Congressional Science Fellowship

Public policy increasingly is informed by technical considerations. Daily media stories — covering topics from energy to education to emerging technologies — illustrate that science is a major component of many issues with which policymakers must grapple.

APS's aim in sponsoring these fellowships is to provide a public service by making individuals with scientific knowledge and skills available to federal lawmakers, 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 enhances not only their own careers but also the physics community's ability to more effectively communicate with the federal government.

Fellowships are for one year, beginning September 1 through August 31. 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.

Competitive compensation is offered in addition to an allowance for relocation, professional travel, and medical insurance premiums. Following their year on the Hill, APS Congressional Fellows are invited to serve a one-year term on the Physics Policy Committee (PPC). In the second year following the end of their fellowship, APS Congressional Fellows are invited to serve a one-year term on the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA).

Former fellows' stories

Explore the experiences of previous Congressional Science Fellows.

Rules and eligibility

The following qualifications required for this fellowship include:

  • Masters degree in physics/closely related field plus three years of work experience in your degree field and/or science policy or PhD in physics/closely related field
  • Demonstrated interest in science policy through academic, community or professional experience
  • Currently or previously an engaged member of the APS community; for example, attend APS Meetings, publish in APS journals, participate in APS unit activities or APS advocacy efforts, etc.
  • US citizenship

APS membership is required to receive an APS fellowship

Process and selection

Types of Congressional Science Fellowships

The APS and AIP fellowship programs allow for submission of a single set of application materials. Via the application portal, you may apply for:

  • The APS Congressional Science Fellowship only
  • The AIP Congressional Science Fellowship only
  • Both the APS and AIP Congressional Science Fellowship

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.

The application process

To apply, candidates should visit online portal and submit all required materials. The online application portal allows applicants to create a user account to upload a letter of intent and resume. You can also use this portal to request letters of recommendation. Through this account, applicants may check receipt of letters of recommendation and the status of their application. All application materials must be submitted electronically via this system.

Required application materials include:

  • A letter of intent providing information regarding the applicant's reason for applying, scientific training and professional background, public policy interest and experience, and qualities and experience that would make the applicant effective in this position.
  • A resume limited to two pages, plus one additional page for a publications list.
  • One letter of reference, with additional letters requested at a later stage of the selection process.

Application deadline

All credentials, including the letter of intent, resume, and letter of reference must be submitted no later than November 1 prior to the fellowship year. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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 November 1 deadline.


APS and AIP have separate review processes and committees. After your application is complete, you will be contacted by and communicate with AIP and APS separately.


If you have questions about the APS Congressional Science Fellowship, please email the APS office operations and programs manager or email the AIP chief of staff for questions about the AIP Congressional Science Fellowship. For questions about the fellowship more broadly, email both addresses.

Establishment and support

The Congressional Science Fellowship was established by APS and AIP in 1973 to bring technical and scientific experience to Congress. The aim of APS and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) in sponsoring the Congressional Science Fellowships is 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, despite public policy increasingly determined by scientific and technical considerations.

Recent recipients

Sophia Chan

2023 recipient

Thomas Plumb-Reyes

2022 recipient

Stephanie Mack

2021 recipient

David Somers

2020 recipient

Laura Gladstone

2019 recipient

See all recipients

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

Congressional Science Fellowship


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