Applicants Wanted for 2006-7 AIP State Department Science Fellowship

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Publication date: 
8 September 2005

Just as Congress needs input from scientists as its decisions affect national policy on issues ranging from energy and climate to export controls and homeland security, so too does the U.S. Department of State need scientific and technological expertise as it addresses such issues in the context of the nation's foreign policy. Through its State Department Science Fellowship program, the American Institute of Physics offers an opportunity for scientists to make a unique and substantial contribution to the foreign policy process.

AIP is now seeking applicants for the 2006-2007 State Department Fellowship. Qualified scientists at any stage of their career are encouraged to apply. Information on applying for the 2006-2007 Fellowship term by the November 1 deadline is provided below. Interested readers can also see our web site at for 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 the State Department's scientific and technical capabilities were in decline. 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." Since 2001, several other scientific and engineering societies have followed AIP's lead and established their own fellowships in the State Department.

The AIP Fellowship is run under the auspices of the Association for the Advancement of Science's Science and Technology Policy Fellowships. Currently, AIP receives an annual contribution from the American Astronomical Society to help support its State Department Science Fellowship.

AIP's 2005-2006 State Department Fellow, Tegan Blaine, will start her Fellowship after completing a PhD in Oceanography at the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She will serve her Fellowship in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), working on sustainable development, particularly as it pertains to water issues. Current and former AIP State Department Science Fellows have worked in the Bureaus of Intelligence and Research, European and Eurasian Affairs, Political-Military Affairs, Economic and Business Affairs, Information Resource Management, and OES. 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 controls, use of remote sensing imagery, biotechnology and the safety of agricultural products. AIP's first State Department Science Fellow, George Atkinson, is now serving as Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 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 will work 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, with name, address, phone, email, U.S. citizenship, PhD status, AIP Member Society membership, and names of references. Please indicate where you learned about this program.

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, 2005) 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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