The Congressional Research Fellowship Program (CRFP) places outstanding Group of Eight University honours and postgraduate students and recent Group of Eight University graduates in the offices of United States Senators who serve on the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Armed Services.

The CRFP aims to identify and foster the development of a new generation of leaders, while promoting investment in the Australia-US relationship through person-to-person linkages made by successive Fellows and the networks they create.

For a period of up to three months, from January-March 2018, CRFP fellows will assist a Senator’s senior staff in developing policy advice and assisting with the day-to-day functioning of the office. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend foreign relations committee hearings and policy briefings held for staff in the US Capitol. Fellows will also have the opportunity to engage with leading foreign policy, security or economics think tanks in Washington DC.

Photo by Roy Higson, 2009

The CRFP Program enables current Group of Eight Universities honours and postgraduate students and recent Group of Eight Universities graduates (after December 2016) to:

  1. Gain an insight into the inner workings of the US political system, including how policy is shaped by the political process, citizen-democracy, interest groups and the media;
  2. Appreciate the global nature of US interests by understanding policy-making from the US perspective;
  3. Engage with the broader public policy environment in Washington DC, by attending seminars and events at think tanks and universities;
  4. Build networks among American colleagues to contribute to an enduring relationship between Australia and America; and
  5. Share lessons and insights from the Australian policy perspective.

CRFP Fellows have made the most of their time in US through activities such as working on re-election campaigns, attending party caucuses and volunteering within the Washington DC community. Our fellows have received highly positive feedback from their host offices as intelligent, adaptable and willing to learn.

The Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific and American Australian Association will cover the cost of return economy-class international airfares, accommodation in Washington DC and US J-1 visa application costs, and Virgin Australia will provide return trip economy-class domestic airfares (Canberra-Sydney). All other costs, including living expenses and other travel within the United States, will be covered by the Fellow. Applicants are also expected to cover their own expenses related to the application and selection process, including interview logistics and pre-departure meetings.

Key dates

The 2018 CRFP will offering an opportunity for up to three high-achieving Group of Eight University honours and postgraduate students, and recent Group of Eight University graduates, to participate in the program.

Key dates are:

  • Monday, 9 October: applications close at 9am
  • Monday, 9 October - Wednesday, 18 October: shortlisting, interviews, offers
  • Wednesday, 18 October - Monday, 30 October: confirmation of places and commencement of travel arrangements
  • by 17 November: travel arrangements finalised
  • between 30 October - 30 November: pre-departure briefings including CRFP Alumni and US Embassy
  • late Dec/early Jan: depart for Washington DC
  • late March/early April: return from Washington DC
  • late May: all required assessment completed

Updated:  24 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team