Applicants Wanted for 2005-6 AIP State Department Science Fellowship

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Publication date: 
1 October 2004

"Science and statecraft...can and must work together for a safer, healthier, better world," declared Secretary of State Colin Powell in an April 30, 2002 address at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, but "we still have too few officers with strong science backgrounds." Through its State Department Science Fellowship program, AIP seeks to help fill the Department's need for scientific expertise. AIP is now seeking applicants for the 2005-2006 State Department Fellowship. Qualified scientists at any stage of their career are encouraged to apply. Information on applying for the 2005-2006 Fellowship term by the November 1 (postmarked) deadline is provided below. Interested readers can also see our web site at more information on the program.

The AIP State Department Science Fellowship enables scientists to spend a year working in a bureau or office of the U.S. Department of State. The Fellows not only learn about, but become actively involved in, the foreign policy process, while contributing their scientific and technical expertise and analytical capabilities to the Department. AIP's Fellowship program, the first of its kind, was established in 2001, in response to concerns within the scientific community that, over the last decade, the State Department's scientific and technical capabilities had declined. These concerns were forcefully articulated in an October 1999 report by a National Research Council panel, which declared that scientific and technological developments "cannot be isolated from the fundamental workings of foreign policy."

The AIP Fellowship is run under the auspices of the Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowships. While AAAS has for years placed Diplomacy Fellows at the State Department, to be supported by departmental funds, AIP was the first scientific society to sponsor Fellows at the State Department with its own funds. (Currently, the American Astronomical Society also contributes to AIP's State Department Science Fellowship.) Since 2001, several other scientific and engineering societies have followed AIP's lead and established their own fellowships in the State Department.

AIP's 2004-2005 State Department Fellow is Steve Fetter, a professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs and Associate Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute. Fetter has just started his term in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser. Current and former AIP State Department Science Fellows have worked in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, the Bureau of Information Resource Management, and the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Their portfolios have included topics as varied as emerging S&T issues, European and Russian science policy, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, critical infrastructure protection, export control, use of remote sensing imagery, biotechnology and the safety of agricultural products. AIP's First Fellow at State, George Atkinson, is now serving as Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell. AIP encourages its Fellows to seek beyond the traditional roles for scientists in the department when interviewing for an assignment, to broaden the reach and visibility of scientific expertise within the Department.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens, have a PhD in physics or a closely related field, be members of one or more of AIP's ten Member Societies, and be eligible to receive an appropriate security clearance prior to starting the Fellowship. (In exceptional cases the PhD requirement may be waived for outstanding applicants with equivalent research experience.) Qualified scientists at any stage of their career will be considered. Once selected, the Fellow works with the State Department to arrange an assignment. The following materials should be submitted by mail or email to be considered for the Fellowship selection:

COVER SHEET, indicating name, address, phone, email, U.S. citizenship, PhD status, AIP Member Society membership, and names of references.

LETTER OF INTENT, limited to two pages, indicating your reason for applying, scientific background, foreign policy interest or experience, and why you think you would be effective in this position.

RESUME, limited to two pages, with no more than 3 to 5 major publications listed.

THREE LETTERS OF REFERENCE should be submitted by those having direct knowledge of the applicant's character, competence, and attributes that would make the candidate suitable for this position.

ALL MATERIALS may be submitted by email or by mail (postmarked by November 1, 2004) to Audrey T. Leath at:

AIP State Department Science Fellowship
American Institute of Physics
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740-3843

Email: aleath [at]
Fax: 301-209-0846

Please see our website at or contact Audrey Leath (aleath [at], 301-209-3094) if you have questions or need additional information.

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