Science and Space Policy Opportunities

We have separated these opportunities into three broad categories:

Beyond Sputnik: US Science Policy in the 21st Century maintains a great, longer list. If you have suggestions of opportunities that can be added to this list, then please email those to us.

Science Policy Fellowships/Internships for Current Students

Science Policy Fellowships/Internships for Graduates

  • AAAS Science and Technology Fellowships: AAAS fellows are placed in various executive branch agencies such as the State Department, EPA, NSF, etc. The AAAS also directly sponsors two Congressional fellows who work at Congressional offices or committees. In general, you must have defended your PhD by the application deadline.
  • AGU Congressional Science Fellowship: Members of the American Geophysical Union (which has many members in planetary and space science) can apply for the AGU's congressional science fellowship. The program is aimed at early to mid-level scientists with doctorates, but there are no specific requirements on educational or career level. Deadline is 1 February each year.
  • AIP Science Policy Fellowships: The American Institute of Physics sponsors one State Department Fellow and two Congressional fellows, both under the umbrella of the AAAS S&T Fellowship program, but all selected and sponsored by the AIP. US Citizenship and a PhD are required. Deadline is 15 January for fellowships that start in September.
  • APS Congressional Fellowship: Members of the American Physical Society may apply for the APS fellowship, and it is possible to apply for the AIP and APS congressional fellowships with a single application. In general, a PhD is required, but can be waived in certain circumstances. Deadline is 15 January.
  • Jefferson Science Fellowships: Program for tenured faculty from US institutions who are US citizens. Fellows spend one year on assignment at the Department of State or USAID as science advisors on foreign policy issues. The application period opens in August and closes at the end of October.
  • National Academies of Science Mirzayan Fellowship: A 12-week program for graduate students or those recently receiving their PhD. This is a popular entry point into science policy; there are multiple sessions and deadlines each year.

Science Policy Opportunities

  • NSF Temporary/Rotator Program: An opportunity for to join NSF as temporary program directors. Rotators make recommendations about which proposals to fund; influence new directions in the fields of science, engineering, and education; support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research; and mentor junior research members. Assignments usually last one to two years, but can be for up to four years.
  • Contribute to the next decadal survey: The decadal survey details the science community's priorities for the next decade, and policy makers take this seriously when they discuss science. Unless you're asked to serve on the committee itself or one of the panels or working groups your opportunity to contribute to the decadal survey will be submitting a white paper.
    • Information about how to submit a white paper will be posted when it becomes available.