The Society for the
Study of Social Issues

2012 James Marshall Post-Doctoral Public Policy Fellowship

SPSSI's James Marshall Post-doctoral Public Policy Fellowship


The goals of SPSSI’s James Marshall Fellowship in Public Policy are to train early career scientists to 1) contribute to the effective use of scientific knowledge about social issues in the formation of public policy; 2) educate the scientific community about how research can contribute to the development of public policy; and 3) establish a more effective liaison between social scientists and various policy-making mechanisms.

This position is supported, in part, by an endowment provided by the James Marshall Fund, Inc. The Fellowship provides support over a one- or a two-year term for a new doctoral-level fellow who represents SPSSI in approved policy and advocacy activities outside the academic setting to work in Washington DC as a "resident scholar" at the interface of science and policy. The Scholar should expect to use social-psychological research to inform the public policy making process in collaboration with SPSSI, other scientific or advocacy organizations, the United Nations, and/or the Congressional and Executive Branches.

The Marshall Fellow participates in a range of supervised activities involving the application of psychological research to 1) analyze specific social policies; 2) develop policy advocacy; and 3) work with SPSSI members on policy projects. The policy focus of the work varies from year to year depending on the fellow’s interests and SPSSI’s priorities. If external placement is available it will also affect the nature of the work. Collaboration with SPSSI’s policy coordinator, Dalmas Taylor summer intern, and members is typical. The Fellow participates in SPSSI’s Council meetings.  


The Marshall Fellowship is open to post-doctoral scientists from any discipline relevant to the psychological study of social issues. Applicants must hold a PhD or PsyD before the start of the fellowship and be a member of SPSSI. Candidates must demonstrate interest or involvement in the application of social science to social issues and policies, have a sound scientific background, and demonstrate sensitivity toward policy issues. Candidates should be interested in and knowledgeable about at least one current social issue such as homelessness, violence, adolescent pregnancy, child abuse, etc. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Individual initiative and an ability to work cooperatively with others having diverse viewpoints are critical. Knowledge of policy processes at the national level, along with placement goals is desirable, but not essential.


The James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship with the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) will be available for 2012-2013, with a start date in the fall of 2012.  

The current stipend is $55,000 per year plus health and vacation benefits.


ONLINE submissions are the preferred.  Please limit the number and size of files uploaded when applying online. 

  • Curriculum vita.
  • A 1000 word biographical statement of experience and interest in policy activities and/or social issues, career goals, interest in the position, placement priorities, and objectives desired from the Fellowship. Please indicate preference for either a one- or a two-year Fellowship commitment.
  • A 600 word briefing statement using social science data and related information to inform a legislator about a specific social issue.
  • Three letters of reference addressing applicant's abilities, experience, and motivation as related to this position.

DEADLINE for submission of all application materials is April 15, 2012. Notification of selection is expected on or around May 15.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Dr. Susan Dudley, SPSSI's Executive Director.

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin