JELF Advocacy Scholars Program


To develop a pipeline for the next generation of leaders in pediatric nephrology with specific expertise in governmental and regulatory processes affecting children’s health care and advocacy for pediatric nephrology, and to educate future leaders in the conduct and application of advocacy. To achieve this mission, we currently offer a two-year immersive experience for leadership and advocacy skills development.

What the scholars program did for me! - Dr. Ray Bignall

Why be a JELF scholar? - Dr. Ray Bignall

Apply Now For The Next Cohort

Eligibility: The successful applicant will be an ASPN member in good standing, with a commitment to and interest in public policy and advocacy related to children with kidney disease. All applicants will be considered, with priority given to those within ten years of completion of fellowship training. It is expected that awardees will be selected from a diverse group of institutions, geographic locations, and backgrounds.

If selected, applicants must agree to participate in all elements of the Scholars Program, as described below, serve in future public policy and advocacy efforts on behalf of the ASPN as an active member of the relevant ASPN Committees, and present a summary of his/her experiences in the program at the ASPN Annual Meeting in the second year of the experience.

Whereas applications from non-US residents are welcome, it is important to recognize that the advocacy skills to be developed during this program are specific to the healthcare system, governmental agencies and representatives in the United States, and may not be entirely relevant to systems in other countries. In addition, financial support for non-US awardees will be at the same level as provided to awardees within the US.

 Frequency/Number of Awards: Up to two Advocacy Scholar awards will be available each year. Each award will support participation by the recipient to attend two national conferences for skills training and a hands-on, closely mentored experience with senior leaders of the Society and ASPN's Washington representative.

The Advocacy Scholars program will include:

  • Program start: July 1, 2024
  • Program end: June 30, 2026
  • Participation in the 3-day American Academy of Pediatrics Legislative Conference, April 2025
    • The Conference includes visits with members of Congress and their staff, and provides experience in the legislative process through hands-on work sessions and interaction with peers, politicians and the press. At the conclusion of this Conference, participants will understand the federal and state legislative process; sharpen skills and techniques to successfully impact Congress and state legislatures, and develop strategies to effectively engage the media.
  • Participation in ASPN and/or ASN Kidney Community Capitol Hill Day in fall 2024 and 2025
  • Participation in ASPN NIH visit to meet with various funding agencies that pertain to the ASPN (Fall 2024 and 2025)
  • Participation in ASPN’s Public Policy Committee
  • Mentored experience with our Washington representative and “senior” members of the Society with expertise in the area to:
    • Discuss ASPN’s advocacy and Capitol Hill efforts
    • Recognize important regulatory, payment, and quality issues that apply to children with ESRD who are either on dialysis or have received a transplant
    • Prepare for and attend a Hill Day, NIH visit, CMS meeting, etc. depending on the Scholars’ interests
  • Various curricular activities to be carried out in the home environment with expectations of monthly calls/assignments.
  • Participate in reporting our experience and manuscript authorship.
  • Training the Next Generation of Pediatric Nephrology Advocates: The John E. Lewy Foundation Advocacy Scholars Program.” Schnaper HW, Schubert K, Perlman SA, Clark SL, Hains DS, Roach JL, Skversky AL, Spencer JD, Springel T, Swartz SJ, Norwood VF, Satlin LM. J Pediatr. 2015 Feb;166(2):218-9.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.10.032.

How to apply

Applicants must submit a completed application that includes:

  • Application form
  • 2-page personal statement that addresses the following:
    • How did you become interested in advocacy/policy/government affairs?
      • Please comment specifically on previous committee work or advocacy efforts on behalf of the ASPN, if applicable.
      • Describe all previous advocacy experiences.
      • Describe any graduate level coursework referable to the focus of this program
    • What skills and knowledge do you hope to obtain as a result of this opportunity?
    • How will this experience enhance your professional development and career?
    • Have you completed a similar formal skills training program in the past? If so, please describe.
  • CV
  • Letter of support from your Division Chief or Fellowship Director that addresses the following:
    • Interest and promise of the applicant in terms of leadership potential.
    • Commitment to provide the applicant, if successful, protected time to participate in the program and requisite post-program ASPN activities
    • Commitment from the Scholar’s home institution to provide financial support for the applicant’s participation in the program, in the amount of $1250.00 each year for two years.
    • Please note: pro-rated financial support will be invoiced when the program resumes in-person activities
  • Following an initial screening of the application, selected applicants will be expected to participate in a 10-15 minute phone interview with the review committee.

Application Deadline: March 30, 2024

Awards Selection Announced: May 2024

Webinar Presentations

Kidney Community Advocacy Day And Annual Visit To NIH (Sept. 2015)