July 2021 to June 2022


The Stacey Cyphert Health Policy fellowship provides select individuals with a rich post-graduate experience in health policy by providing them with broad exposure to the creation and enactment of policy from within central arenas of health policy development. By working alongside faculty, executives, and policy professionals throughout state and federal government, the fellow will gain immense experience and mentorship that will prepare the fellow for excellent placements in health policy roles across the country.

About Stacey Cyphert

This fellowship was created and is supported in honor of Stacey Cyphert, PhD, who, throughout his career was instrumental in shaping health policy in the state of Iowa and developing a strong relationship among University of Iowa Health Care and state and federal government. Selected fellows should seek to exemplify his character and convictions by engaging in superb work throughout the course of the fellowship and crafting substantive relationships with colleagues, elected officials, executives, and others.

Application Process and Timeline

The application deadline for the Stacey Cyphert Health Policy Fellowship was Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Learn more about the application process and timeline.


The objective of the Stacey Cyphert Health Policy Fellowship is to provide selected fellows a unique opportunity to learn about Iowa’s political system through direct exposure to public and private sector roles in health policy development. This direct exposure will be obtained through a rotation of placements in centers of health policy development over the course of the fellowship.

Health policy is typically developed in three spaces: legislatures and government agencies, stakeholder organizations, and centers of academia. Thus, selected fellows should be exposed to each of these spaces over the course of the fellowship in order to develop a greater understanding of what health policy development looks like in each space and how organizations across the spectrum interact with each other.

Throughout each of these placements, fellows will have access to senior leadership at each organization, allowing for substantial mentorship and career guidance opportunities. Placement mentors will take such opportunities to teach fellows about the intricacies of health policy within their area of expertise, in addition to fostering the fellow’s development as a health policy professional.

At the conclusion of the fellowship, fellows will have obtained intimate knowledge of the development of health policy in government, stakeholder organizations, and academia, as well as an understanding of how these three spaces interact. Such knowledge should properly arm fellows with a breadth of insight and skill well-suited for a highly successful career in the field of health policy.

As the fellow looks to transition on to the next stages of a career, the UI Health Care policy staff, as well as the various officials the fellow has interacted with over the course of the fellowship, will assist the fellow in identifying job opportunities and future placements after the fellowship. Such individuals will provide the fellow with appropriate recommendations and advocate on behalf of the fellow. It is fully intended that all Stacey Cyphert Health Policy Fellows will have a plethora of prestigious job opportunities to choose from at the conclusion of the fellowship.

Fellowship Timeline*

The Stacey Cyphert Health Policy Fellowship is a yearlong fellowship based in Des Moines, Iowa. The fellowship will consist of three total placements over the course of the year:

Cyphert Fellowship1

The first will be a three-month placement at a research center at the University of Iowa. The specific research center will be chosen based on the selected fellow’s interests and background, as well as the availability of relevant project work at the center. Examples of possible centers include the Public Policy Center and the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis. During this placement the fellow will conduct academic policy research in coordination with a research director at the selected research center, in addition to attending meetings, conferences, and hearings on relevant subject matter.


The second will be a three-month placement at a location of the fellow’s choosing, either within the Iowa state government or an active stakeholder organization. Examples of potential placements include the Iowa Medical Society, the Iowa Hospital Association, the Iowa Legislative Services Agency, or the research staffs of the minority or majority parties at the state house. This placement will be arranged in advance of the beginning of the fellowship, and the specific duties of the fellow will be negotiated based on the fellow’s interests and the organization’s needs.


The final six months of the fellowship will be spent with UI Health Care policy staff during the Iowa legislative session. Throughout this placement, the fellow will help advance UI Health Care policy priorities by providing policy research analysis, working at the state Capitol, regularly attending session debates and committee meetings, communicating with state officials about policy issues, providing analysis on introduced bills and measures, and collaborating with other stakeholders on shared priorities.

*Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the fellowship timeline may be modified to meet health and safety requirements imposed by University of Iowa Health Care and the state of Iowa. Changes to the fellowship could include, but are not limited to: requirement to work from home; limitations on research and outside placement opportunities; and requirement to complete work using online platforms.


The Stacey Cyphert Health Policy Fellowship involves a one-year commitment. Fellows will receive a competitive salary, plus generous benefits.


The fellowship preceptors will be Jennifer Harbison, Director of Health Policy for UI Health Care, and Jennifer Vermeer, Assistant Vice President for Population Health and External Affairs. Prior to the fellow’s arrival, the fellow will work with the preceptors to determine the content and the scope of the fellowship, including project work interest and general goals. Throughout the entire fellowship both preceptors will serve as mentors to the fellow by providing feedback on work product, identifying important opportunities for career development, assisting in establishing a professional network, and fostering the fellow’s development as a health policy professional.



Jennifer Harbison is the Director of Health Policy for UI Health Care. Her work focuses on state and federal legislative and regulatory matters across the health care spectrum. Jennifer serves on the University of Iowa Health Science Policy Council and represents UI Health Care with various public and private organizations including the Iowa Business Council, Iowa Hospital Association, and the Medical Assistance Advisory Council. Over the course of her 20 years of professional experience in health policy, Jennifer has worked in the state executive branch, with physician professional organizations, and with health care advocacy groups.

More Information


Download a .pdf version of the Stacey Cyphert Health Policy Fellowship flyer.


Candidates can email Jennifer Harrison at jennifer-harbison@uiowa.edu with questions.