State Department Fellowship Program
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 a scientist or engineer to work at the Department’s Washington, DC headquarters for a one-year term.
This is a unique opportunity 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.
- Membership in one or more of AIP's member societies at the time of application
- U.S. citizenship
- Ph.D. in physics or a field closely related to the physical sciences (degree must be complete before the start of the fellowship term)
- 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.
Term and Benefits
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 identify a placement where they wish to serve. Also at that time, arrangements will be made with the State Department to obtain a security clearance.
AIP fellows are part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program. All fellows are required to attend 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.
- Stipend of $77,500 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.
Developing a clear, comprehensive and competitive application takes significant time. Start early and contact your references as soon as possible.
All application materials must be submitted via our online application system. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all application materials, including letters of recommendation, are submitted prior to the deadline. Applicants can verify receipt of recommendation letters via the online application system.
Application materials include:
1. Application Form
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.
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.