Student Health Policy Fellowship

The 2017 application will be available on May 1


The Student Health Policy Fellowship is a program designed to enhance students’ understanding of political processes and health policy. Its aim is to inspire grassroots advocacy that promotes the PA profession as an integral part of the health care system.

Held in mid-September, this program consists of a three-day intensive workshop in the Washington, D.C., area, with completed projects under the mentorship of PA faculty where fellows will develop skills in the following three areas:

  • Advocacy
    Fellows will learn how the legislative process works, primarily at the federal level, and how to become effective advocates. Through discussion and interaction with PAEA staff and other experts, fellows will learn how to interact and effectively communicate with Congressional staff and policy leaders. They will gain the knowledge and skillset needed to develop and effectively present key information and requests to advance PA education and the profession. Fellows will use their newly acquired advocacy skills to venture to Capitol Hill where they will engage with Members of Congress or their office staff.
  • Leadership
    Fellows will build and refine the skills necessary to organize and lead others in advancing health policy issues at the local, state, and national level. By interacting with prominent members of the health policy community, fellows will gain valuable insight into the policy world and the importance of professional leadership to achieve meaningful change. They will also have the opportunity to build useful connections with those policy leaders, other students, and PAEA mentors whom they can work with in the future. Using their new skills, fellows will develop an assignment centered around health care, education, and advocacy to share and implement with their program.
  • PAs and the Health Care Environment
    Fellows will develop an appreciation for the role of PAEA and AAPA in advancing the goals of PA education and practice communities-at-large. Fellows will engage with key leaders and staff to learn about major issues facing the PA profession in our rapidly changing health care environment and how the associations work together to ensure that PAs remain an equal member of the health care team, and that barriers to effective practice are removed.


In addition to the three-day meeting in Washington, DC, the Fellowship requires that each participant complete an advocacy project under the guidance of their program faculty mentor within one year (by September 15, 2017).  PAEA Government Relations and External Affairs Council members will also serve as supplemental mentors.  Although not required, it is recommended that applicants to the SHPF work with their faculty mentors to conceptualize a potential project.  Advocacy projects should be innovative and be able to demonstrate a positive impact on the PA profession, local or state community, or PA program.  Examples of projects include: Organizing a “lobby day” at the state capitol, voter turn-out drives, advocacy presentations at PA state associations, and PA awareness campaigns with community health centers. Students who are accepted, will be required to develop a formal proposal during the fellowship experience in Washington, DC.  More information on the projects will be provided on site.


  • Application opens: May 1


PA students in an accredited PA program are eligible. First-year students are encouraged to apply; second-year students are eligible to apply if their graduation date is no earlier than August 1st, 2016. PA student candidates are eligible to apply if they will be enrolled as of September 1st, 2016. The program director must sign the eligibility form, attest that the student is in good academic and professional standing, and agree that the student will be released from classes for the 3-day workshop. In addition, it is recommended that the program director assign a faculty mentor in advance to assist the fellow with the advocacy project.

Selection Criteria

  1. Completed application per instructions
  2. Creativity of personal statement and responses to questions
  3. Creative and impactful ideas for project
  4. Proof of eligibility as described above


Scholarships awarded by PAEA will cover travel, lodging, and meals.


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