Policy & Research Legislative Fellows Program

Policy & Research Legislative Fellows logo

The Center for Social & Behavioral Science (CSBS) Policy & Research Legislative Fellows program matches graduate students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with state legislators representing Champaign-Urbana or a neighboring district to collaborate on a policy research project that can inform public policy and help make Illinois a better place to live. This non-partisan initiative is supported by the Office of Public Engagement.

The PRLF application for 2024-25 now open through January 15. An information session, was held on December 7 from 12-1pm over Zoom, please view the slides and the recording below.

Illinois state capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

Prior areas of research projects include, but are not limited to::

  • Housing Blight
  • Child Welfare
  • Energy Pricing
  • Police Retention
  • Higher Education Funding
  • Illinois Jobs
  • Teacher Shortage
  • Solar Energy Incentives
  • Parole
  • Disability

For more information about the PRLF program, contact Elsa Augustine at elsaa@illinois.edu.

Goals and Expectations

Student researchers use their expertise to contribute toward developing a policy agenda in a state legislator’s office, thereby gaining hands-on experience in bridging the gap between theory and practice at the state level. Students attend policy meetings with legislators and policy directors, watch legislative sessions and track bills to frame research activities that will assist in developing legislation from the ground up. In addition to research support and supervision from state policymakers, student researchers take part in seminars and professional development activities at UIUC.

The aim of the Policy & Research Legislative Fellows Program is to provide graduate students with:

  • First-hand experience and insight into the fast-paced legislative environment and law-making process
  • An understanding of how to connect research to real-world policy applications
  • Legislative and policy writing skills
  • Exposure to different policy and research areas that will help students evaluate their career interests and plans

Eligibility and Application

Student researchers use their expertise to contribute toward developing a policy agenda in a state legislator’s office, thereby gaining hands-on experience in bridging the gap between theory and practice at the state level.

Policy & Research Legislative Fellows

The Center for Social and Behavioral Science (CSBS), with support from the Office of the Chancellor-Public Engagement, is proud to introduce the participants of the Policy and Research Legislative Fellows Program!

Research and Data

PRLF participants provide a variety of deliverables regarding their research while involved with the program.

Advisory Board

A team of interdisciplinary faculty with policy expertise, along with a former PRLF participant, guide the design and implementation of the Policy & Research Legislative Fellows Program:

Jacob Bowers

Jacob Bowers
Political Science

Ashlynn Stillwell

Ashlynn Stillwell
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Jennifer Robbennolt

Jennifer Robbennolt
College of Law

Bryan Endres

Bryan Endres
Agricultural & Consumer Economics

Liliane Windsor

Liliane Windsor
Social Work

Minakshi (Mina) Raj
Kinesiology and Community Health

James Steur

James Steur
Political Science
Graduate Student Member