Professional Societies

Career Paths, Opportunities at PENN, Additional Readings

Aside from being a member and getting discounts for journal access or travel grants, Professional Societies provide a lot of opportunities to become involved in science and technology away from the bench, including some having a Society associated Science & Technology Fellowship. Most Societies require you to be a member for at least one year before being able to apply for any fellowships. As a Postdoc most Societies have a discounted membership which is well worth the money spent, if such activities interest you. Professional Societies can also be an opportunity to be proactive lobbying the interests of your society in Congress or other governing features related to Conference events or supporting Postdocs within the Society world-wide. For example, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a national organization to support women in science.The Philadelphia chapter hosts monthly meetings with a networking dinner followed by speaker.Some of the past speakers have included a 3D science animator, a professor who has studied Alzheimer’s Disease in both industry and academia, and a professor of psychology who studies male and female differences in math ability and achievement.The group has also hosted career skills workshops (e.g., about networking, and job search tools). There are volunteer opportunities also.The Philadelphia Area Girls Enjoying Science (PAGES) program is held twice a year.Volunteers design and lead an experiment for groups of 6th grade girls.It is a lot of fun, and it provides some teaching experience (with younger kids than college students, but it’s something!) also. And of course, getting girls interested in science is a great cause!

Here are some professional Societies that have Science & Technology Fellowships

American Chemical Society Public Policy Fellowships
The ACS Congressional and Science Policy Fellowship Programs are designed to address both these concerns. The programs provide a unique opportunity for ACS members to gain practical experience and insights into public policy by working on Capitol Hill or at ACS in Washington, DC

Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Advocacy Internship
AWIS takes great interest in helping young women gain skills compatable with their studies in science and engineering. Our highly competitive internship program is intended to introduce bright, innovative undergraduate and graduate students to the policymaking process and encourage them to become active and effective participants in public affairs. Working directly with our staff and volunteer leadership, AWIS interns gain solid professional experience. In addition to their day-to-day assignments, interns attendcurrent policy debates, coalition meetings, and have the opportunity to meethigh level government and agencystaff. Alumni of the AWIS Internship Program can be found working in industry, academia, and for the government in a broad array of positions including public policy, communications, and project management. Today we offer competitive internships during fall and spring semesters and a ten-week summer program targeted specifically for undergraduate, underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Students can apply to intern for marketing and communications, advocacy and public policy,special events and fundraising positions.

American Society for Microbiology
A program that selects a postdoctoral to mid-career microbiologist to spend one year on the staff of an individual congressman, congressional committee or with some other appropriate organizational unit of Congress. The purpose of the program is to make practical contributions to more effective use of scientific knowledge in government, to educate the scientific communities regarding public policy and to broaden the perspective of both the scientific and governmental communities regarding the value of such science-government interaction. Applicants must be citizens of the United States, have a Ph.D. that will be completed by the time the fellowship begins and a member of the ASM for at least one year.

American Association of Immunologists
The Public Policy Fellows Program provides postdoctoral fellows and other junior scientists who are committed to a career in biomedical research with the opportunity to learn about and participate in the public policy and legislative activities of AAI. Up to 10 Fellows may participate annually. The primary goals of the program are 1) to help young AAI members better understand the role of the President and Administration, Congress, and the National Institutes of Health on both the advancement of biomedical research and the careers of scientists, and 2) to teach participants how to best advocate for, and impact, the policies that guide their careers. The program also helps to ensure that AAI has within its ranks a cadre of well-informed young scientists who can help lead the organization's public policy efforts in the future.

American Society of Human Genetics
The advancement of biotechnology continues to fuel new discoveries across scientific disciplines, including genetics and genomics. Attached to many of these advances, such as rapid and large-scale DNA genotyping, are policy questions that address a wide range of issues. Funding for research and the implications of scientific studies are excellent examples of the intersection between science and policy. The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the National Human Genome Research Institute are co-sponsoring the genetics and public policy fellowship to give genetics professionals an opportunity to contribute the policy-making process. This unique fellowship provides three separate types of experiences: time spent in the NIH as a part of the Executive branch; a staff position on Capitol Hill serving elected officials and the Legislative branch; and then experience working with ASHG in the non-profit science advocacy sector. This variety of assignments provides experience for the fellow from multiple critical viewpoints and challenging perspectives of the scientific policy-making process. This is a fellowship program designed for genetics professionals with an advanced degree who are early in their careers and interested in the development and implementation of genetics health and research policies at the national level. The fellow will have the opportunity to participate in policy analysis at the NHGRI and the ASHG and to work directly with the U.S. Congress.

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