Maternal and Child Health Fellows Program


2019 cohort of NCSL’s Maternal and Child Health Fellows program Photo

2019 cohort of NCSL’s Maternal and Child Health Fellows program.


The Maternal and Child Health Fellows Program is designed to support legislators who are experienced or emerging leaders on maternal and child health issues. Fellows gain the opportunity to learn from peers and health experts while discussing maternal and child health policies and programs being considered by state legislatures across the country. The yearlong fellowship covers intersections with Title V, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as legislative trends and action, research and other innovative topics and cost-effective strategies. Each cohort comprises approximately 20 to 25 legislators and key legislative staff.

Learn more about the 2020 Maternal and Child Health Fellows cohort here.

Learn more about the 2019 Maternal and Child Health Fellows cohort here. 

Program Goals

Fellows will have the opportunity to be part of a peer learning community with other legislators and will be able to directly engage with leading research and policy experts in the field. The program typically includes two face-to-face meetings with experts and other legislators and two virtual seminars/webinars. Fellows also develop an individual action plan, for which NCSL will provide support throughout the year. The program is ideal for leaders who want to expand their knowledge and take action in their own states.

The program is based on NCSL’s Early Learning Fellows model, which has successfully graduated several classes of legislators and legislative staff with expanded knowledge and motivation around early childhood issues. NCSL's Maternal and Child Health Fellows will:

  • Build knowledge about new research and policy.
  • Be part of a peer-learning environment fostering the exchange of ideas and solutions relevant to maternal and child health and many related issues.
  • Meet, connect and learn from other legislative leaders.
  • Receive the exclusive opportunity to connect with leading researchers and policy experts.
  • Identify action steps as part of a practical plan for immediate use in your state.

This program is made possible by funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Program Application and Selection Process

The application process for the 2022 Maternal and Child Health Fellows is currently open. Please email with questions about applying for the program. 

The Maternal and Child Health Fellows is a competitive program; interested legislators must apply to participate. NCSL will review completed applications and select participants to be part of the program. Please be aware that our funding limits the number of fellows to a maximum class size of 25, and not all applicants may be accepted into the program. Fellows are chosen based on interest, geographic representation, balance of political party make-up, and overall thoroughness of application responses. 

Additional Resources