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Louis Stokes Urban Health Public Policy Fellows Program


This fellowship is named after retired Congressman Louis B. Stokes of Ohio, founder of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. The primary goal of the program is to increase the pool of qualified, minority health policy professionals who are committed to eliminating health disparities in the United States and abroad. 

Program Description

 The Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellows Program is a 20-month policy training and leadership development program that targets early to mid-level policy professionals who are committed to eliminating health disparities nationally and globally. CBCF Louis Stokes Fellows receive health policy training while working in a CBC Member’s office as well on a congressional committee. Typically, they spend ten months working in a congressional member’s office and the remaining ten months working on a congressional committee that focuses on health-related issues. CBCF complements the fellows’ policy training on the Hill by providing opportunities to improve and develop leadership skills so they can be more effective in their professional roles.

The program also includes educational enrichment opportunities through seminars on policy and politics. These seminars explore hot-button policy issues, the politics of policymaking and policy implementation, and evaluation of policy already implemented. Fellows are also exposed to the history and work of the Congressional Black Caucus, and prepared to analyze the impact of policies on African Americans and other minority groups.


  • U.S. citizen or permit to work in the U.S. for the duration of the program (September 2014 through May 2016)
  • Graduate or professional degree in a health-related field (behavioral science, social sciences, biological sciences, and health professions) from an accredited institution completed prior to the fellowship start date. In some instances, extensive and relevant work experience may be substituted for educational requirements.
  • Familiarity with the federal legislative process, Congress, and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • Demonstrated interest in public policy, and commitment to creating and implementing policy to improve the living conditions for underserved and underrepresented individuals

Selection Process

Selection of a Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellow is based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • A record of academic and professional achievement
  • Evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth
  • Study of how health policies affect African Americans and minorities
  • Demonstrated interest in public health policy
  • Quality of paper application and interview performance

All of these qualities combined with strong writing skills, adaptability, and demeanor are taken into consideration. Some other considerations are whether the program seems to be a good match for applicant’s stated professional goals and objectives.

Selection of Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellows is highly competitive. While the number of fellowships offered depends upon funding, since 2006 there have been two (2) Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellows per fellowship class. 

Applications are submitted to CBCF and reviewed by a selection committee comprised of CBCF staff, congressional staff, and other stakeholders. CBCF staff conducts the initial review of applications and selects the strongest applicants to become semi-finalists. Semi-finalist applications are forwarded to the full committee, which interviews the semi-finalists in person or by phone. CBCF notifies the finalists and alternates.

Application Materials

The completed online application must be submitted by midnight on the deadline date. The additional required materials must be received by our office by the close of business ( EST) on the deadline date. The following items will be requested through the online application:

  1. A completed application form
  2. Answer the required short essay(s) given on the application
  3. Brief research proposal
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation electronically submitted. Email addresses will be requested of each recommender for electronic submission of the letter. Hard copy letters will not be accepted.
  5. Two (2) page resume listing extracurricular activities, honors, employment, community service and special skills
  6. A recent photograph suitable for publication; i.e., a cap and gown picture, or other professional quality and professionally dressed photograph

Additional Required Materials

All the above documents should be submitted through the online application. The following document should be mailed to the organization. We must receive this document before the deadline passes:

  1. Official sealed transcripts from all institutions attended 

Official transcripts should be mailed to the following address: 

CBCF Louis Stokes Urban Health Public Policy Fellows Program
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.
1720 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036

Additional Information

All Fellows must be able to participate for the full term of the program. If selected, applicants are expected to complete all professional qualifying exams, for example, bar exams and medical boards, dissertation defenses and comprehensive exams before the fellowship or defer until the end of the fellowship. Participants in the Congressional Fellows Program must reside in or relocate to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Fellows are paid an annual salary of $40,000, with benefits. Fellows are responsible for their own travel, housing and other associated expenses.

For more information, please call (202) 263-2800 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and type “Louis Stokes Fellows Program” in the subject. You can also visit our FAQ page.