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The James Marshall Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applications for the 2024-2025 fellowship year will be due Tuesday, January 2, 2024.


The SPSSI James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship trains early career scientists to 1) contribute to the effective use of scientific knowledge about social issues in the formation of public policy at the federal level; 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 policymaking mechanisms.

This position is supported, in part, by an endowment provided to SPSSI by the James Marshall Fund. The fellowship provides support for a postdoctoral-level fellow to work full-time for one year (e.g., September 1, 2024 to August 31, 2025) in the United States Congress in Washington, DC.

The Marshall Fellow should expect to use psychological research to inform the public policymaking process while working full-time in a congressional office. The fellow participates in a range of activities involving the application of psychological research to analyze specific social policies and develop science-informed policy. The policy focus of the work varies from year to year depending on the fellow’s congressional placement. Past fellows have carried out placements in both the House and Senate and have engaged in a diverse range of policymaking activities (e.g., drafting legislation, writing speeches and talking points, planning hearings, meeting with constituents and outside groups, conducting background research).

The James Marshall Fellowship program is affiliated with the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Science & Technology Policy Fellowships program, which means that Marshall Fellows participate fully in the AAAS Fellowship program’s orientation to federal policymaking in early September and have access to a range of AAAS Fellowship professional development opportunities and support throughout the fellowship year and beyond. With support from SPSSI, AAAS also facilitates the congressional placement process in mid-September, assisting fellows with identifying and establishing placements in Congress that align with their interests and expertise.

Marshall Fellows typically have multiple points of contact with SPSSI over the course of their fellowship year, including communication with SPSSI’s Policy Director, SPSSI’s Dalmas A. Taylor Summer Minority Policy Fellow, the SPSSI Policy Committee, and SPSSI members. Marshall Fellows are also expected to attend the mid-winter SPSSI Council Meeting, the June SPSSI Council Meeting (immediately preceding the annual SPSSI Conference), and the SPSSI Conference. 

"As I reflect on this unique experience, I recognize that participating in this fellowship was incredibly valuable, especially at a time when our country’s ideals and norms are being challenged daily. Broadly, this experience has taught me tools to ensure we are using science to inform policy. More specifically, it also allowed me to participate in the movement to increase the representation of scientists in the legislative process. I leave this year confident that psychologists are an essential part of this movement and are at the forefront of influencing policy and transforming science into action." - Marshall Fellow Dr. Abir Aldhalimi (2017-2018)

"This experience has completely transformed how I want to approach my research and teaching going forward. It is a moral imperative for psychologists to get more involved in policy. There are lives at stake every day, in every decision, in every line of policy that is written. It’s time for those who study human behavior to start taking a good look at the kinds of policies that directly shape it, and start ensuring that future policy is grounded in good science." - Marshall Fellow Dr. Kevin Carriere (2019-2020)


The Marshall Fellowship is open to postdoctoral scientists from any discipline relevant to the psychological study of social issues. Candidates must be a member of SPSSI and must hold a PhD or PsyD by the start of the fellowship. (For example, if you are applying for the 2024-2025 fellowship and are currently a graduate student, your degree must be awarded by August 31, 2024.) 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 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 2023-2024 James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship with SPSSI will begin on September 1, 2024 and end on August 31, 2025. 

The Marshall Fellow is paid $60,000 annually. The Marshall Fellow is also reimbursed $350/month for health care coverage of the fellow's choosing. The fellow’s attendance at the annual SPSSI Conference in June of the fellowship year is also fully covered. Additional professional development funds may be provided and are subject to pre-approval.


Click here to submit an application.

Please limit the number and size of files uploaded when applying online. 

  • Personal statement (1000-word limit): Please describe your background and qualifications for the fellowship, your interest and experience in policy activities and/or social issues, your interest in the fellowship program, how the fellowship fits into your career goals, and what your desired objectives are for the fellowship.
  • Curriculum vita: Please be sure that your CV includes current contact information.
  • Letters of reference: Please provide three letters of reference. Letters should address the applicant's abilities, experience, and motivation as related to this fellowship program. These letters can be uploaded along with the other application materials, or referees can email them separately to, with the words "Marshall Fellowship Reference Letter for [applicant name]" in the subject line.


Applications for the 2024-2025 fellowship year are due Tuesday, January 2, 2024.


Click here for a list of past James Marshall Public Policy Fellows.

Click here to watch a 2019 SPSSI webinar about policy fellowship programs, which includes a presentation by former SPSSI Marshall Fellow Dr. Kevin Carriere. 

Questions? Contact the SPSSI Policy and Communications Director. For the SPSSI staff directory, click here