For several years DEB has hosted AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows. We have reaped the benefits of this excellent Fellowship program, and think talking about it here will be of interest to some of the faculty, students or post-docs in the DEB community.
Are you looking for a sabbatical or to explore new ways to utilize your scientific training?
Want to learn about federal policy from an inside perspective?
Perhaps you are considering opportunities for non-academic science careers.
Then you may wish to consider applying for a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with AAAS (the American Association for the Advancement of Science). AAAS Fellows are doctoral-level trained individuals who gain insight into the US federal enterprise during a one to two year post-graduate experience. Fellows can be from a wide array of disciplines, and from any career stage. The distribution of AAAS Fellows’ ages have spanned over 5 decades and ranged from late 20s to early 70s! AAAS S&T Fellows contribute to their offices in myriad ways, but their specific roles are often dependent on the mission of the agency and the needs of the office. In DEB, AAAS S&T Fellows have a unique opportunity to engage in international science policy, offering Division and programmatic level strategic planning, as well as gaining insight into the merit review process.
AAAS S&T Fellows not only make valuable contributions to their offices, but throughout the entire experience the Fellows are engaged in professional development trainings. These trainings range from ‘the essentials of science communication’ to ‘developing a negotiation toolkit’ to technical workshops on ‘text mining big data using R code’.
Furthermore, one of the greatest benefits of the AAAS S&T Fellows program is being inducted into a highly connected network of science professionals. Many AAAS alumnae continue working in government after their fellowship, but others have gone on to influential positions throughout academia, industry, and non-profit sectors. The breadth of the Fellows’ network is truly impressive.
What are people saying about the AAAS S&T Policy Fellows?
In a 2014 PNAS article on graduate education and postdoctoral training, authors Bruce Alberts et al, gave the AAAS S&T Policy Fellows program a ringing endorsement by saying:
“…. the AAAS Science and Technology Fellowships for 40 y has allowed carefully selected scientists and engineers with advanced degrees to work in the US government in Washington, DC. Historically, approximately half of these Fellows have remained in policy positions, occupying critical positions that greatly benefit the nation….”
(full disclosure, of course: Bruce Alberts has previously served as editor-in-chief of AAAS’s main publication Science)
However, the National Science Board, the policy making body for NSF, also recognized the AAAS S&T Fellowship program in their hallmark Public Service Award in 2014. #nobigdeal #kindofabigdeal
Not convinced yet that this is a unique and special program? Check out some of these notable alums:
Honorable Rush D. Holt: AAAS CEO, former U.S. House of Representatives Congressman
Frances A. Colón: Acting Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State
Rosina Bierbaum: Professor and former Dean, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment
Steven Buchsbaum: Deputy Director, Discovery at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation