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First Principles Programs

Congressional Fellows

The Heritage Congressional Fellowship is a training and educational program to instruct junior congressional staffers in the key ideas—from the principles of the American Founding to the fundamentals of economic freedom to the leading concepts of conservative thought—necessary for them to address current legislative issues and grapple with contemporary politics and policy.


The Heritage Foundation takes great interest in young conservative minds. Our highly competitive Internship Program is intended to introduce bright, innovative undergraduate and graduate students to the policymaking process and encourage them to become active and effective participants in public affairs. Working directly with our research analysts and policy-makers, or with professionals in one of our external departments, Heritage interns gain solid professional experience. In addition to their day-to-day assignments, interns attend weekly seminars designed to introduce them to conservative ideas, current policy debates, and have the opportunity to meet top Heritage Fellows and other outside scholars. We also arrange tours to places like the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress, Mount Vernon, and the Pentagon.

Guest Scholars

The B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies invites scholars to write essays (approx. 7,000 words) on a “First Principle” that they are particularly familiar with or interested in making available to the Center’s audiences.  Scholars typically give a public lecture based on their paper and then lead a private discussion with one of our target audiences.  While in town, scholars might work privately with Heritage experts, create a Heritage YouTube video, or teach Heritage interns.  The Center offers a generous honorarium for the published essay and lecture and reimburses travel expenses. 
To Apply:
Mail or e-mail the following materials to the Center:

  1. Curriculum Vita
  2. Letter explaining field of interest, qualifications to speak and write on topic, and relevance to the work of the Center. 
  3. Copies of relevant academic work

Applications are received and considered on an ongoing basis.  
For a list of current topics the Center is considering, email dani.doane@heritage.org.

Guest Scholars include:

  • Dr. Gordon Lloyd, Pepperdine University
  • Dr. Joshua Dunn, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
  • Dr. Andrew E. Busch, Claremont McKenna College
  • Dr. Lucas E. Morel, Washington and Lee University
  • Dr. Peter Schramm, Ashland University
  • Dr. Jeremy Rabkin, George Mason School of Law
  • Dr. Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg College
  • Dr. R.J. Pestritto, Hillsdale College

Research Associate

A ten month residency at Heritage, for post undergraduates, that provides the opportunity to research issues relating to the Constitution, the American Founding and conservative principles.

First Principle Forums

First Principles Forums are held on college campuses around the country. These conferences seeks to provide a much-needed education in the principles of liberty and constitutional self-government, as well as important issues of public policy, to a broad audience of students, policymakers and citizens.