Congressional Science Fellowships

Application Deadline: January 15

Application Information

Due: January 15 of Fellowship Year
To apply, candidates must complete the online form and submit all required materials. Full application information is available below.
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The Congressional Science fellows directory lists fellows from 1973 to present.
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Purpose

Public policy increasingly is determined by technical considerations. A perusal of the daily press — from page one through the health and business sections — illustrates that science is a major component of many issues with which Congress must grapple: global warming, energy policy, defense technologies, AIDS, pollution, communications technologies, and many, many more.

It is the aim of the APS and AIP in sponsoring these fellowships to provide a public service by making available individuals with scientific knowledge and skills to Members of Congress, few of whom have a technical background. In turn, the program enables scientists to broaden their experience through direct involvement with the legislative and political processes. Fellows gain a perspective which, ideally, will enhance not only their own careers but also the physics community's ability to more effectively communicate with its representatives in Congress. Today's budget climate makes this ability of increasing importance as shrinking resources force hard choices between worthy projects.

Fellowship Term

Fellowships are for one year, usually running September through August. Following a two-week orientation in Washington sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, incoming Congressional Fellows become acquainted with most aspects of their future work environment. Following interviews on the Hill, Fellows choose a congressional office — personal or committee staff — where they wish to serve. Fellows are expected to be capable of handling varied assignments, both technical and non-technical.

The Program's popularity with Members of Congress continues to grow. Typically, 150-200 congressional offices express interest in the 200-300 fellows who participate in the AAAS fellowship program. Former fellows express enthusiasm in their evaluations, and many elect to stay in the public policy arena; it is not unusual to find former fellows in influential positions in Washington.

A stipend is offered in addition to an allowance for relocation, professional travel, and health insurance premiums. Following their year on the Hill, APS Congressional Fellows are invited to serve a one-year term on the Physics Planning Committee (PPC) and the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA).

Qualifications

Qualifications include a PhD in physics or a closely related field, a strong interest in science and technology policy, and, preferably, some experience in applying scientific knowledge toward the solution of societal problems. APS membership is required to receive an APS fellowship.

The fellowship programs seek candidates with outstanding qualifications. In exceptional cases, the PhD requirement may be waived for applicants with compensating experience.

Completed files received by the January deadline will be forwarded to the APS and AIP fellowship selection committees, which will choose, normally by mid-March, several finalists to be invited to Washington for personal interviews in early spring. At that time, APS and AIP will each select a winning candidate for the upcoming fellowship term.

Application Details

Applications Due: January 15 of Fellowship Year

To apply, candidates should complete the web-form and submit all required materials requested at the link below. All credentials, including the letter of intent, resume, and letters of reference must be submitted no later than January 15 of the fellowship year. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Required application materials:
  • Letter of Intent, providing information regarding:
    • Reason for applying
    • Scientific training and professional background
    • Public policy interest and experience
    • Qualities and experience that would make the applicant effective in this position.

  • Resume, limited to two pages, plus one additional page for a publications list.

  • Three Letters of Reference from those having direct knowledge of the applicant's character, professional competence, and attributes which would particularly qualify the candidate to serve in this capacity.

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Application Instructions

Developing a clear, comprehensive and competitive application takes significant time. Start early and contact references as soon as possible.

The online application portal (linked above) allows applicants to create a user account to upload a Letter of Intent and resume and to request letters of recommendation. Through this account, applicants may checkreceipt of letters of recommendation and the status of their application. All application materials must be submitted electronically via this system.

The APS, AIP and ASA fellowship programs allow for submission of a single set of application materials. Via the application portal, you may apply for: APS only, AIP-ASA only or both APS and AIP-ASA. Each organization sponsors separate fellowship programs. However, as long as an applicant meets eligibility requirements, we allow for submission of a single set of application materials. APS and AIP-ASA run separate review processes and committees. After your application is complete, you will communicate with AIP-ASA and APS separately.

It is the full responsibility of the applicant to check the status of materials submitted and ensure all materials, including letters of recommendation, are received by the January 15 deadline.

If you have any questions, please email Jackie Beamon-Kiene at beamon@aps.org for APS applications or Jennifer Greenamoyer at jgreenamoyer@aip.org for AIP-ASA applications or scipolicyfellows@aip.org for both.