STEM Next Opportunity Fellows


The STEM Next Opportunity Fellowships provide opportunities for STEM Education experts to contribute their knowledge, skills and expertise to support Federal agencies to expand access to STEM education. STEM Next Opportunity Fellows experience first-hand working in a Federal agency to ensure that more students access great STEM learning in and out of school. Fellowships range from 1-4 years depending on agency needs and funding.

Fellows receive access to high quality training and ongoing professional learning through the STEM Next Opportunity Fund Initiatives and Programs including regular conversations with STEM Next Opportunity Fund leadership team members and other STEM and Informal Education Experts.

Meet Our Fellows

Fellow Opening – School Aged and Early Care Fellowship Position Description 

The Need:

Our nation is currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and a related economic crisis, a double reckoning substantially exacerbated by racial disparities, our shared history of systemic racism, and a lack of trust in government.  It is estimated that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most children will have lost 3-11 months of learning with disproportionate impacts for Black, LatinX and low-income students.  

Responding to, and recovering from, the COVID-19 pandemic requires an intensive, all-hands on deck approach to ensure we build and scale new models to recover and rebuild.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, children and students’ experiences were varied and inconsistent.  Too many children of color and children in low-income communities did not have access to the engaging and inspiring experiences they deserved.  And too many families did not have access to high-quality and enriching early care and education for their young children and child care for their school aged children during non-school hours.  While progress was being made pre-pandemic, there were still significant opportunity gaps and not enough support for families and their children. 

Participation in high quality early care and education programs can improve developmental and school readiness outcomes for young children. Yet many children of color and children in low-income communities don’t have access to high quality and engaging early care and education environments. Additionally, after school and summer learning are evidence-based interventions to support school age children’s social emotional and academic wellbeing and outcomes.  Across the nation there are many examples of communities, schools, districts and organizations that have successfully implemented afterschool and summer learning as a strategy to support outcomes for students and thriving families and communities.  

The Opportunity:

The School-Aged and Early Care Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for an individual with expertise in Early Care and Education and Afterschool and Summer Learning to support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS)  mission to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.  In particular, the Fellowship would support HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Office of Human Services Policy’s (HSP)Division of Children and Youth Policy (CYP), which focuses on policies related to the well-being of children and youth, including early care and education, afterschool and summer learning, home visiting, youth development and risky behaviors, parenting and family support, child welfare and foster care, and linkages with physical and mental health.  The Fellow would work with CYP’s Early Childhood Team and would report directly to the Early Childhood Team Lead and CYP Division Director.


The Fellow’s primary charge would be to support COVID-19 recovery by working alongside officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to utilize the robust early care and education and/or afterschool and summer learning networks and models to mitigate developmental delays and learning loss and support social-emotional development, especially for children and families who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

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