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Find out more about opportunities and resources for ecologist’s entering the field of Science Policy!

Science Policy Fellowships for Ecologists

Quick Links: 

For current graduate students: 

ESA Graduate Student Policy Award : Offered each year, this award gives graduate students hands-on science policy experience including interacting with congressional decision-makers, federal agency officials, and others engaged in science and public policy. Learn more here.

NOAA Sea Grant John A Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship : The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship is a one year fellowship that provides a unique educational and professional experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. Learn more here.

NSF Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) : The program works to compliment a graduate student’s developing disciplinary expertise with a more diverse set of professional skills that transcends their traditional learning experience. Learn more here.

Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship : This 10-week summer program places science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide. Fellows use their academic training as they research, write, and report today’s headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to the public.

American Geosciences Institute : AGI seeks outstanding geoscience or geo-related engineering students or entry level graduates (Bachelor’s or Master’s level) with a strong interest in federal science policy for the semester-lenght Geoscience Policy Internship. 

Other Opportunities: 

Post-graduate opportunities : 

AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships : Providing opportunities for scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills in the federal policy realm. Learn more here.

          AAAS Related Society Supported Fellowships:

Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship : The Mirzayan Fellowship provides early career individuals with the opportunity to spend 12 weeks at the National Academies of Science in Washington, DC learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation. Learn more here.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) : The PMF program is the flagship leadership development program for entry of advanced degree candidates in federal agencies. Fellows are appointed to a two-year position with full salary and benefits, and are receive extensive leadership training. Learn more here.

Union of Concerned Scientists Kendall Fellowship : The UCS Science Fellows Program brings early to mid-career scientists to UCS to work on innovative and forward-looking projects that are primarily scientific, technical, or analytic in nature. Approximately every two years, UCS will announce a competition for fellowships (up to two years in length) in topic areas identified by UCS and approved by our Science Fellows Advisory Committee.

California Council on Science and Technology Fellowship : California’s leadership in technology, environmental stewardship, biomedicine, and other critical fields relies on its policymakers having access to clearly communicated, scientifically informed advice. Each year the CCST Science Fellows program recruits a corps of fifteen PhD scientists and engineers. These Science Fellows spend one year in Sacramento, directly serving decision makers within the California State Legislature and Executive Branch.

Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship (New Jersey): The Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship offers PhD-level scientists and engineers the opportunity to apply their training and expertise to the development and implementation of relevant state policy. As full-time aides in the executive or legislative branch, Science Fellows bring their advanced technical skills to service in the New Jersey state government.

Career Scientists : 

Jefferson Science Fellowship : The JSF is open to tenured, or similarly ranked, faculty from U.S. institutions of higher learning who are U.S. citizens. Selected Jefferson Science Fellows spend one year on assignment at the U.S. Department of State or USAID as science advisors on foreign policy/international development issues.

Leshner Leadership Institute : Each year, AAAS Leshner Fellows are selected from disciplines at the nexus of an important science-society issue. They convene for a week of intensive public engagement and science communication training and public engagement plan development. In addition to their individual plan, they are encouraged to consider collaborative projects with one or more other fellows to pursue over the course of the year.

The following previously mentioned fellowships especially value the input of mid-career/established scientists: 

Multi-Career Stage Opportunities : 

ORISE Internships, Scholarships and Fellowships : The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) offers a broad range of internships, scholarships, fellowships and research experiences at national laboratories and federal agencies. These programs are available to science students and educators at every academic level from K-12, to college students and postdocs, to university faculty members. Learn more here.

ESA Policy Resources 

ESA Policy News Updates : The Policy News Updates are bi-monthly summaries of major environmental and science policy news. They are produced by the PublicAffairs Office of the Ecological Society of America. If you would like to receive the Policy Updates automatically, select this link.

Ecologist Goes To Washington Podcast : ESA’s series that features the stories and reflections of scientists who have engaged their local, state, or federal governments in addressing the broader implications of their research.

ESA Public Affairs Office : ESA’s Public Affairs Office manages the Society’s public policy and media initiatives. Working closely with its elected leadership, ESA facilitates opportunities for members to engage beyond the scientific community through media contacts, press releases, social media, briefings, and one-on-one meetings with policymakers. ESA provides media and policy training to members, in addition to bimonthly updates on national policy developments relevant to this ecological community.

ESA Policy Training : ESA policy staff occasionally offer training workshops designed to help ecological scientists engage more effectively with policy makers. Learn more here.

ESA Rapid Response Team : The ESA Rapid Response Team (RRT) is comprised of ecological scientists in a variety of fields, ranging from agroecology and invasive species to climate change and science education. These experts have committed to serve as resources for policymakers and the media. The RRT works with ESA staff to provide on-call ecological expertise. Learn more here.


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