Science Policy Fellowships
American Association for the Advancement of Science Science & Technology Policy Fellowship
The AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships are provided primarily as a professional development opportunity. Fellowships are awarded to highly qualified individuals interested in learning about the science-policy interface while applying their scientific and technical knowledge and analytical skills to the federal policy realm.
FDA Commissioner’s Fellowship Program
The FDA offers a two-year Fellowship Program, which provides an opportunity for health professionals and scientists to receive training and experience at the FDA. Fellows will train at FDA's White Oak campus in Silver Spring, Maryland or at other FDA facilities. Salaries are extremely competitive, and travel funds are available to attend scientific meetings
California Science & Technology Policy Fellowship
Offered by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), the California Science and Technology Policy Fellowships place professional scientists and engineers in the California State Legislature for one-year appointments. The fellowships are ideal for qualified applicants who are interested in improving the interface between science and legislative decision-making and who want to learn the public policy decision-making process.
Presidential Management Fellowship
Bearing the Presidential moniker, the PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. It was created more than three decades ago by Executive Order and has gone through many changes over the years.The Program attracts and selects the best candidates possible, but is really designed with a more narrow focus - developing a cadre of potential government leaders. It provides some sustenance during the first years of employment and encourages development of leadership capabilities.The PMF Program inculcates a lasting bond as well as a spirit of public service, ultimately encouraging and leading to a career in the government.
The Hellman Fellowship in Science and Technology Policy is intended for early-career professionals with training in science or engineering who are interested in transitioning to a career in public policy and administration. While in residence, the Hellman Fellows work with senior scientists and policy experts on critical national and international policy issues related to science, engineering, and technology.
Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program within the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the National Academies is designed to engage itsFellows in the analytical process that informsU.S. science and technology policy. Fellows develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and those who have completed graduate studies or postdoctoral research in any social/behavioral science, medical/health discipline, physical or biological science, any field of engineering, law/business/public administration, or any relevant interdisciplinary field within the last five years are eligible to apply.
Social Science Research Council – Abe Fellowship Program
The Abe Fellowship Program encourages international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern. The program fosters the development of a new generation of researchers interested in policy-relevant topics and willing to become key members of a bilateral and global research network. In partnership with the SSRC, the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) established the Abe Fellowship Program as its flagship program in 1991.
The Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowships Program
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows program provides the nation’s most comprehensive experience at the nexus of health science, policy, and politics in Washington, DC. The fellowship is an outstanding opportunity for exceptional mid-career health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy. Fellows experience and participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care, and health policy.
Belfer Center, Kennedy School of Government
Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) offers fellowships for predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers for one year, with a possibility for renewal, in the stimulating environment of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Health and Aging Policy Fellowship
The nine-to-12-month Program offers fellows the opportunity to participate in a residential track or a non-residential track. The residential track allows fellows to participate in the policymaking process on either the Federal or state level as legislative assistants in Congress, professional staff members in executive agencies or policy organizations. The non-residential track allows fellows to work on a policy project and brief placement(s) throughout the year at relevant sites. Core program components focused on career development and professional enrichment are provided for fellows in both tracks. Fellows also have the opportunity to apply for second-year funding to continue components of their fellowship experience/project either at their placement sites, at the state/local levels, or with non-governmental organizations.
Society for Research in Child Development Policy Fellowship
There are currently two types of Fellowships:Congressional and Executive Branch. Both Fellowships provide exciting opportunities for researchers to come to Washington, DC and use developmental science outside of the academic setting to inform public policy. These Fellowships are open to doctoral scientists from any discipline relevant to child development, and both early and mid-career professionals are encouraged to apply. The goals of the Fellowships are: (1) to contribute to the effective use of scientific knowledge about child development in the formation of public policy ; (2) to educate the scientific community about the development of public policy; and (3) to establish a more effective liaison between developmental scientists and the Federal policy-making mechanisms.
David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship – Association of University Programs in Health Administration
The objective of the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship is to provide a unique opportunity to learn about the political system through direct exposure to public and private sector roles in health policy development. The Fellowship embodies Mr. Winston’s commitment to the public/private partnership necessary for a high quality, market oriented health care system. The Fellowship is sponsored by the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship Board of Trustees and is administered in collaboration with the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).
Packer Policy Fellowships – Australian-American Health Policy Fellowships Program
On behalf of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, The Commonwealth Fund is pleased to announce the Australian-American Health Policy Fellowship. From 2003–2009, the Australian-American Health Policy Fellowship was known as the Packer Policy Fellowships, named in honor of the late Mr. Kerry Packer AC, former chairman of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited. This program offers a unique opportunity for outstanding, mid-career U.S. professionals—academics, government officials, clinical leaders, decision makers in managed care and other private health care organizations, and journalists—to spend up to 10 months in Australia conducting research and working with Australian health policy experts on issues relevant to both countries.
The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Postdoctoral Fellowship in Comparative Health Policy
The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. The Postdoctoral Fellow will participate in the Center's Asia Health Policy Program while completing his or her own research on contemporary health or healthcare in two or more countries of the Asia-Pacific, including the social and economic implications of population aging.
The Commonwealth Fund's Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice provide a unique opportunity for mid-career health services researchers and practitioners from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom to spend up to 12 months in the United States, conducting original research and working with leading U.S. health policy experts.
