Policy & Research Legislative Fellows Criteria

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 Process

Thank you for your interest in the Policy and Research Legislative Fellows program for the 2024-25 Academic Year . The PRLF application is now open through January 15.

All full-time UIUC graduate students whose departments allow them to take 50% RA positions are eligible to participate in the Policy and Research Legislative Program. Public policy is an interdisciplinary field and students from a variety of areas – including, for example, education, economics, law, political science, information sciences, food science and human nutrition, and social work – are encouraged to apply. No prior policy research experience is required.

Student researchers receive up to a 50% (20 hours per week) graduate student appointment for the semester(s) (e.g., Summer, Fall, and Spring) they participate in the program.

Placements are at legislators’ local district offices; each student researcher will coordinate with their supervisor regarding work hours and locations (including hybrid remote options). Please direct any questions to Elsa Augustine (elsaa@illinois.edu).