Weingartner Policy Fellows Program

The Weingartner Policy Fellows program allows a select group of undergraduates to develop specific proposals aimed at helping to address current issues of concern to the United States and other societies.  Participants work independently of close faculty supervision, but on a collaborative basis, including with peers abroad. They are encouraged to consider how the United States and other societies can learn from each other in dealing with similar problems and in shaping concrete policy solutions.

Research and Deliberation

Each year, Fellows are assigned a broad issue of mutual concern to the United States and other societies. Working as a team in the Spring semester and based on background reading, they will identify specific policy options for further research, and select those in which they will develop concrete proposals.

Proposals may target policies in the United States alone or may (also) address those of an/other country/ies, but the analysis and solutions must be informed by a comparative perspective.

In the Spring semester, the Fellows will be enrolled in a 2-credit Interdisciplinary Seminar. During most sessions of the course, participants will work jointly (with general instructor assistance) on identifying and developing their proposals. Other meetings of the seminar will include discussion with faculty or guest specialists, as well as instruction on preparing and presenting policy-relevant research.

In the Summer semester, three Fellows will be eligible for Charles Center Scholarship support allowing them to conduct in-depth research on their respective teams’ policy proposals. Each of the three summer grants will be for $3,000.

In late Fall semester, the Seminar’s final policy proposals will be presented (along with supporting materials) to a randomly selected panel/citizens jury of fellow students for deliberation and a decision.

The 2013 topic is: Can ways be found to make politics more substantive while at the same time expanding popular participation?  Read more about the topic here

Eligibility and Application

Each academic year, ten students are selected as Weingartner Policy Fellows.

Students from any major who are freshmen, sophomores, and juniors at the time of the application are eligible to apply.  In addition students must be in residence on campus in the two-semester (spring/fall) period of the program, and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or above by the semester of application (the GPA requirement does not apply to freshmen).  Students will receive 2 credits in each of the two semesters of the program.

To apply: eligible students must create an account (or log into an existing account) on this website, select "Weingartner Policy Fellows" on the Preliminary Questions page, and follow the instructions.

In addition to the names of two people who can serve as references (the selection committee will contact them - there is no need for them to submit letters at this point), the application consists of a 1-page resume, a transcript including spring 2013 course registration (copy from Banner), and a 1-2 page letter of application that explains what you expect to gain from this experience and (drawing on personal qualities, past course work, research experience, jobs, internships, etc.) what you expect to be able to contribute to the group effort.