Apply to the Faculty Leaders Program

The application period has ended for the 2023 Faculty Leaders Program. If you would like to be notified when the application for our next session becomes active, please email us at

Who Is Eligible?

The mission of the Faculty Leaders Program is to engage faculty members from U.S. colleges and universities in the field of public policy analysis. Faculty Leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and we prioritize those who teach at institutions serving students underrepresented in public policy. All academic disciplines are welcome to apply.

Ideal applicants will demonstrate an ability to incorporate what they will learn in public policy analysis to their teaching, research and/or mentoring of students upon returning to their home institutions.

Fellowships are available for 12–16 participants and will be awarded competitively. The fellowship will cover the cost of tuition and academic materials.

How to Apply

Each applicant will be asked to complete the following:

Online Application

The online application will ask for contact details and other information.

It will also ask you to provide a list of 3-5 RAND experts whom you would like to request as your research mentor. Indicating your mentor requests enables us to select an appropriate match and ensure their availability.

A Professional Bio

Separate from the online application, send via email a professional bio (8-10 sentences) that summarizes your education, work experience, professional affiliations, and service.

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

Send a current copy of your résumé or curriculum vitae. Please limit to 5 pages.


Answer both of the following questions. Please limit each essay response to a maximum of 500 words.

Essay #1: What is your background in public policy (if any) and what do you hope to learn during the program? How do you plan to utilize program concepts upon returning to your home institution and community? In what way(s) are you interested in bringing or prepared to bring this information to diverse students?

Essay #2: Describe a policy-relevant research topic you would like to pursue that includes:

  • a descriptive title
  • 5-10 sentences that explain what the problem is, who it affects, why it is important, who you think makes policy or key decisions about this topic (i.e., the audience for the research), and what you want or need to know to move the research/impact-making forward
  • a sentence identifying the type of final product you wish to pursue. Final products may include:
    • Op-Ed/Commentary
    • Grant proposal/research aims
    • Developing new course or modifing existing course to bring in policy elements (learning objectives, readings, classroom discussions & activities)
    • Manuscript (e.g., journal article, book chapter)
    • Research plan (e.g., methodology, policy framework)
    • Community engagement effort (e.g., community presentation; community based participatory research methodology, stakeholder engagement plan)

Letter of Recommendation

Finally, each applicant is asked to submit a letter of recommendation from a department head or other senior professor or administrator (e.g., provost or president) at their home institution. Letters should address the following topics, to the extent to which the recommender has been able to observe the candidate's:

  • Interest in public policy research, analysis, and/or implementation
  • Ability to mentor students
  • Teaching
  • Interest in furthering policy research/coursework