Fellowship Opportunities: State Department, Congress, and White House

Share This

Publication date: 
26 October 2004

THIS IS A REMINDER – all application materials for the AIP State Department Science Fellowship MUST BE POSTMARKED BY NOVEMBER 1! This program is open to qualified members of the ten AIP Member Societies and enables scientists to spend a year working in the U.S. Department of State and contributing to the nation's foreign policy. Please see our Fellowship web site at http://www.aip.org/gov/sdf.htmlfor details on this program and how to apply.

As AIP prepares for the upcoming State Department Science Fellowship selection, we would also like to alert our readers to other Fellowship opportunities that they might find of interest. While AIP will NOT be sponsoring a Congressional Science Fellow for the 2005-6 year, three of our physics-related Member Societies have Congressional Science Fellowship programs: The American Physical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the Optical Society of America (which sponsors two Congressional Fellowships jointly with the Materials Research Society and the International Society for Optical Engineering). Application deadlines for these Fellowships usually fall in or near January of the year the Fellowship will start; please see the individual program web sites for application requirements, deadlines, and other information on each of these programs:

The American Physical Society:


The American Geophysical Union:


The Optical Society of America:


Another Fellowship opportunity which readers might find of interest is the White House Fellows program. This prestigious Fellowship is intended to provide a unique educational experience to exceptional candidates who may be the nation's future leaders and policymakers. The White House Fellows program is now accepting applications for its 2005-6 Fellowship term.

According to the web site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/fellows/), the purpose of the White House Fellows program is "to provide gifted and highly motivated young Americans with some first-hand experience in the process of governing the Nation and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society."

The White House Fellows program was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and is strictly non-partisan. Although there are no age requirements, it seeks relatively young professionals who have already demonstrated an outstanding record of achievement in their careers. Between 11 and 19 applicants are selected annually to serve in this one-year Fellowship, "working as full-time, paid special assistants to senior White House Staff, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials," the web site states. Fellows also receive a one-of-a-kind educational experience "consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally." White House Fellows have the chance to meet with "dozens of individuals including Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House officials, Members of Congress, military leaders, journalists, historians, business executives, and foreign heads of state."

Candidates for the White House Fellowships are expected to show "a record of remarkable professional achievement early in one's career," evidence of "leadership skills and the potential for further growth," a "demonstrated commitment to public service," and "the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute successfully at the highest levels of the federal government." Applicants must be U.S. citizens with at least an undergraduate education, and be "working in their chosen professions." They must be eligible to receive a security clearance for the Fellowship. Federal government employees are not eligible except for career military personnel.

The White House Fellowship term runs from September 1 to August 31. Regional finalists are selected and interviewed in the spring; those chosen as national finalists are invited to Washington, D.C. in June for several days of interviews with the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. Those candidates selected as Fellows will then interview with government agency officials for placements, and their placements are determined by the Director of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships in consultation with the agency officials. White House Fellows receive salary and benefits from the agency in which they work, and may not receive any outside compensation during the Fellowship year.

In return for this one-of-a-kind experience, it is hoped that Fellows will continue to demonstrate a commitment to public service, and will become leaders in their respective communities.

Applications for the 2005-6 White House Fellowship term will be accepted from September 2004 through FEBRUARY 1, 2005. Interested readers are encouraged to check the White House Fellowships web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/fellows/ for the application form and the latest application and submission information.

Past White House Fellows include Colin Powell, Secretary of State and former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Wesley Clark, General, U.S. Army (retired), Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark and Associates and former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor, former President and CEO of the United Way of America and former Director of the Peace Corps; and Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation and former Senator and Undersecretary for Global Affairs; as well as several current and former Members of Congress and other leaders in government and industry.

Each of these Fellowships is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for bright and highly-motivated individuals to perform a public service and spend a year gaining firsthand knowledge of, and making a unique contribution to, the workings of the U.S. government.

Explore FYI topics: