AIP Seeking Applications for Congressional Fellows Program

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Publication date: 
16 December 2011

Members of the physics community who want to spend a unique year learning  about the inner workings of Congress in Washington DC should consider applying to  the American Institute of Physics Congressional Science Fellowship Program,  cosponsored by the Acoustical Society of America. The application deadline is  January 15.

Congressional Fellowships are an opportunity for physicists who want to  apply their knowledge and skills to work on national policy issues. Fellows  serve a one-year term working in the office of a Member of Congress or for a  congressional committee.  Fellows gain insight into the workings of  government, learn how to contribute their voices and knowledge to the  policymaking process, and perform a public service by providing skilled support  to inform policy decisions. Recent Fellows have contributed their talents to  issues as diverse as energy efficiency, nuclear waste and power safety, digital  music copyrights, homeland security, Native American issues, and judicial  misconduct.

Scientists of all career levels are encouraged to apply. The fellowship term  is for one year, usually running September through August. Benefits include a  stipend of $70,000 per year, a relocation allowance, an allowance for  in-service travel for professional development and reimbursement for health  insurance up to a specified maximum. While a Fellow must have the scientific  qualifications to be a credible representative of the science community on  Capitol Hill, he or she should also have demonstrated an interest in broader  societal concerns and the application of science to their solution.     Many former Fellows have gone on to help craft national science policy by  serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy or in  federal departments and agencies. Others return to academia or industry, while  some accept permanent staff positions on Capitol Hill.

 Some of AIP's Member Societies sponsor their own Congressional fellow. These  societies include APS, OSA and AGU. More information about these fellowship  programs can be found here.

Qualifications include:

- Excellent scientific credentials; a PhD in a technical field defined by  the scope of the activities of AIP's Member Societies. PhD requirement waived  for outstanding candidates with equivalent research experience.    
- Membership in any of the ten AIP  Member Societies.  
- Interest or experience in applying scientific knowledge to the solution of  societal problems.    
- Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills.    
- Sound judgment and maturity in decision-making.

Applications are due by January 15. Application instructions can be found here.

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