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The purpose of the Springfield LGBTQIA+ Congressional Fellowship is to provide psychologists with an invaluable public policy learning experience; to contribute to the more effective use of psychological knowledge in government; and to broaden awareness about the value of psychology-government interaction among psychologists and within the federal government.

Through a generous bequest to the American Psychological Foundation (APF) from Franklyn Springfield, PhD, that established the FS LGBTQIA+ Awareness Fund, APA administers this APF-funded program for a congressional fellow. Applicants for this fellowship must have a background or interest in psychology as it pertains to health, wellbeing and civil rights of LGBTQIA+ populations. Fellowship activities may involve drafting legislation, conducting oversight work, assisting with congressional hearings and events, and preparing briefs and speeches. Fellows also attend a two-week orientation program on congressional and executive branch operations, which provides guidance for the congressional placement process, and participate in a yearlong seminar series on science and public policy issues. The American Association for the Advancement of Science administers these professional development activities for the APA fellows and for fellows sponsored by over two dozen other professional societies.

APF will sponsor up to one Springfield LGBTQIA+ Congressional Fellow for a one-year appointment beginning approximately August 30, 2024. The fellowship stipend ranges from $75,000 to $90,000, depending upon years of post-doctoral experience. In addition, the fellowship provides reimbursement for health insurance coverage and a $3,750 stipend for professional development and relocation expenses during the fellowship year. Final selection of fellows will be made in early spring of 2024.

Springfield was a clinical psychologist who was passionate about gay rights and the need to publicize the findings of psychological research, not only within the academic community, but to the public at large. Springfield believed that education and awareness are critical tools in the fight against stigma and prejudice. He received his PhD in clinical psychology at a time when homosexuality was still considered a mental illness and often said that his admission to his doctoral program was the only time he ever lied about his sexuality. Springfield passed away in April 2020 after a long illness and he was predeceased by his husband Peter MacNamara. Both of them were committed to APF, to the cause of gay rights, and to the two funds they established at APF, the Franklyn Springfield Research Fund and the FS LGBTQIA+ Awareness Fund. Springfield arranged for the funds to last at least fifty years, ensuring that the scholarships and publicity would have long-lasting impact.

To learn more about the fellowship experience please watch the 2021 presentation video and find more details here.

For questions, contact Ben Vonachen, APA Advocacy Office.