Hello everyone! If you have a Masters degree and are interested in advocating for scientists in DC then this fellowship program is for you!
ACS Policy Fellowships are a great opportunity to explore career paths in science advocacy and for chemists to gain skills needed to branch into new careers. The ACS offers two distinct fellowships to help chemists enter the policy arena: the ACS Congressional Fellowship and the ACS Science Policy Fellowship. Fellows jump right into the policy environment and interact with many people of varied backgrounds, giving them a broad perspective on how science impacts society.
ACS Congressional Fellows have the opportunity to spend a year as a staff member in the office of a Senator, Representative, or Committee. The program has two main objectives: to inform policy-makers on key science-related issues and to educate scientists on the policy process. Chris Avery, an ACS Congressional Fellow from 2011-2012, was selected to work in the office of Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE). After being placed on the Senator’s Energy & Environment team, Chris worked on the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act, a bill that sought to even discrepancies in the tax code between fossil fuels and renewable energy. “It’s easy to dismiss how things on the Hill function, and importantly, why they function that way, when one hasn’t spent time here to understand it,” said Chris.
The ACS Science Policy Fellow is integrated for one to two years with the ACS Office of Public Affairs staff to inform policy-makers about contemporary science issues, to promote recommendations on science policy, and to keep ACS members involved in policy-making. Fellows may pursue a variety of topics, including energy policy, environmental policy, federal affairs, and other critical issues. Fellows can attend Congressional and federal advisory committee meetings, an excellent way to learn about an issue and to witness the beginning of the political discussion surrounding it.
Caroline Trupp Gil, the Assistant Director for Federal Relations in the ACS Office of Public Affairs, manages the ACS policy fellowships. “The single most important skill is communication and being able to apply your science training to situations where you will be the only scientist in the room,” Gil said. “Science is going to be one component of multiple factors of any policy challenge.”
The application deadline for the 2015-2016 fellowships is December 31, 2014. ACS Fellows receive a stipend, allowances for travel, and health insurance. Find more information and apply online at http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/policy/policyfellowships.html.