At the beginning of this year, the American Institute of Physics and
the U.S. Department of State signed a Memorandum of Understanding to
establish a new Fellowship program. Now, nine months later, the first
AIP State Department Science Fellow, George Atkinson, is beginning his
term at the Department. As Atkinson paves the way for future Fellows,
AIP is now beginning to accept applications for the 2002-3 Fellowship
Atkinson comes to the Fellowship on a leave of absence from his professorship
in chemistry and optical sciences at the University of Arizona. Working
closely with Secretary of State Colin Powell's Science and Technology
Adviser, Norman Neureiter, Atkinson met with staff from many State Department
bureaus before deciding where to serve his entire Fellowship term. "I've
been exceptionally pleased by the open, enthusiastic way in which the
State Department welcomed me," he commented.
Atkinson has chosen an assignment in the Bureau of Intelligence and
Research. The I&R Bureau serves as a resource for the Department
of State, he explained, enabling him to provide assistance on projects
reaching into essentially all bureaus. Currently, he is working with
the European Bureau, bringing S&T considerations to discussions
of global warming, genetically modified organisms, and sustainable growth.
As the very first AIP State Department Science Fellow, Atkinson hopes
to raise the program's visibility within the science community as well
as in the Department, and "leave the largest positive imprint"
during his Fellowship.
In recent years, the State Department has acknowledged its great need
for scientific and technological advice as it analyzes world situations,
formulates foreign policy, and seeks to anticipate future issues of
concern. In speeches earlier this year, S&T Adviser Neureiter cited
more than 25 current foreign policy issues that his office is involved
with, including chemical and biological weapons threats, satellite export
controls, cybersecurity, geopolitics of energy, nanotechnology, and
many more. Atkinson concurs on "both the depth and breadth of need"
for S&T capability in the Department, and suggests that "many
more scientists should be interested in participating" in the Fellowship
It is AIP's goal that the Science Fellows, in addition to providing
their own expertise to the Department, help increase awareness of the
need for scientific input to the foreign policy process, and serve as
a conduit between the broader scientific community and the makers of
foreign policy. In addition, Fellows will continue to be a resource
for the Department long after their terms are over. Neureiter has spoken
of creating a "zero- impedance circuit" for the transmission
of advice and expertise from the science community into the Department.
UPCOMING SELECTION FOR 2002-3 FELLOWSHIP:
As Atkinson begins his term, AIP is preparing for its upcoming competition
to select next year's State Department Science Fellow. The program is
run under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, and Fellows are selected by a joint AIP-State Department
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Requirements include membership in
one or more of AIP's ten Member Societies, and a PhD in physics or a
closely related field. In exceptional cases, the PhD requirement may
be waived for applicants with equivalent research experience. Fellows
are required to be U.S. citizens, and the Fellowship is contingent upon
receipt of a security clearance before starting term. In addition to
outstanding scientific credentials, excellent communications skills,
and sound judgment, applicants should possess familiarity with, or interest
or experience in, scientific or technical issues relevant to foreign
TO APPLY: Application materials should be on standard 8.5 x
11 stationery, single-sided, unstapled. Incomplete applications will
not be considered. The materials needed are:
- Cover sheet, indicating name, address, phone, email,
names of references, U.S. citizenship, PhD status, and society membership(s);
- Letter of Intent, limited to two pages, discussing
your reason for applying, scientific training and professional background,
foreign policy interest or experience, and qualities or experience
that would make you effective in this position;
- Resume (please limit to two pages and include no
more than 3- 5 major publications);
- Three Letters of Reference from those having direct
knowledge of your character, professional competence, and particular
education, attributes, or experience that would enhance your suitability
for this position. Please arrange to have the letters of reference
sent directly to the address below.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: For the Fellowship commencing in the fall
of 2002, all application materials MUST BE POSTMARKED BY NOVEMBER
1, 2001 and sent to:
AIP State Department Science Fellowship
American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740-3843
ATTN: Audrey T. Leath
For additional information on the program, applications, stipend and
benefits, please see our State
Department Fellowship web site or contact Audrey T. Leath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neureiter has noted in his speeches that the three pillars of U.S.
national security are intelligence, diplomacy, and warfighting capability.
"Diplomacy," he stated, is "the last stop before war."
Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics