The Wisconsin Policy Forum is seeking applications for the Norman N. Gill and Todd A. Berry fellowships for the 2024-2025 academic year. Our fellows engage in research on key policy issues confronting state and local governments in Wisconsin. The positions are named in honor of Norman Gill and Todd Berry for their long-term commitment to improving government decision making and quality of life in our state. Norman Gill was executive director of the Milwaukee-based Citizens Government Research Bureau (later the Public Policy Forum) for over 40 years, while Todd Berry headed the Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance for more than 20 years. Those two organizations merged as the Wisconsin Policy Forum in 2018.

What We Are Looking For

We seek to support two students enrolled in graduate degree programs at any Wisconsin public or private institution. Past fellows have pursued degrees in public policy, public administration, urban planning, law, economics, political science, education, and urban studies, though we also encourage students in additional fields of study who have an interest in public policy to apply.

The Gill fellow will engage in a research project on a timely and topical policy or governance issue impacting Milwaukee and/or southeastern Wisconsin. The Berry fellow will engage in a research project on a timely and topical policy or governance issue impacting the state of Wisconsin or local governments or school districts throughout the state. The results of both projects will be disseminated broadly to the public, the media, and policymakers, including at least one presentation.

The fellows will be supervised and guided by senior staff and are invited to be members of the Forum team, with opportunities to attend staff meetings and Forum events and draw upon the organization’s network of expertise. The fellows are expected to work approximately 10 hours per week on their projects, including some in-office hours in Milwaukee (Gill fellowship) or Madison (Berry fellowship) as class schedules permit. The fellowships pay a stipend of $8,500 for the nine-month period, which corresponds with the 2024-2025 academic year.

The Forum values candidates with diverse backgrounds and encourages all to apply.

Application Process

Applying for a fellowship is a two-step process. The first step is to complete the application form below and submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), which must identify the policy issue to be studied (please see list of potential research topics below) and briefly describe your initial thoughts on the research methods and data sources you could use, the potential impact of the research, and a description of how your academic and career goals would be supported by participation in this fellowship program. The LOI should not be more than two pages. A resume or curriculum vitae must accompany the LOI. The deadline for submitting a LOI is March 1, 2024.

From those who submit LOIs, finalists will be selected and notified by March 15, 2024. Finalists will be invited to complete full applications, which must include a more detailed description of the research, (official or unofficial) transcripts of undergraduate and graduate studies, one academic or professional letter of support, and a writing sample. Full applications will be due by March 31, 2024. A telephone or video call also may be scheduled. The fellows will be chosen and notified by April 12, 2024. (Note: the final choice of candidates will require the final approval of the Forum’s Fellowship Committee, and the availability of committee members may shift our deadline slightly.)

Applicants are invited to propose a research topic of their own design or to choose from the list of possible topics below. Proposals that address one of our core research areas – economic development, education, government finance, or social services – are strongly preferred.

Questions? Please email Joe Peterangelo at jpeterangelo@wispolicyforum.org.