Programs: Science and Policy
About the Fellowships: Overview
"Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. It's time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America's place as the world leader in science and technology."
- President Barack Obama, 2009 Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity
The science and engineering challenges that society
faces today-locally, nationally and internationally-are
far more complex than were those of 40 to 50 years ago.
The problems now are more difficult to define and the
solutions more difficult to identify and implement.
The best available scientific, technical and economic
information is required to establish priorities, make
decisions, and develop best policies and practices.
Yet, scientists often lack the skills and opportunity
to apply their science successfully to support policy
or to communicate effectively with the public and other
non-academic audiences. Consequently, society's needs
for the most credible and objective scientific information
are not being met.
To address these challenges, The American Association for the Advancement of Science manages and administers Science & Technology Policy Fellowships in five program areas to provide the opportunity for accomplished scientists and engineers to participate in and contribute to the federal policymaking process while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy. The fellowships in congressional offices are funded by approximately 30 partner scientific and engineering societies. The fellowships in executive branch agencies are funded by the hosting offices.
The fellowships are highly competitive and use a peer-review selection process. Review is followed by individual interviews in Washington, DC, conducted by selection committees comprised of professionals with expertise in the interface of science, technology, and policy. Learn more information about the selection and placement process.
Following selection, Fellows come to Washington, DC, in September of each year and participate in a comprehensive orientation program before beginning their fellowships in the various sectors of government. AAAS also conducts a professional development program throughout the year.
The fellowship programs have several basic requirements in common. Applicants must have a PhD or an equivalent doctoral-level degree at the time of application. Individuals with a master's degree in engineering and at least three years of post-degree professional experience also may apply. Some programs require additional experience. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Federal employees are not eligible for the fellowships. Read more about the application requirements.
Please note that the deadline for all programs is 1 November. If, after reading the material on this site, you have questions, please feel free to contact us.