The College of Public Health’s Policy Fellow Program, offered through the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy (IIPHRP), creates opportunities for primary faculty appointed in the College of Public Health, to enhance skills for translating public health research into practice and policy. Faculty who desire additional opportunities to inform practice/policy change and who want to enhance their research portfolio through policy should apply for this year-long program. Individuals or teams of two faculty members are encouraged to apply.
Each Policy Fellow develops and implements an action learning project designed to help advance individual skills while receiving support from a variety of experts to implement the project. The focus of the project can be on any critical public health topic, and the scope of each project can be very diverse. For example, one project may be to develop a position paper on a specific public health issue, while another project may be to implement legislative language that impacts workforce development.
Each action learning project should be feasible within a one-year time frame. The approach, should at minimum, include at least one stakeholder meeting and a product that can be disseminated at the completion of the program. That product might be a policy brief, an issue brief, a white paper generated from an expert panel or other stakeholder event, proposed legislative language, or an educational/impact resource such as an implementation guide.
Fellows will engage in many activities that could include but are not limited to the following:
- Participate in learning activities including expert-run workshops or seminars
- Develop a “Panel of Experts” – to strategize solutions regarding a critical public health issue
- Generate policy documents including data briefs, policy briefs, position briefs and impact materials
- Develop educational materials.
- Write an Op-Ed regarding the critical public health topic
- Foster a community-based team
- Participate in efforts to better educate community members and governmental leaders on the importance of research
- Participate in a College-wide “Spotlight Series” presentation that showcases achievements and lessons learned upon completion of the program
- Develop and implement dissemination plans
The IIPHRP will select Fellows from a competitive application process. Fellows may access funds up to $5,000 to enhance learning. Examples of approved learning activities can include travel-related expenses to visit a key policymaker or industry leader, or inviting the leader to visit the University of Iowa, attending a specialized meeting or conference, a day of shadowing an elected official, or other activities as approved to support individualized learning. In addition, the program will support visits from policy experts, industry leaders, and other faculty who provide education and expertise to the program.
It is anticipated that Policy Fellows will act as informal mentors to future Fellows.
Applications are available in the summer, and Policy Fellows will be selected in October. Typically, planning and learning occur in the Fall semester, and project implementation continues through Spring semester. The Policy Fellows have through the summer to complete work on policy documents.