If you are willing to do an internship to propel yourself into the field, these are a few examples of places that have many such opportunities
American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) is a non-profit organization representing 50,000 individuals and the top 2% of medical and biological engineers. In addition, AIMBE represents academic institutions, private industry, and professional engineering societies. AIMBE was founded in 1991 and its current vision is to provide leadership and advocacy in medical and biological engineering for the benefit of society. AIMBE is the authoritative voice and advocate for the value of medical and biological engineering to society. It is an organization of leaders in medical and biological engineering, consisting of academic, industrial, professional society councils and elected fellows.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs. With a current membership of 4,000 American Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members, the Academy has four major goals: Promoting service and study through analysis of critical social and intellectual issues and the development of practical policy alternatives; Fostering public engagement and the exchange of ideas with meetings, conferences, and symposia bringing diverse perspectives to the examination of issues of common concern; Mentoring a new generation of scholars and thinkers through the Visiting Scholars Program and Hellman Fellowship Program; Honoring excellence by electing to membership men and women in a broad range of disciplines and professions.
UPMC-Center for Biosecurity
The Center for Biosecurity is an independent, nonprofit organization of UPMC. Our mission is to strengthen national security by reducing the risks posed by biological attacks, epidemics, and other destabilizing events, and to improve the nation’s resilience in the face of such events. To improve government policy and practice, our staff of experts in medicine, public health, national security, law, government, anthropology, and the biological sciences conducts innovative research and delivers reliable analyses that: assess the threats and challenges posed by biological weapon attacks, large-scale epidemics, and other large disasters; identify key barriers and solutions to prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery across the public and private sectors; advance the development of new technologies, medicines, and vaccines to deal with these challenges; andimprove global public health and security.
The National Academies
The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. Known collectively as the National Academies, our organization produces groundbreaking reports that have helped shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine.
American Institute of Biological Sciences
AIBS builds community in support of researchers, educators, and scientists who understand the importance of sharing biological discovery and knowledge. In creating EDUCATION RESOURCES, monitoring PUBLIC POLICY, providing PEER REVIEW of scientific applications, programs, and scientific literature, PUBLISHING timely biological sciences information, and implementing dynamic PUBLIC OUTREACH PROGRAMS, we are ensuring the future of the biological sciences.
If you take the time to look at who works at these Think Tanks you will find that many AAAS Fellows are here. Many fellowships feed into these Think Tanks, in addition to government offices. Consider directly applying to these think tanks. Very rarely do these institutes advertise their current job openings on sites other than their own website. And you will again find that many are very willing to offer a starting internship to get you into the system, if you are willing to go that route. Be aware that some of these institutes require a security clearance, and US citizenship is therefore a requirement. We did not include any descriptions here because their websites are vast and provide tons of information that cannot really be summed up in a short paragraph. Spend some time looking over their websites to get a better feel for what these Think Tanks work on.
- Brookings Institute
- Strategic Analysis
- Hudson Institute
- New America Foundation
- Science and Technology Policy Institute
- Institute for Defense Analyses
- Urban Institute
Directly getting a job with the government is probably the most difficult approach to take. Government agencies generally rely on fellowships to feed in new talent, so focus on a fellowship first. We have also listed some government fellowships that are specific to certain agencies.
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
DTRA is the U.S. Department of Defense’s official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction. Our people are Subject Matter Experts on WMD, and we address the entire spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive threats. DTRA’s programs include basic science research and development, operational support to U.S. warfighters on the front line, and an in-house WMD think tank that aims to anticipate and mitigate future threats long before they have a chance to harm the United States and our allies. SCC-WMD, the U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, synchronizes Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction efforts across our military’s geographic commands and leverages the people, programs and interagency relationships of DTRA at a strategic level. We work with the military services, other elements of the United States government, and countries across the planet on counterproliferation, nonproliferation and WMD reduction issues with one goal in mind: Making the World Safer.
National Defense University
The National Defense University is the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) and is under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. The University’s main campus is on Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. The Joint Forces Staff College is located in Norfolk, VA. The National Defense University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
ASPH/EPA Environmental Health Fellowship Program
The Environmental Health Fellowship Program is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The goal of the ASPH Environmental Health Fellowship Program is to provide professional training and opportunities for early career public health professionals by enabling them to work in EPA on current and emerging environmental public health needs. These placements will be for one year, with a possible one-year extension.The program capitalizes on an important interdependence between the academic public health community and the EPA, one of the most important public health agencies in the world.
National Center for Health Statistics – Health Policy Fellowship Program
The fellowship program brings visiting scholars in health services research-related disciplines to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in Hyattsville, Md. for a period of 13 months to conduct studies of interest to policymakers and the health services research community. Fellows have access to NCHS data resources for use in their proposed studies, and also work on collaborative projects with NCHS staff.
The ASPH/CDC Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellowship Program
In recognition of a career dedicated to improving the health of the world’s most vulnerable populations, ASPH, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), established a fellowship in honor of Dr. Allan Rosenfield, former Dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellowship Program provides international training opportunities for recent graduates of ASPH member accredited schools of public health (MPH and Doctoral level).
National Institutes of Health Department of Bioethics Fellowships
The Department of Bioethics is committed to clinical teaching, consultation, and research. Fellows participate in the activities and the intellectual life of the department and study ethical issues related to conduct of research, clinical practice, genetics and health policy. For a typical fellow, this research yields multiple publications in premier academic journals. Fellows conduct their research under the guidance of senior faculty, participate in weekly bioethics seminars, case conferences, ethics consultations, IRB deliberations, and have access to multiple educational opportunities at the NIH. Fellowships are two years in length and stipends are based on the applicant's previous experience and the current US government schedule. Past post-doctoral fellows have gone on to academic careers in philosophy, medicine, law, health policy, political science, and related departments; some are also active in legal and medical practice. Past pre-doctoral fellows have attended premier graduate programs in numerous fields including medicine, law, public health, health policy, and sociology. To learn more about where past fellows are today, follow the links.