IPA Program - For Candidates

For Candidates

Are you interested in using your skills to serve the public? The Intergovernmental Personnel Act Program was created to bring experienced professionals working in academia, non-profit organizations, and state and local government into federal agencies.

IPA placements spend up to two years as temporary employees of a federal agency and work on issues ranging from information gathering and program management to strategic planning. The Partnership for Public service will review your application and then match you with a federal agency based on your experience and expressed preferences.

Why Apply?

  • To gain experience in public service without leaving your current field or maneuvering a long-term career change.
  • To make a long-standing impact on the nation in your field of work.
  • To expand your professional network and develop career skills in a new context.



Candidate Eligibility

To qualify as an IPA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have experience equivalent to at least a GS-12 level federal position.
    • While there is no standard definition of a GS-12 level position, most IPAs have a graduate or doctoral degree (MA, MS, MBA, PhD, JD, etc.) and at least 5-7 years of professional experience.
  • Be a full-time employee of one of the following organization types:
    • State, local or Native American tribal government
    • Non-profit
    • Academia
    • Federally-funded research & development institution (independent of government)
    • Research institute or think tank
    • Scientific society
    • Hospital
  • Have worked in your current role for at least 90 days.
  • Have the ability to work full- or part-time at a federal agency for a span of 12-24 months, while maintaining your employment status with your home institution.
  • Be able to return to your home employer at the conclusion of the IPA term.




Typically, an IPA placement earns their same salary and benefits while serving in the federal government. However, the source of this funding can come from the federal agency, the placement’s home institution, or a combination of both.

Funding from a federal agency is not guaranteed for every IPA role and must be discussed during the hiring process.



Already have a relationship with a federal agency?

Traditionally, IPA placements have been secured through direct outreach, networking, and referrals between federal agencies and interested candidates. If you have an existing relationship with an agency and would like to arrange your own IPA opportunity, the Partnership is happy to guide you through the hiring process at no charge.

Please reach out to us if you would like more information about the assistance we can provide.



How to apply

Interested applicants have the option to apply to the IPA Talent Exchange generally or for a specific role listed on our Current Agency Opportunities tab.

If you apply generally and are deemed eligible for the program, the Partnership will attempt to match you to any of our open IPA roles that you may be a fit for.

If you apply to a specific role(s) listed on our website or at the direction of a federal agency, the Partnership will only consider you for those positions unless you indicate otherwise.