fellowships per year. Preference is given to individuals with expertise in areas that support CBC Members’ policy agendas.

Applications are submitted to CBCF and reviewed by a selection committee comprised of CBCF staff, congressional staff, and other stakeholders. CBCF staff conducts the initial review of applications and selects the strongest applicants to become semi-finalists. The semi-finalist applications are forwarded to a full committee that includes experts in the semi-finalists' policy areas. The committee interviews semi-finalists in person or by phone. The finalists are selected and notified by CBCF.
Additional Information

All Fellows must be able to participate for the full term of the program. If selected, applicants are expected to complete all professional qualifying exams, for example, bar exams and medical boards, dissertation defenses and comprehensive exams before the fellowship or defer until the end of the fellowship. Participants in the Congressional Fellows Program must reside in or relocate to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Fellows are paid an annual salary of $40,000, with benefits. Fellows are responsible for their own travel, housing and other associated expenses.

Send letters of recommendations and transcripts in one envelope to:

Congressional Fellows Program
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
1720 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

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