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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Washington, United States
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

Applications for this program are not currently open. If this is an ANU exchange program, you can view the next exchange program application opening dates and closing deadlines here.
Program Description:

CRFP Hero Image

ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, the American Australian Association, and Virgin Australia are offering current ANU honours and postgraduate students or recently graduated ANU honours and postgraduate students the opportunity to experience US policy-making in the heart of Washington DC.
The Congressional Research Fellowship Program (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, between January to March 2020, CRFP Fellows will assist a Senator’s 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 and Armed Services Committee hearings and policy briefings held for staff in the US Capitol, and will have the opportunity to engage with leading foreign policy, security or economics think tanks in Washington DC.
The CRFP is an immersive and exciting experience for participants. Fellows are expected to involve themselves in all that Washington DC has to offer. They are automatically included in the ANU Washington alumni community, which includes graduates working in international organisations, diplomacy, think tanks, academia and non-government organisations.

Program Details

The Congressional Research Fellowship Program places outstanding current or recently graduated ANU students in the offices of United States Senators who serve on the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Armed Services. Entry into the program requires that Australian Fellows enrol in a purpose-designed course through the Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU.

The CRFP Program enables the successful participant 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 consistently receive highly positive feedback from their host offices as intelligent, adaptable, hard-working and willing to learn.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

To be eligible to apply for the program, you must:
  • be an Australian citizen;
  • be currently enrolled as a postgraduate or honours student at ANU, or be a former honours or postgraduate student of ANU who graduated after December 2018;
  • have a strong interest in international relations, particularly Asia-Pacific political, public policy, security or economic affairs;
  • have or had a Distinction average in your previous or current studies;
  • be able to meet criteria for a US J-1 visa (J-1 Visa) (refer to website for more information);
  • hold an Australian passport that has at least six months’ validity at the time the fellowship commences; and
  • be fluent in English.
Selection will be based upon the following criteria:
  • academic history and performance;
  • personal motivation;
  • involvement in university and community activities;
  • relevance and importance of proposed research topic; and
  • background in international relations or policy study.

Application Details

Selection for the program is highly competitive.

To apply for the fellowship, candidates are required to submit an online application which includes:
  • a statement of purpose including the proposed research topic;
  • a piece of policy focused writing;
  • a current resume;
  • contact details for two references, with at least one of them being an academic reference, with permission to contact these references should you reach the interview round; and
  • a consent to disclosure of personal information, so that we can release your information to relevant partner organisations and the other successful fellow, should one be selected.

Applications must be received by Wednesday 11 September 2019.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview, and successful candidates will be notified no later than 30 September on the outcome of their applicationSelected candidates will be asked to confirm their participation no later than Monday 7 October 2019.

Interviews will be held for shortlisted candidates in late September. Interviews may be conducted in person in Canberra or via skype. No funds are available to assist with travel to Canberra to attend interview and shortlisted candidates must be available on the date nominated.
Please note that due to the restricted timing and partnership arrangements, it is not possible to negotiate different dates or vary the duration of the CRFP. All successful applicants must confirm that they can participate on these terms at the time of application and acceptance.


Successful applicants will be enrolled in a six-unit postgraduate academic course at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, CRWF8019 Public Policy and Professional Internship.

As part of your enrolment in this course you will be required to:
  • participate in pre-departure briefings in Canberra;
  • participate in regular meetings with your ANU program supervisor and designated think tank correspondent in Washington DC;
  • attend particular Australian Embassy functions in US;
  • write an online article about your research topic;
  • submit a formal report on your experience to ANU and the American Australian Association within one month of your return to Australia;
  • submit a 4,000-word research paper on an agreed research topic within two months of your return from the fellowship; and
  • participate in print and online marketing activities as requested.

Indicative assessment

  • Final research paper 60%
  • Formal report 15%
  • Feedback from research mentor (NALO) and hosting Senator 15%
  • Online article 10%


The fellowship will cover the cost of an international economy round trip airfare between Sydney, Australia and Washington DC, private accommodation in Washington DC, and US J-1 visa application costs.  Virgin Australia will provide return economy-class domestic airfares from Canberra to Sydney. 

All other costs, including living expenses and local travel will be covered by the fellow.  Applicants are expected to cover their own expenses related to the application and selection process, including interview logistics and travel to and from Canberra (if required) to attend pre-departure meetings.

Fees will be sponsored for enrolment in CRWF8019 Public Policy and Professional Internship


Ms Vicki Veness
Manager, Crawford Professional Development and Internships
Crawford School of Public Policy
T: +61 6125 9046

This program is currently not accepting applications.