FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

AIP Seeking Applications for Congressional Fellows Program

Number 148 - December 16, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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Members of the physics community who want to spend a unique year learning about the inner workings of Congress in Washington DC should consider applying to the American Institute of Physics Congressional Science Fellowship Program, cosponsored by the Acoustical Society of America. The application deadline is January 15.

Congressional Fellowships are an opportunity for physicists who want to apply their knowledge and skills to work on national policy issues. Fellows serve a one-year term working in the office of a Member of Congress or for a congressional committee.  Fellows gain insight into the workings of government, learn how to contribute their voices and knowledge to the policymaking process, and perform a public service by providing skilled support to inform policy decisions. Recent Fellows have contributed their talents to issues as diverse as energy efficiency, nuclear waste and power safety, digital music copyrights, homeland security, Native American issues, and judicial misconduct.

Scientists of all career levels are encouraged to apply. The fellowship term is for one year, usually running September through August. Benefits include a stipend of $70,000 per year, a relocation allowance, an allowance for in-service travel for professional development and reimbursement for health insurance up to a specified maximum. While a Fellow must have the scientific qualifications to be a credible representative of the science community on Capitol Hill, he or she should also have demonstrated an interest in broader societal concerns and the application of science to their solution.
Many former Fellows have gone on to help craft national science policy by serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy or in federal departments and agencies. Others return to academia or industry, while some accept permanent staff positions on Capitol Hill.

Some of AIP's Member Societies sponsor their own Congressional fellow. These societies include APS, OSA and AGU. More information about these fellowship programs can be found here.

Qualifications include:

- Excellent scientific credentials; a PhD in a technical field defined by the scope of the activities of AIP's Member Societies. PhD requirement waived for outstanding candidates with equivalent research experience.
- Membership in any of the ten AIP Member Societies.
- Interest or experience in applying scientific knowledge to the solution of societal problems.
- Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills.
- Sound judgment and maturity in decision-making.

Applications are due by January 15. Application instructions can be found here.

For more information: Jennifer Greenamoyer, Government Relations Division, American Institute of Physics, (301) 209-3104, jgreenamoyer@aip.org