Health and Social Policy Fellowship Program

Applications for 2023-2024 Fellowships Now Open

About The UNM Health and Social Policy Doctoral Fellowships 

The University of New Mexico Center for Social Policy will award up to three Health and Social Policy Doctoral Fellowships for students enrolled in/admitted to PhD programs at UNM depending upon the availability of funding. The Health and Social Policy Doctoral Fellowship is a doctoral fellowship program for Ph.D. students with educational and research interests that involve social policy, including but not limited to: health policy and health inequalities, immigration policy, environmental policy, educational policy, and criminal justice policy. The University New Mexico’s Center for Social Policy (UNM CSP) seeks to increase the participation of the nation’s under-represented racial and ethnic groups (e.g., Hispanic, Native American, African American, etc.) in the development, implementation, and analysis of social policy. At the core of the UNM CSP’s mission is the education of a new generation of leaders in health and social policy research, leaders whose backgrounds represent the full diversity of the U.S. population. Fellows are eligible to receive up to four years of funding support depending on funding availability, with funding including: a $5,000 scholarship awarded annually to support time required to attend fellowship training and leadership development activities. These funds are intended to compliment research assistantships provided to fellows by their academic departments.  Fellows will also have access to statistical and writing support staff, office space, and integration into a unique curriculum focused on health and social policy, applied policy research methods, and racial equity with existing graduate fellows housed at the Center.

A PDF version of this call is also available here. 

Eligibility Criteria for Doctoral Fellowships

Students who are accepted to begin or who are currently enrolled in a PhD program in an academic department at UNM and receiving departmental funding are eligible for this award. This fellowship is open to students who are just beginning their PhD program at UNM as well as existing UNM graduate students. However, the duration of the award is dependent on the applicant’s status in their individual programs. For example, Ph.D. candidates who have completed coursework in their program at UNM are eligible for funding, but their awards will only be renewable for up to two years of total funding. All students accepting awards must be enrolled full-time in a UNM department doctoral program each semester they are funded and remain in good academic standing with their department to be eligible for renewal.

Diversity is a core value of the University of New Mexico, and this fellowship program is committed to addressing the health care issues of Latino/Hispanic, American Indian, and other underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the United States. As part of this commitment, we especially seek participants who are themselves members of a racial or ethnic minority group with experience in, and genuine commitment to, working with these populations to advance health equity. We believe that attracting and preparing individuals from diverse backgrounds as leaders in health policy is an important step toward eliminating health disparities. By developing social scientists from diverse ethnic, racial, gender, and economic backgrounds, our work seeks to advance health equity.

Other Benefits

This fellowship provides a variety of opportunities for collaboration between social scientists and health professionals as well as programming that enhances scholarship and leadership skills. Several initiatives support the mission of this fellowship, including the Transdisciplinary Research, Equity and Engagement (TREE) Center for Advancing Behavioral Health, UNM-WKKF Native American Budget and Policy Institute, the Institute for Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Center for Education Policy Research, New Mexico Consortium for Behavioral Health Training & Research (CBHTR), and the Institute for Social Research.


How to Apply

Deadline for Applications: April 12, 2023 

Applicants must submit the following materials electronically to: by or before 5pm Mountain Standard Time (MST) on April 12, 2023.

Awards will be announced by May 5, 2023.


Required Materials:

  1. UNM Health Policy Doctoral Fellowship Application Form
  2. Statement of purpose: Must include personal experience/background and how these experiences relate to the applicant’s current interests in research on the study of health disparities or health policy analysis with Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and/or other underrepresented communities in the U.S. (500 word limit).
  3. Copies of college transcripts: Both undergraduate and graduate. Official college transcripts are not required unless you receive an award.
  4. One letter of reference: The recommender should email their letter of reference directly to: Electronic signatures are accepted.
  5. One academic writing sample: Must provide evidence of the applicant’s potential to contribute to the mission of advancing equity through social policy research. Please note that this may be different from the writing sample that is submitted with the Ph.D. Application.
  6. Copy of the Ph.D. program application: From the Ph.D. program to which you are applying. If applicable, also provide your letter of acceptance.
  7. Current curriculum vitae (CV)

The selection committee considers a wide range of factors when making holistic evaluations of individual applicants, including, but not limited to: outstanding academic achievement; work experiences; life experiences; academic and personal motivation; commitment to high quality research that contributes to health and social policy debates and/or disparities research; evidence of sustained engagement with, and genuine commitment to, the advancement of equity for underrepresented communities; the extent to which the applicant has overcome educational and/or economic obstacles; and other indications that the applicant will excel in doctoral studies and make a significant contribution to the mission of The UNM Health and Social Policy Doctoral Fellowship Program.


For More Information

For more information about The UNM Health and Social Policy Doctoral Fellowship eligibility and the application process, contact:

Shannon Sanchez-Youngman,
Fellowship Director
UNM Center for Social Policy
(505) 277-0130 



Other Ph.D. program application deadlines may differ from the UNM Health and Social Policy Doctoral Fellowship application deadline. For more information about the Ph.D. Program application process and deadlines, please visit the relevant department website and contact the appropriate departmental contact for that respective program.

The University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico is a Carnegie-Research I University, and it is the only such institution that is simultaneously a federally-designated, Hispanic-serving and minority-serving institution. New Mexico is a particularly relevant site for this fellowship program, as it is a majority-minority state with one of the highest percentages of American Indians (about 11%) in the nation and the highest percentage of Latinos in the nation (about 47%). For more information visit: