It is appropriate as Atlantic Philanthropies reaches the end of its institutional life that it is inviting applications for its Health and Aging Policy Fellowships for health care professionals to develop policies that positively impact Americans in their sunset years. "The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program aims to create a cadre of leaders who will serve as change agents in health and aging policy to ultimately improve the health care of older adults.”
The year-long program gives fellows the option of choosing a residential track or a non-residential track. The first option is often chosen by those at the beginning of their careers, while the second allows participants to remain at their home institutions, where they’re already established, while dedicating 20 percent of their time to the fellowship through short duration placements during the year at appropriate other sites.
Those on the residential track will get a stipend that allows them to participate as staffers in the legislative branch in health and aging policymaking focused on either the state or federal government, or non-governmental policy organizations. Another option would be to work as a legislative assistant in Congress, typically as a volunteer or in underpaid position that gives participants a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective.
Both paths provide opportunities for professional enrichment and career enhancement. Once fellows complete the first year, second-year funding is available to continue either at the fellows’ original sites or in new positions, where they can tackle additional challenges either at the state and local levels, or with non-governmental organizations.
The stipends vary. For residential fellows, they are appropriate for the applicant’s current base salary (up to $100,000 annually). Relocation costs will be provided (up to $4,500), and health insurance, as you might suspect for a health fellow, will also be covered if those bills aren’t met by the fellow’s workplace (up to $400 month).
Fellows on the non-residential track could get up to $10,000 to cover approved project related travel and other miscellaneous expenses. Those on the non-residential track must convince their home institutions to allow the fellows to commit 20 percent of their time to their policy projects. Those non-residential fellows at the start of their careers who can’t get their home institutions to agree to this provision can apply for partial salary support from the program (up to $15,000). Travel costs for all fellows to all fellowship-related meetings will be reimbursed.
The program is truly interdisciplinary. Past fellows have come from a wide range of careers in academia, law, and health care at varying career stages. This year, there are two new pilot programs encouraging fellows at the community or state level engaged in aging policy, and those with a major interest in global health policy. The program also encourages candidates who are from underrepresented groups. All will be considered. One hard and fast rule is that applicants must either be U.S. citizens, or permanent residents who plan to work in the U.S. or its territories after the end of their fellowships.
Apply no later than April 15, 2015. If you’ve been hesitant in the past or you’re put off by the congruence of this deadline with the tax-filing deadline, don’t procrastinate. As we've reported, grantseekers won't have many future chances with Atlantic as it winds down, relfecting founder Charles "Chuck" Feeney’s “Giving While Living” philosophy. For more about the Health and Aging Policy Fellowships look here.