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FYI Number 132: November 27, 2002

AIP and APS Now Seeking Applicants for Congressional Fellowships

The American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society are now seeking applicants for their 2003-2004 Congressional Science Fellowships. Are you interested in how the federal government utilizes scientific and technological knowledge to make policy? Do you wish to have an active role in informing legislative and policy decisions? If so, you should consider applying to the AIP and APS Congressional Science Fellowship programs. Application materials are due by mid-January. Please see below for further information on applying.

For physicists who want to apply their knowledge and skills beyond the lab bench, and who believe there is a need for technical advice and analysis in the conduct of national policy, the Fellowships are an opportunity to make a difference. They enable qualified scientists to spend a year on Capitol Hill, working in the office of a Member of Congress or for a congressional committee. Fellows work with interested congressional offices to select an assignment. They do not act as representatives of AIP or APS during their time on Capitol Hill; their only responsibility is to the congressional office in which they choose to serve. Recent Fellows have contributed their talents to issues as diverse as nuclear waste and power safety, digital music copyrights, homeland security, Native American issues, and judicial misconduct.

Many former Fellows have gone on to help craft Administration science policy by serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy or in federal S&T agencies. Others return to academia or industry, while some accept permanent staff positions on Capitol Hill. One of the best-known former Fellows is the APS 1982-1983 Congressional Science Fellow, Rush Holt (D-NJ), who has just won reelection to a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since 1988, AIP has been one of the 20-30 professional societies which sponsor Fellows under a program organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. APS has participated in the AAAS Fellowship program since its inception in 1973. Two other AIP Member Societies, the American Geophysical Union and the Optical Society of America, also sponsor Congressional Science Fellows under the auspices of AAAS.

Scientists of all ages and career levels are encouraged to apply. Applicants to the AIP and APS Congressional Fellowships should have a PhD in physics or a closely related field. In exceptional cases, the PhD requirement may be waived for candidates with compensating research experience. While a Fellow must have the scientific qualifications to be a credible representative of the science community on Capitol Hill, he or she should also have demonstrated an interest in broader societal concerns and the application of science to their solution. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, APS members for the APS Fellowship, and current members of one or more of the ten AIP Member Societies for the AIP Fellowship. If the society membership requirements are met, one application suffices for both the AIP and APS Congressional Fellowship programs.


For details on the required application materials, how to apply, and where to send applications for any of the physics-related Congressional Fellowship Programs, please see the following web sites:

AIP and Member Society Congressional Science Fellowships:

For AIP:
For APS:
For AGU:
For OSA:

Two years ago, the American Institute of Physics also established an AIP State Department Science Fellowship under the auspices of AAAS. This program enables scientists to spend a year working in a bureau of the U.S. Department of State, providing scientific and technological expertise to help inform the foreign policy process. Issues that AIP's State Department Fellows have worked on include the scientific component of the U.S.'s position for the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development, analysis of how science affects European public policy and emerging S&T issues that may impact U.S.-European relationships, infrastructure protection, and genetically engineered foods. The application deadline for the 2003-2004 AIP State Department Fellow has passed and the selection process is already underway. Please see the following web site for more information on this program:

AIP State Department Science Fellowship:

If, as a scientist, you wish to perform a public service and make a contribution to the nation's domestic or foreign policy, these programs are intended to provide such an opportunity.

Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3094

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