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MOST Policy Fellows

MOST Policy Initiative offers two distinct fellowship programs: the Legislative Policy Fellowship and the Executive Policy Fellowship.

Legislative Policy Fellowship

MOST Legislative Policy Fellows provide rigorous, nonpartisan science policy research for members of the Missouri General Assembly.

Fellows assist in scientific, rather than legal, research as bills are written and considered, and also inform legislators about the potential benefits and consequences of proposed statutes and regulations. Fellows provide research resources year-round, and also support evidence-based policymaking in the state by hosting informational workshops, engaging in policy discussions with stakeholders, and connecting researchers to issues related to their expertise.

Policy Areas

The MOST Legislative Policy Fellows program typically covers the following policy areas:

  • Agriculture, Conservation, Natural Resources, and Economic Development
  • Education and Workforce Development
  • Health and Mental Health
  • Human Services, Public Safety, and Corrections
  • Energy, Environment, Utilities, and Transportation
Executive Policy Fellowship (Currently not accepting applications)

MOST Executive Policy Fellows assist state agencies with incorporating data management, analysis, visualization, and integration practices to improve program design and implementation according to agency priorities. Executive Policy Fellows also have opportunities to build policy-relevant skills by participating in professional development activities hosted by MOST and by contributing additional capacity to team projects as appropriate.

State Agency Partners

The MOST Executive Policy Fellows program currently partners with the following departments:

  • Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Missouri Department of Health and Human Services 
Apply online

Fellowship Details

Eligibility

Legislative Fellows must hold a terminal degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in natural sciences (e.g., biology, physics, earth), social sciences (e.g., economics, education, political science), engineering, technology, or a related discipline. (Degrees must be conferred by September 1 at the start of the fellowship year, but are not required at the time of application.)

Download the Legislative Fellowship position description for the full list of required qualifications.

The Executive Fellowship does not have strict degree requirements, but competitive applicants have a degree (bachelors or masters) in data science, computer science, systems engineering, or a related field (e.g., operations management), OR a degree in another discipline that required extensive data management and analysis and/or provided other relevant experience (e.g., sciences, math, engineering, public health, social work, or other social sciences). Two to three years of professional experience is preferred for those with bachelors level degrees. Candidates who do not meet specific requirements will be considered on a case by case basis.

Download the Executive Fellowship position description for the full list of required qualifications.

Term Length

Fellows will commit to a one-year fellowship term and will be encouraged to renew their fellowship for an additional one-year term, dependent on performance and available funding.

Compensation

Fellows will receive a stipend of $55,000- 57,000/year, full health, vision, and dental insurance, and retirement benefits. In addition, fellows will receive extensive professional development training, access to MOST Policy Fellow's professional network, and up to $1,500 to cover costs of emergent professional opportunities. All in-state travel associated with the fellowship program will be covered by MOST Policy Initiative.

Residency

Fellows from within Missouri and outside Missouri are encouraged to apply for the MOST Policy Fellowship programs. Legislative Fellows will be asked to reside in Central Missouri (Jefferson City, Columbia, etc.) during their fellowship term. For Executive Fellows, some remote and/or hybrid work may be available with the state agencies, but preference is given to those who live in or are willing to relocate to central Missouri. 

Fellowship Schedule & Duties

The schedule and duties of Legislative Policy Fellows can be found below. Executive Fellows will design and execute projects specific to their placement.

September to December

Upon joining MOST, Fellows participate in two weeks of in-depth training on science policy reading and writing, communication strategies, and legislative processes. During the training, Fellows also have the opportunity to travel throughout the state of Missouri to meet the communities and stakeholders served by the legislature, and to gain familiarity with the resources and challenges present in the state.

Following the immediate onboarding period, Fellows continue to attend events and network with experts and stakeholders within their respective disciplines, providing them with relationships and skills that will prepare them to function as honest brokers of scientific information.

Fellows should also expect to begin working on Science Notes in advance of the regular legislative session, which begins in January. Outside of the legislative sessions, Science Notes typically provide lawmakers with research about broad policy areas of interest, enabling them to craft legislative proposals that incorporate accurate, up-to-date information. During the prefiling period, which begins on December 1, Science Notes may provide more detailed research pertaining to specific policy proposals.

January to May

During the regular legislative session, MOST Policy Fellows will assist in adding scientific information into policy conversations through the following activities:

  • Writing “Science Notes” on pending legislation
  • Answering questions from legislators and staff
  • Validating evidence presented by constituents and interest groups
  • Building capacity for evidence-based policy making
June to August

Outside of the regular legislative session, Fellows continue to provide research resources for the General Assembly. In particular, they may be asked to support the the work of interim committees, or respond to research requests related to topics addressed during special legislative sessions.

Beyond these activities, Fellows have a chance to support evidence-based policymaking in the state by hosting informational workshops, engaging in policy discussions with stakeholders, and connecting researchers to issues related to their expertise.

Virtual Information Sessions

Funding

The MOST Policy Fellows program is made possible by grants and contributions from the following organizations.

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