Policy Research Fellow

Basic Information

Date posted: 05/01/2018

Location: Wichita, Kansas

Posted by: Envision Research Institute

Salary: Competitive

Contact Information


610 N Main Street
Wichita, KS 67203



More Details


We are looking for candidates with:

  • Proficiency in conducting literature searches.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Knowledge of statistical concepts and techniques relevant to policy research.
  • Organizational and analytical skills.
  • Ability to work independently and with a team.
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to handle multiple priorities effectively.

Previous experience writing a white paper/policy brief is a plus.

Knowledge about the blind and visually impaired community is a plus.

Job Description

Envision Research Institute Fellowship Program


In a recent report published by the American Foundation for the Blind1, the U.S. Department of Commerce (2017) estimated people with vision loss (age range 16-64 years) had a 39% labor force participation rate, in contrast to the general working-age population with a 73% labor force participation rate.


The Envision Research Institute (ERI), in collaboration with the National Industries for the Blind (NIB), is pleased to announce the availability of a Policy & Employment Fellowship.  This Fellowship is focused on critically examining and better understanding the impact of social trends, population and demographic shifts, and technological advancements for individuals who are blind and visually impaired (BVI), to help chart a course on national policy and workforce development for those with visual impairment.


Applicants must hold an advanced graduate and/or professional degree (e.g. MSc/MA/MPH/

MHA, PhD, MD, OD, JD) in public policy, public health, public administration, social work, special education, disability studies, vocational rehabilitation, political science,  health administration, population health management, law, or another relevant field.


The Fellowship is up to two years in duration. Policy research will be conducted at, and overseen by, ERI (Wichita, Kansas); however, the fellow will also receive guidance and mentorship from experts across the United States in the fields of population health, health care policy, law, and special education.


The ERI is uniquely positioned to provide the fellow with an enriched environment for this fellowship:   Envision offers support to the BVI community across all ages, from providing an early childhood development center, school and community outreach programs, clinical education, a vision clinic, and low vision services, to being the second largest employer of individuals with visual impairments in the United States.


Through direct engagement and interaction with individuals who are BVI, and the Envision community, the fellow will gain valuable insight, allowing them to critically examine the pressing needs of this population.  The fellow could develop insights into:

  • Examining what will influence the quality of life for BVI individuals, including workplace culture, health and medical issues, social trends, etc.;
  • Identifying new areas of professional growth/upward mobility for BVI individuals;
  • Examining accessibility, cost, quality, and usability of new technologies, clarifying what the workplace might look like given changes in technology and social/geographical migration;
  • Examining legislative trends to determine what might impact the BVI community;
  • Identifying niche areas for future policy research by reviewing geographic and socioeconomic information/trends; and
  • Proposing other employment policy areas of inquiry, as defined throughout project.
  • The goals of the Policy & Employment Fellowship would lead the fellow to achieve the following:
    • Staying abreast of developments in the field of employment policy;
    • Acting as a liaison with relevant stakeholders;
    • Generating a white paper/policy brief, offering concrete recommendations to advance interventions at the state and national levels; and
    • Generating a policy research manuscript that will be submitted to appropriate peer-reviewed academic journal, as relevant.


    Since this Fellowship aims to extend the fellow’s knowledge and skills while fulfilling Envision’s mission of providing a voice for people with vision loss, the fellow will receive training (at a level appropriate to the fellow’s skills entering the fellowship) in:

    • Fundamentals of low vision and blindness rehabilitation
    • Project management
    • Policy analysis
    • Oral presentation (i.e. through journal clubs, annual Envision Conference, Envision Grand Rounds)
    • Ethical conduct of research
    • Writing skills related to white paper/policy brief documents

If you would like to join Envision’s mission to be an advocate and a champion who sees ability where others see disability, please submit a cover letter, résumé/CV, and 2-3 references to [email protected] no later than Wednesday, May 30 at 12:00pm Central Standard Time.  The subject line should read Policy Fellowship.