Apply to the Faculty Leaders Program

The application period has ended for the July 2020 session of the Pardee RAND Graduate School’s Faculty Leaders Program, part of our Next Generation Initiative. If you would like to be notified when the application for our next session becomes active, please email us at

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

2018 Faculty Leaders in a discussion

2018 Faculty Leaders in a discussion

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND

The mission of the Faculty Leaders Program is to engage faculty members from U.S. colleges and universities in the field of public policy analysis. Faculty Leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and in particular those at institutions serving students underrepresented in public policy. We especially welcome faculty from the humanities and qualitative social sciences (e.g., anthropology, international relations, sociology, urban studies, women’s studies, history, area studies, ethnic studies, religion, etc.) who have not traditionally been as involved in public policy as other disciplines. All academic disciplines are welcome to apply.

Ideal applicants will demonstrate an ability to incorporate what they will learn in public policy analysis to their teaching, research and/or mentoring of students upon returning to their home institutions.

Fellowships are available for 12–15 participants and will be awarded competitively. The fellowship will cover the cost of tuition and your hotel stay and provide a travel stipend.

How to Apply

Each applicant will be asked to complete the following:

Online Application

The online application will ask for contact information, so we can track applications and ensure we are able to contact applicants.

It will also ask you to provide a list of 3-5 RAND experts whom you would like to request as your research mentor. (Santa Monica-based researchers are preferred.) Indicating your mentor requests enables us to select an appropriate match and ensure their availability.

A Professional Bio

Send a professional bio (8-10 sentences) that summarizes your education, work experience, professional affiliations, and service.

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

Send a current copy of your résumé or curriculum vitae. Please limit to 5 pages.


Answer both of the following questions. Your responses will help the selection committee to become acquainted with you as an individual and understand your interest in participating in the Workshop. Please limit each essay response to a maximum of 500 words.

Essay #1: What is your background in public policy (if any) and what do you hope to learn during the program? How do you plan to utilize program concepts upon returning to your home institution and community? In what way(s) are you interested in bringing or prepared to bring this information to diverse students?

Essay #2: Describe a policy-relevant research topic you would like to pursue that includes:

  • a descriptive title
  • 5-10 sentences that explain what the problem is, who it affects, why it is important, who you think makes policy or key decisions about this topic (i.e., the audience for the research), and what you want or need to know to move the research/impact-making forward
  • a list of 3-5 RAND researchers who you think could be a research mentor match; please prioritize those based in the RAND Santa Monica office. (Note: the online application also asks for this list.)

Please refer to and for more information.

Letter of Recommendation

Finally, each applicant is asked to submit a letter of recommendation from a department head or other senior professor or administrator (e.g., provost or president) at their home institution. Letters should address the following topics, to the extent to which the recommender has been able to observe the candidate's:

  • Interest in public policy research, analysis, and/or implementation
  • Ability to mentor students
  • Teaching
  • Interest in furthering policy research/coursework