AIP State Department Fellowship Program

State Department sealProgram description

Most of the foreign policy issues faced by the U.S. Department of State have a scientific or technical component. This Fellowship is intended to enhance the S&T capacity of the Department by enabling at least one scientist annually to work at the Department’s Washington, DC headquarters for a one-year term.

This is a unique opportunity for a scientist to contribute scientific and technical expertise to the Department and raise awareness of the value of scientific input. In turn, scientists broaden their experience by interacting with policymakers in the federal government and learning about the foreign policy process

The American Astronomical Society generously provides an annual contribution to the AIP State Department Science Fellowship.

Directory of AIP State Department Fellows

Qualifications

  • Membership in one or more of the ten member societies at time of application
  • U.S. citizenship
  • PhD in physics or closely-related field prior to start of Fellowship term (in exceptional cases PhD requirement waived for outstanding candidates with equivalent research experience)
  • Eligibility for security clearance
  • Interest or experience in S&T aspects of foreign policy
  • Excellent scientific credentials
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills
  • Sound judgment and maturity in decision-making

Current Executive Branch employees are not eligible to serve as AIP State Department Science Fellows while continuing to hold their original federal appointment.

Fellowship term

Fellowships are for one year, usually running September through August. Prior to the start of the Fellowship term, Fellows interview with interested offices in the State Department to select a placement where they wish to serve. Also at that time, arrangements will be made with the State Department to obtain a security clearance. The Fellowship term begins with a two-week orientation in Washington for all Science and Technology Policy Fellows, organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. During their term, Fellows are expected to work full-time at their Fellowship. Requests to extend the term for a second year will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Benefits

  • Stipend of $75,000 per year
  • Relocation allowance
  • Allowance for in-service travel for professional development
  • Reimbursement for health insurance premiums up to specified maximum

Scientists at all career stages, including mid- and late-career professionals, are encouraged to apply. Although the Fellowship is a full-time position, arrangements to supplement the stipend by continuing to receive a salary from a current employer while taking a sabbatical or leave of absence during the Fellowship term may be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

Application deadline

  • November 1 of the year prior to the Fellowship term that is being applied for

Application materials required

1. Web-form

See link at the bottom of this page.

2. Letter of intent

Your Letter of Intent should be limited to 2 pages and provide information regarding:

  • reason for applying
  • scientific training and professional background
  • foreign policy interest or experience
  • attributes and experience that would make the applicant effective in this position.

3. Resume

Your resume should be limited to 2 pages with up to one additional page allowed for a list of key publications.

4. Letters of recommendation

Recommendation letters should be from those having direct knowledge of the applicant's character, professional competence and particular attributes or experience that would enhance the candidate's suitability for this position. Letters of recommendation are due by the November 1 deadline.

Application Process Instructions

Developing a clear, comprehensive and competitive application takes significant time. Start early and contact your references as soon as possible.

The 'Apply' link below will take you to an online form where you can provide basic contact and qualification information. The system will then generate a user account where you can log-in to upload your Letter of Intent and Resume. Via this user account, you can also log-in to check receipt of your materials, including letters of recommendation. All application materials must be submitted electronically via this system, paper applications are not accepted.

It is the full responsibility of the applicant to check the status of materials submitted and ensure all materials, including letters of recommendation, are received by the November 1 deadline.

Applications are reviewed by a panel of experts, the review process generally takes approximately two months. Finalists will be interviewed in person, usually about three months after the application deadline.

Apply here