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MOST Policy Fellows

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 currently serves 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

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 
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Three postdoctoral Legislative Policy Fellows and one Graduate Policy Fellow joined our team in 2021 to serve as independent science advisors to the Missouri General Assembly. 
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Fellowship Details


Legislative Fellows must hold a terminal degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering/technology, math, medicine, or related discipline. Executive Fellows must hold a terminal degree (M.S./M.A. or above) in data science, computer science, systems engineering, or a related field (e.g., operations management), or have completed a terminal degree in another discipline that required extensive data analysis.

Candidates who do not have a terminal degree (e.g., M.S. in Sociology) will be considered on a case by case basis. Degrees must be conferred by September 1 at the start of the fellowship year, but are not required at the time of application.

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.


Fellows will receive a stipend of $50,000/year and benefit options will be provided through the University of Missouri. In addition to salary and benefits, fellows will also receive a $1,500 for professional development and moving expenses up to $1,000. All in-state travel associated with the fellowship program will be covered by MOST Policy Initiative.


Fellows from within Missouri and outside Missouri are encouraged to apply for the MOST Policy Fellows program. During the fellowship term, fellows will be asked to reside in Central Missouri (Jefferson City, Columbia, etc.).

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


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

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