URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension is now accepting host office applications for the 2021 Illini Science Policy Program, a unique partnership to support the next generation of public service leaders in Illinois.

The program matches highly motivated and qualified post-graduates from UIUC with hosts in public agencies or legislative office for a 12-month paid appointment. Working with their host offices and an Extension mentor, these Illini Science Policy Scholars pursue projects in the critical issue areas of food, economy, environment, community, and health, and the policy decisions affecting those resources. 

Hosts provide an educational opportunity to their Scholar, who in turn provides substantial professional contributions to the office. Scholars are recent graduates with advanced degrees (masters, doctoral, J.D.) able to draw from the latest scientific and disciplinary advances at U of I’s flagship campus.

The Extension & Public Engagement Connection Center (EPECC) provides administration of the appointments as well as a 50 percent match for appointment costs.

"Public service and workforce development are at the core of what we do in Extension," said EPECC Coordinator Deborah Seiler. "The Illini Science Policy Program is a way to help top graduates to explore careers in public service, while addressing real-world challenges identified by our participating host offices."

This year's cohort of host offices and scholars is pursuing projects ranging from equitable broadband access to food inspection safety to technology education.

Hosts may include local, state and federal agencies and legislative offices in Illinois.  View full details in the 2021 Host Request for Applications. Applications are due January 15, 2021.

For questions and program information, contact Evangeline Pianfetti at 217-244-7568 or esecaras@illinois.edu.

SOURCE: Evangeline Pianfetti, University of Illinois Extension Research and Fellowships Outreach Associate

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.