With the election two weeks away in the United States, it is almost impossible to miss talk of politics. Even if it is missing from the public discussion at the moment, what these politicians are tasked with doing when they are in office is set policy. While the public and the mainstream media aren’t focused on science policy, it is something that elected leaders have to consider. So, where will these elected Senators and House members, most who don’t have a science background, get their information?
From their staff.
And the Biophysical Society want to make sure that scientists are among those staff members.
The Society is currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 BPS Congressional fellowship. The individual selected for the Fellowship will spend a year working in a Capitol Hill office advising the senator or congressman for whom they are working on science-related issues.
The BPS fellow will be one of 30+ AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Policy Fellows. The AAAS Fellowship program has been bringing scientists to Washington DC to work both on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies for 43 years. The purpose of the program is two-fold: 1) provide scientific expertise to policymakers and 2) have scientists understand the policy making process.
Worried you wouldn’t have a clue what to do in a congressional office? The AAAS has that covered. The program kicks off each September with two weeks of intense training on how the government operates, who the players are, and what your roll will be. The program also guides you through the process of finding a placement for your fellowship. The training continues throughout the year. In addition, each cohort of fellows usually form a pretty tight bond.
This is a very unique opportunity, open to BPS members that hold a terminal degree (PhD, MD). Fellows could have just graduated, or have 20 years in the lab under their belt. Individuals that have completed the AAAS fellowship have found the experience to be professionally rewarding—whether they have chosen to return to bench science or use their science knowledge in other fields.