AIP Seeks Applicants for 2007-8 State Department Fellowship

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Publication date: 
11 September 2006

Are you interested in the interface between science and technology and international issues? 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. Information on applying to the AIP State Department Science Fellowship for the 2007-2008 Fellowship term BY THE NOVEMBER 1 DEADLINE is provided below. Interested readers should visit our web site at for more information on the program.

What do AIP Fellows work on during their terms at the State Department? AIP's outgoing Fellow, Dr. Tegan Blaine, a member of the American Geophysical Union, spent her Fellowship working on sustainable development and international water issues. She managed programs in integrated water resources management in Ethiopia, Indonesia, and El Salvador, and was involved in tsunami reconstruction efforts in the Maldives. Blaine, who describes her Fellowship as "an amazing introduction to the world of U.S. foreign affairs," will be extending her stay at the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow. AIP's incoming 2006-7 State Department Fellow is Dr. James Dufty, a member of the American Physical Society. During Dufty's term, he will be responsible for interactions with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) on natural and social science issues.

The AIP 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. 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 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 controls, use of remote sensing imagery, biotechnology and the safety of agricultural products. AIP's very first State Department Fellow, George Atkinson, is now the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. AIP does not take a role in the Fellow's placement, but does encourage 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.

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. AIP's 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. Since 2001, several other scientific and engineering societies have followed AIP's lead and established similar fellowships in the State Department.


AIP is now seeking applicants for the 2007-8 State Department Fellowship. Qualified scientists at any stage of their career are encouraged to apply. 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.) 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, 2006) 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]

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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