Programs: Science and Policy
Fellowship Areas: Fellowships
PROGRAM SUMMARY: The
AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows®
program is operated as a cooperative effort of approximately
national scientific and engineering societies that
provide an opportunity for accomplished scientists and
engineers with public policy interests to learn about, participate in,
and contribute to the policy-making processes in Congress.
The AAAS Fellowships have been operating for more than
35 years, placing more than 900 Fellows in Congress.
Congressional Fellows spend one year serving on the staffs of Members of Congress or congressional committees, in legislative areas that would benefit from scientific and technical analysis and perspective.
The program includes an orientation on congressional and executive branch operations and a year-long professional development program and networking activities.
PURPOSE: The Congressional Fellowships are designed to provide a unique public policy learning experience, to demonstrate the value of science-government interaction, and to make practical contributions to the more effective use of scientific and technical knowledge in government.
The overarching aims are to increase the capacity of scientistsand engineers to inform the discussions and decisions of individuals and institutions that influence or determine policies and to provide scientific expertise and analysis to support decision-makers confronting increasingly complex scientific and technological issues. The fellowships strive to:
scientists and engineers on the intricacies of federal
positive exchange between scientists/engineers and policymakers;
scientists and engineers to conduct policy-relevant
research and other activities that addresses challenges
facing society; and
- Increase the involvement and visibility of scientists and engineers in the public policy realm.
CRITERIA: The AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® are selected in widely-announced national competitions from among outstanding early, mid and senior-career scientists and engineers. All AAAS Fellowship applicants must meet eligibility and criteria requirements, and be available for interviews in Washington, DC, in early- to mid-March.
Fellows are selected based on their educational and professional credentials and references, demonstrated competence in a specific area of science or engineering, ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and leadership potential.
AWARD: AAAS selects and sponsors two Congressional Fellows each year. Annual stipends are approximatly $70,000 for the 2010-2011 fellowship year, with allowances for health insurance, relocation, and professional travel.
AAAS administers the placement process for all Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® and Fellows are not to solicit potential placements before the end of their orientation (varies, but typically the third week of September each year).
At the conclusion of the fellowship year, roughly equal numbers of Fellows return to their previous positions or other positions in the sector they came from, remain in Washington, DC or other locations working in the policy arena, or go on to new positions in different sectors.
PARTNER SOCIETIES: Approximately 30 scientific and engineering societies sponsor Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® under the AAAS umbrella. Applicants for these fellowships apply directly to the appropriate professional society. Stipends, application procedures, degree requirements, timetables and deadlines vary. Fellows selected by these societies participate in the orientation and year-long professional development program administered by AAAS, and upon completionof the fellowship are considered alumni of the AAAS Fellowships.
"The AAAS Congressional Fellows program
provides a mutually beneficial connection between
members of Congress and research scientists
and engineers. I value the science and technology
expertise that the fellows bring to my office
and feel it is advantageous for them to gain
exposure to the multifaceted nature of policy
"I have had many AAAS Congressional Fellows
over the years, and each of them has been a
great addition to my staff. They have made critical
contributions to a wide range of legislative
and oversight projects, including health, environmental,
educational, technological, economic and security
"Congressional Fellows have played a key
role on my staff over the past few years, and
the knowledge and expertise which they bring
to the table has been a tremendous asset when
dealing with science and technology issues.
Members of Congress who are not taking advantage
of the Congressional Fellows program are missing
out on a great resource."
"During my time in Congress, I have benefited
from the counsel of nearly a dozen American
Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows.
Having a Congressional Science Fellow is always
a great benefit to my office, or any other office.
But the benefits continue long after their fellowships
end. During their short stays on Capitol Hill,
these scientists gain experience and hone skills
that allow them to be more effective advocates
in the world of public policy."
For more fellowship information please go to the application page.
Please note that the deadline for all programs is 5 December of each year. If, after reading the material on this site, you have questions, please feel free to contact us.
Persons from underrepresented minority groups and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.