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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: climate change, energy policy, COVID, 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.
The Congressional Science Fellows Directory lists fellows from 1973 to present.
Learn more about past and current Congressional Science Fellows and their experiences on Capitol Hill:
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).
Qualifications include a PhD in a related field, US Citizenship and be an active member of the APS community (e.g attend APS Meetings, publish in APS Journals, participate in APS unit activities or APS advocacy efforts). 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 December 1 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.
Applications Due: December 1 prior to the fellowship year
To apply, candidates should visit the link below and submit all required materials. All credentials, including the letter of intent, resume, and letters of reference must be submitted no later than December 1 prior to the fellowship year. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Required application materials:
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.
Developing a clear, comprehensive and competitive application takes significant time. Start early and contact your references as soon as possible.
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.
The APS and AIP fellowship programs allow for submission of a single set of application materials. Via the application portal, you may apply for: APS only, AIP only or both APS and AIP. 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 have separate review processes and committees. After your application is complete, you will be contacted by and communicate with AIP 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 December 1 deadline.
If you have any questions, please email Jessica McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org for APS applications or Liz Dart Caron at email@example.com for AIP applications. Email both above email addresses for questions regarding both.
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.