AIP and Member Society Science Policy Fellowships

Experience a unique year in Washington, DC, working at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of State or in the halls of Congress. If you are a member of one of AIP's member societies, you may be eligible to apply for the following Fellowships:

Make an impact on policy

The need for dialogue between the science community and the federal government has never been greater. Through these Fellowship programs, the American Institute of Physics and several of its Member Societies sponsor member scientists to come to Washington and spend a year taking an active role in providing S&T expertise to the federal government.

  • Work with the U.S. Congress or the U.S. Department of State
  • Learn how the government works from the inside
  • Contribute your voice and your knowledge to the policymaking process
  • Be a part of a larger community of Science and Engineering Fellows from many backgrounds

Who are the AIP Fellows?

Fellows come to the programs from all sectors and all career levels, and have gone on to varied careers, including positions in academia, industry, non-profits, congressional staff, science teaching, and consulting. Some former AIP Fellows ensure that the voice of science is heard in policymaking circles long after their Fellowships.

George Atkinson, an AIP State Department Science Fellow (2001-2002) went on to serve as Science and Technology Adviser under two Secretaries of State. One former AIP Congressional Fellow was a senior policy advisor to two Secretaries of Commerce, and several others work as permanent Capitol Hill staffers.

Just as the careers of former Fellows are varied, so is the experience they bring to their Fellowships. Some arrive in DC as newly-minted PhDs, others as faculty members and department heads. Still others have come from industry and government labs, and two started Fellowships after stints in the Peace Corps.

Directory of AIP Congressional fellows

Directory of AIP State Department fellows

What do AIP Science Fellows do?

AIP has sponsored Congressional Science Fellows since 1988, and in that time its Fellows on Capitol Hill have made contributions to areas as wide-ranging as judicial misconduct, digital piracy, dairy industry disaster relief, Native American issues, encryption and consumer privacy, and even commercial whaling, as well as the more commonly-cited issues of energy, environment, nuclear power, homeland security, nonproliferation, education and the workforce, and technology transfer.  

AIP State Department Science Fellows have worked on portfolios as diverse as water resources management, critical infrastructure protection, export controls, use of remote sensing imagery, biotechnology, biodiversity, the safety of agricultural products, European and Russian science policy, UNESCO, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

How to apply

Candidates are invited to apply to as many programs as they are interested in and eligible for, but please note that requirements and application deadlines for the various programs may vary.


General qualifications:

  • Membership in one or more of AIP's Member Societies at time of application
  • PhD in physics or closely-related field prior to start of Fellowship term (in exceptional cases PhD requirement waived for outstanding candidates with equivalent research experience)

AIP Congressional Science Fellowship Program

  • Sponsored by AIP and the Acoustical Society of America
  • Fellows work for a congressional office or on a committee staff
  • Application deadline is January 15; Fellowship begins the following September

AIP State Department Science Fellowship

  • Supported in part by the American Astronomical Association
  • Fellows provide scientific expertise to an office of the U.S. Department of State
  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens and eligible to receive a security clearance
  • Application deadline is November 1; Fellowship begins the following September




  • All programs run under the auspices of the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships
  • Fellowships operate under a strict ethics policy to ensure no conflicts of interest
  • 12-month Fellowship terms begin in September
  • Fellowships begin with 2-week orientation for incoming AAAS Fellowship class
  • Fellows interview with interested offices in Congress or State Department to select placement
  • Sponsoring societies have no role in placement process or Fellows’ portfolio
  • Benefits include: unique learning experience, - active participation in the federal policymaking process, - shared experience with scientists and engineers from other fields, orientation, seminars, workshops, and career services through AAAS program

Apply online

You may apply to more than one program. Please see each society fellowship web site to learn how and when to apply to those programs.

AIP State Department Science Fellowship (currently on hold and not accepting applications)

AIP–ASA Congressional Science Fellowship

APS Congressional Science Fellowship

Or – Apply for both the AIP–ASA and APS Congressional Science Fellowship Programs via either of the links above.
The APS, AIP and ASA Congressional fellowship programs allow for submission of a single set of application materials. Via the application portal, you may apply for: APS only, AIP-ASA  only or both APS and AIP-ASA. Each organization sponsors separate Congressional fellowship programs. However, as long as an applicant meets eligibility requirements, we allow for submission of a single set of application materials. The AIP-ASA Congressional fellowship is cosponsored by each organization and administered by AIP.  In select years, AIP is also able to sponsor an additional Congressional fellow. An application submitted through this portal will be considered for both the AIP-ASA and AIP solo positions, when applicable.

APS and AIP-ASA run separate review processes and committees. After your application is complete, you will communicate with AIP-ASA and APS separately.


Email Marissa Nielsen at scipolicyfellows [at]