John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship

Job Summary

American Astronomical Society
Number of Positions Available
2 Years
Could the duration be extended?
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

United States

Job Description

Who we are

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is a nonprofit membership organization working to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse. Our membership of about 8,200 individuals includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research and educational interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences. AAS’s advocacy efforts focus on US federal policymaking that impacts the astronomical sciences, including research and education funding, policies impacting the profession, and regulations.

Position Summary

The John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship is a full-time one-year postdoctoral level position, renewable for a second year. The Fellowship is named in honor of Dr. John Bahcall, a successful advocate for astronomy and respected researcher.


In partnership with the AAS Director of Public Policy, the Bahcall Public Policy Fellow will be responsible for a wide range of AAS public policy activities including:

  • 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 several 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
  • Demonstrated 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 U.S. (AAS will not sponsor or contribute to applications for work visas)

Included Benefits

The salary for this position is like the AIP Congressional Science Fellowship, 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.


Compensation and Benefits


Application Details

Application Instructions
To Apply
Interested and qualified applicants should submit contact information, PhD status, three references, a cover letter, and a short CV. 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.

Only applications submitted via an online webform will be considered. The webform is located at:

Applications will be reviewed as received with preference given to those received by May 1, 2024.

Questions about the position, application requirements, and the search process should be directed to [email protected]

Apply now for the John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship to learn first-hand about policymaking while contributing your knowledge and analytical skills to the federal policymaking process. Fellows will gain an understanding of how the federal policy making process is informed by scientific and technical expertise, as well as how federal policies and regulations can affect the research enterprise. Former Bahcall Fellows have all gone on to interesting and rewarding positions in advocacy, Congress, and public policy.

Please see the job posting on the AAS Job Register. Only applications submitted via the online webform will be considered.

Questions about the position, application requirements, and the search process should be directed to, [email protected]
Publication Start Date
2024 Apr 16
Application Deadline
2024 Jul 15