AIDD-AUCD Disability Leadership Fellowship

Deadline: April 30, 2013

March 18, 2013

apply here

Application Deadline: April 30, 2013


The AIDD-AUCD Fellowship program seeks to recruit outstanding individuals from within in the UCEDD community for an intensive year-long experience in Washington, D.C. at the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), within the Administration on Community Living (ACL) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).   During this Fellowship, the successful applicant will gain experience in collaborating across the federal agencies to advance the goals embodied in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 -- " assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of, and have access to, needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life ...". The Fellow will also be able to share their first-hand knowledge and experience of the UCEDD in which they work and others in the network to AIDD.

The Fellowship

The fellowship will provide a professional development opportunity for a network member to spend 9-12 months in Washington, D.C. working on-site at AIDD offices. Fellows will work with a mentor from AIDD to help develop objectives and work plans for the year. The 2013-2014 fellowship will begin in July of 2013 (start date may be flexible).

Learning experiences will include:

  • Federal inter-agency work in the development of policy and programs in support of children and adults with developmental and other disabilities
  • Policy analysis based on national information and federal data
  • Programmatic areas that will vary depending on current activities and needs of AIDD but may include topical areas such as community living, family support,  employment, education, child care, and development of inclusive community supports and services and other areas related to improving the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD)
  • Linkages among federal agencies to implement sound policies to promote high quality outcomes for individuals with ID/DD
  • DD Act implementation
  • The federal role in oversight and management of the network grant programs and services authorized under the DD Act

The expectation is that fellows will gain from their experiences at AIDD and return to their UCEDD more knowledgeable as they become future leaders in the field of developmental disability policy, research and pro0gram development.  Upon completion of the fellowship, individuals typically return to their home assignments to continue to make contributions to policy and program development in their home state and/or UCEDD. An evaluation of the Fellow's accomplishments will be based upon jointly-determined objectives for the year.

 Mette meeting others
Mette Pedersen (in red) meets with a delegation from Belarus, visiting the State Department to learn more about disability services and resources. 


Thoughts from the current fellow, Mette Pedersen

"As the inaugural AIDD-AUCD Fellow for 2012-2013, I have had the unique and exhilarating experience of working and learning in Washington, DC. This is an important time in government, and beginning to understand policy development at the federal level is not only fascinating but critical to us who have a commitment and investment in the lives of people with disabilities and their families. So far this year in DC we have seen the Supreme Court uphold the Affordable Care Act, the reorganization of the Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and pivotal discussions on housing and employment for people with disabilities. Still ahead are the election and potential changes in Congress.  What a great time to be working alongside some of the best minds in government, research, and servicefor people with disabilities. The AIDD-AUCD fellowship makes this possible."

              - Mette Pedersen, PhD 2012 AIDD-AUCD Fellow



UCEDD faculty, staff, and experienced graduate & postgraduate trainees are eligible to apply.


The Fellow will be reimbursed according to degree status and level of experience, and will also be reimbursed for travel and relocation to Washington, D.C. Housing and per diem expenses during the Fellowship period will be the responsibility of the Fellow. AUCD is able to sub-contract the cost of the Fellow's salary to the UCEDD, to support employment continuity.

Application and Selection

Please submit a resume or CV, 2 letters of recommendation (one from your UCEDD Director and the other from someone of your choice), and 3-4 page statement of interest to the AUCD online application system at (found under "2013-2014 AIDD-AUCDFellowship). The statement of Interest should detail why you are interested in the fellowship or what you hope to get from it, what you bring to the fellowship, and what you hope to do after the fellowship with the information you have gained.  Selection will be based on previous or related experience, strength of recommendations, and the compatibility of the applicant's background with the current and upcoming interests of the AIDD. Final selection of the Fellow will be made by AIDD.

NOTE: Application materials should be in word or pdf format. On the application webpage, submit the letter of interest in the field labeled "Proposal/Project Description". Although the website allows for up to three letters of support, applicants should only submit two. Please do not include any special characters in the title of the documents to be uploaded as application materials.

If you have any questions, please contact Dawn Rudolph or call 301-588-8252 x209.


apply here


Frequently Asked Questions

The announcement says that the fellow will work on-site in AIDD offices. Where exactly would I be working?

  • The fellow will work in the at the AIDD Office of the Commissioner. The office of Commissioner Sharon Lewis  is located in the main HHS building at 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201 just south of the National Mall and west of the US Capitol Complex. For more information on AIDD offices, see the UCEDD Resource Center.

What kind of projects would I be working on?

  • Fellows will work to advance the goals of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, under the leadership of Commissioner Sharon Lewis. Specific projects of the fellowship will depend on the interest and experience of the fellow, as well as the priorities of the Commissioner and needs of the DD Network.

What kind of networking opportunities will be available?

  • In addition to the great experience networking available simply in the Commissioner's office, we are also working to connect the fellow with other cohorts of fellows throughout the federal government and the DC area, including the meetings of current and past Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Policy Fellows. Fellows typically attend national meetings of AUCD and other organizations as appropriate.

How many fellows will be selected?

  • At this point in the program, we are looking to select only one fellow, with potential to expand the program if it is successful.

I am a former UCEDD trainee who currently works in the DD field. Am I eligible to apply?

  • Only current UCEDD faculty, staff, and experienced graduate and postgraduate trainees are eligible to apply.

As the fellow, will I be an employee of the federal government, AUCD, or my UCEDD?

  • The fellow will work in federal government offices as an AUCD contractor. As such, the fellow will receive salary and benefits through AUCD. There is an option to subcontract these costs to the UCEDD to maintain the Fellow's employment there, if desired.

Will living expenses, such as housing, be covered under the fellowship?

  • The fellowship position is salaried, commensurate with education and experience, and living expenses are the responsibility of the fellow.

Will I have access to relocation reimbursement?

  • The fellow will be reimbursed for travel and relocation to Washington, DC.

I have a question about the online application system. Who should I contact?

  • For troubleshooting the online application system, or any other questions about the fellowship, please do not hesitate to contact Dawn Rudolph at AUCD or call 301-588-8252 x209.