Policy Fellowships For Scientists & Engineers

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | April 9, 2009 10:40 am

After I recently spoke at AAAS, several graduate students emailed asking about a clearinghouse for science policy fellowships.  I couldn’t think of such a list and inquired with many colleagues in and out of academia to no avail.  Surely there needs to be, so I worked with a group of terrific staffers and interns at American Association for the Advancement of Science to come up with what follows.  We’ll be making this resource readily available on our sidebar soon so please add any fellowships we may have forgotten in comments and we’ll update it regularly.


AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

National Academies Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program

National Academies Jefferson Science Fellowships

Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Royal Society (U.K.) MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme

The Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowships Program

American Chemical Society

Hellman Fellowship

American Psychological Association

American Physical Society

Belfer Center, Kennedy School of Government

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Astronomical Society – John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship

American Society for Microbiology

National Human Genome Research Institute

Health and Aging Policy Fellowship

Society for Research in Child Development Policy Fellowship

Department of Commerce – Commerce Science and Technology Fellowship 

ASPH/EPA Environmental Health Fellowship Program

American Institute of Physics and Member Society Government Science Fellowships

Harvard University – Science, Technology, and Public Policy Fellowships

American Society for Biochemisty and Molecular Biology

American Geophysical Union – Congressional Science Fellowship

American Society of Human Genetics

California Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

John A. Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship (Sheril did this one!)

American Chemical Society San Diego Section – Public Policy Fellowship

Optical Society of America – Congressional Fellows Program

Social Science Research Council – Abe Fellowship Program

Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows Program

David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship – Association of University Programs in Health Administration

National Center for Health Statistics – Health Policy Fellowship Program

Packer Policy Fellowships – Australian-American Health Policy Fellowships Program

The ASPH/CDC Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellowship Program

The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Postdoctoral Fellowship in Comparative Health Policy

Geological Society of America Congressional Science Fellowship


American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

NASA Congressional Fellowship

Morris Udall Foundation

Academy of Medical Sciences/Wellcome Trust

Aldo Leopold Leadership Program

Harkness Fellowship


Comments (22)

  1. I presume these are open only to citizens?

  2. Some are international opportunities regardless of citizenship…

  3. Some others that I know of:

    Geological Society of America Congressional Science Fellowship

    The American Geological Institute also has a Congressional Science Fellowship, I think, but their web site is down at the moment, so I can’t find the exact link.

  4. Terrific! Thanks Kim. Added…

  5. I can attest to the excellence of the American Astronomical Society’s John Bahcall Fellowship. And while I’m thrilled you listed it twice, the second link is broken….

  6. Thanks Marcos 🙂 This is a work in progress…

  7. Research!America has a science policy fellowship as well: http://www.researchamerica.org/intern_sciencepolicy

    Anyone with a PhD or equivalent degree is considered a fellow, despite the position being called an internship on the website.

  8. Here’s one from ASBMB – American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.


  9. Thanks Marcos and Heather.

  10. David Bruggeman

    Keep in mind that many of the AAAS fellowships are sponsored by the scientific societies. So check with your disciplinary society to see if they participate.

  11. Just a heads up, the first link in your list is broken. There’s a “hips” preceding the “http” for some reason. If that is taken out then the link works.

  12. Sorry, one more correction. Your link to APS, the 10th link down, says “American Physics Society,” but APS actually stands for American Physical Society.

    Sorry about the nit-pickery. I’m really excited to see this list because I hope to go into policy in some way after I get my Ph.D. Thank you for compiling it!

  13. Thanks for helping Llencelyn. Updated…

  14. Thanks for getting your minions on this, Sheril. I also added the Aldo Leopold Leadership fellowship to the list I started at Coastal Shelf, which isn’t exactly a policy fellowship but it does help scientists learn to talk with non-scientists. And that’s a good start to better policy.

  15. Nice list! I didn’t see the IEEE Congressional Fellowship, tho. I got one in late 1994, just in time to be swept up in the Republican Revolution. My job on the House Science Committee staff disappeared when the Democrats were exiled to the Ford HOB. I scrambled to find an LA’s job with Lloyd Doggett. I was a great experience for me, and I highly recommend it.

  16. Ade

    Just a quick note- the link to the AIBS fellowship directs elsewhere.

  17. The UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has a developed programme of doctoral fellowships and intrenships. These are not restricted to UK citizens.

  18. Megan

    For my field (Materials Science and Engineering), our relevant professional society is the Materials Research Society: http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec.asp?CID=12344&DID=204997


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry.Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.comFor more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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