2019 John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship Application Form

The AAS John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship was created in 2006 to provide an opportunity for early career astronomers to gain experience in the world of science policy and serves to augment the policy advocacy programs of the society. The Bahcall Fellowship is currently a full-time, one-year postdoctoral level appointment, renewable for a second year. Applications for the 2019 Fellowship closed on 1 March. 

The Fellow works in close partnership with the Director of Public Policy to coordinate the public policy activities of the AAS. Responsibilities include:

  • Direct advocacy for issues in the astronomical sciences with Congress, the Administration, and others
  • Building and maintaining relationships with key policy people related to the astronomical sciences (Congressional staff, White House staff, federal agency staff, National Academies, etc.)
  • Supporting the work of the Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy (CAPP), Division policy committees, and Society and Division leadership
  • Coordination of multiple Congressional visits days for groups of AAS members
  • Coordination of educational briefings and exhibitions on Capitol Hill
  • Drafting of congressional testimony, letters to policymakers, AAS Board resolutions, and advocacy materials
  • Developing and implementing policy sessions for AAS annual meetings
  • Authorship of the AAS Policy Blog, policy-related AAS social media, and AAS Action Alerts and Informational Emails
  • Delivering invited colloquium talks at college/university departments and other institutions around the country
  • Representing the AAS in a number of science and technology coalitions, including taking on occasional leadership roles for special events or initiatives
  • Attendance at policy-related events: receptions, Congressional hearings, coalition meetings, conferences, briefings, advisory committee meetings, colloquia, etc.
  • Monitoring developments across the astronomical science community in major scientific results, priorities, challenges, and concerns that relate to federal policies and funding
  • Full or Graduate Student membership in the AAS at the time of application (other classes of AAS or division membership will not be considered)
  • PhD in the astronomical sciences or a related field; all degree requirements must be completed before the start of the fellowship term
  • Interest or experience in science policy and advocacy
  • Excellent record of technical accomplishment
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills; willing to network; comfortable being outgoing in professional settings
  • Sound judgment and maturity in decision-making
  • Legally authorized to work in the US (AAS will not sponsor or contribute to applications for work visas)

Interested and qualified applicants should complete all fields in this webform and submit a cover letter (2 pages maximum) and short CV (4 pages maximum). The cover letter should explain the applicant’s interest in the position, how the fellowship fits into the applicant's career plans at this time, and attributes and experience that would make the applicant highly effective in this position. Letters of reference and relevant writing samples will be requested of semi-finalists. Finalist interviews will be conducted in April in Washington, DC and a final selection will be made by early May (subject to modification if the position becomes available much earlier).

The salary for this position is commensurate with other DC-based postdoctoral fellowships, plus benefits provided to all AAS employees (medical and dental insurance, commuting expenses, etc.). Additionally, retirement benefits are provided after one year of service. The AAS is an equal opportunity employer.

Only applications submitted via this webform will be accepted. If you have questions about the Fellowship or the application process, please contact Joel Parriott.

Contact Information
Mailing Address
In order to verify your qualifications, please provide the following:
First Reference
Second Reference
Third Reference