"The Institute at Cal Poly is an ideal staging ground for technologies that have the chance to positively affect both policy and citizen life.”

-Sam Blakeslee, Ph.D., Founding Director


A key pillar of our mission is to train tomorrow’s leaders. The institute’s Student Fellowship Program utilizes Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology to provide students with hands-on experiences that enhance fulfillment and success while increasing future employability. The Student Fellowship Program employs a competitive application process to select Cal Poly’s best and brightest students for these prestigious appointments.

Project Fellowship

A program in which students from diverse disciplines are organized into teams dedicated to one of the institute’s Strategic Initiatives. These teams of students are tasked with tackling advanced technology challenges at the cutting edge of current public policy development. Student teams meet weekly to explore real-world problems with practitioners from industry and government. Teams produce weekly deliverables in the form of whitepapers, blog posts, articles, draft testimony and model policy.

Institute Fellowship

An intensive, one-year program in which students work directly with the institute’s core leadership and staff on the day-to-day activities and operations central to the organizational mission. Students selected for this prestigious professional fellowship commit to 15 hours per week assisting staff with various projects and initiatives, outreach and communications, and the development of the institute’s external internship program that places institute interns within various state agencies.

International Fellowship

A unique study program in which Institute space and resources are offered to researchers from around the world. Individuals selected for this competitive fellowship arrive on a J-1 visa sponsored through the US Department of State’s J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. The J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program is designed to allow participants to come to the United States to gain exposure to US culture and receive training in specialized research for in their chosen field. Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to utilize their newly learned skills and knowledge to advance their careers and to share their experience with their peers and others.

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