The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
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Gulf Research Program Science Policy Fellowships

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Applications for 2018 Fellowships will open in December 2017. Sign up for e-updates to receive notification.

About the fellowship

The science policy fellowship program helps early-career scientists hone their skills by putting them to practice for the benefit of Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems. Fellows gain first-hand policymaking experience as they spend a year on the staff of federal or state environmental, natural resource, oil and gas, or public health agencies in the Gulf of Mexico region. This immersive experience is mutually beneficial for fellows and their hosts. By delving into activities like research, evaluation, restoration planning, stakeholder outreach, and policy development, fellows learn what it takes to make scientific information not just useful but useable. Meanwhile, host offices get a talented technical expert with a fresh perspective and a new network of contacts across the Gulf of Mexico region.

Get to know our current and past science policy fellows.

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Benefits of the fellowship

Fellows who have completed an MA, MS, or MPH degree or who are currently enrolled in a doctoral program will receive an annual stipend of $45,000. Fellows who have completed a PhD, ScD, MD, or DVM will receive an annual stipend of $55,000. Stipends will be paid directly to the fellow in monthly disbursements.

Additional support, up to $5,000, will be provided on a reimbursable basis to offset tuition and/or fees associated with enrolling in professional development courses or for professional travel related to their host office duties.

Each fellow will be paired with a mentor within their host office. All fellows will attend an orientation in Washington, DC in September 2017 and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans in February 2018. Travel expenses for these events will be covered by the Gulf Research Program; these expenses are in addition to the fellowship stipend and $5,000 professional development support.

Who is eligible?
  • Doctoral students and those who received their graduate degree on or after September 1, 2012 are eligible to apply. Eligible degrees include MA/MS, PhD, ScD, MPH, MD, or DVM. Applicants currently enrolled in a doctoral program must be prepared to take a leave of absence from their graduate program during the fellowship period (September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018).
  • We welcome applicants from areas of study including social and behavioral sciences, health and medicine, engineering and physical sciences, earth and life sciences, or interdisciplinary fields relevant to the mission and goals of the Gulf Research Program.
  • The fellowship will be awarded to applicants whose graduate work relates to the mission and goals of the Gulf Research Program.
  • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident.
  • Federal employees are not eligible for the fellowship.
We consider all of the following to be positive factors that contribute to an applicant’s likelihood for selection and success:
  • Recognition that the relationship between science and policy is not a one-way street. In other words, evidence of a strong interest in both applying science to public policy, and incorporating policymaking experience into their scientific work. Prior direct public policy experience is valued but not required.
  • Evidence of a strong scientific and technical background and superior academic achievement.
  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to effectively collaborate across scientific disciplines.
  • Demonstrated effective verbal and written communication. (Once placed in host offices, applicants will be communicating with peers, senior colleagues, and external stakeholders in a wide range of settings.)
  • Evidence of the initiative, creativity, organization, and interpersonal skills needed to help ensure projects and teams accomplish their goals and achieve successful outcomes, whether small or large.
  • Membership in one or more groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the applicant’s scientific discipline.
Application Process

Key Dates

December 1, 2016: Applications open (CLOSED)
February 22, 2017 5:00 PM ET: Application deadline (CLOSED)
September 1, 2017: Fellowships begin
September 6-7, 2017: Fellowship orientation, Washington, DC

Required application materials:

  • Personal Statement that describes
    • Why the work you do matters. Use language a non-scientist will understand (100 words or fewer).
    • How your past work or research experience is relevant to the mission and goals of the Gulf Research Program (500 words or fewer)
    • How this fellowship will help you achieve your professional goals (500 words or fewer)
    • A time when you helped to ensure a project or team accomplished its goals or achieved a successful outcome. (250 words)
  • Resume or CV (up to 5 pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation
All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted through the online application system. Once applicants have created an account and started an application, they can enter the contact information for their three references. The system will generate an email to the references with instructions for logging in and completing recommendations. Please note, applicants cannot submit an application until all reference letters have been uploaded, and incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

A panel of reviewers will select the top applicants. Top applicants will be interviewed in person or by phone for the final stage of the selection process. In making final funding decisions, the Gulf Research Program will be considering, in addition to the review comments, how the applicants fit into the overall goals of the Gulf Research Program, including such considerations as balance of Fellows across scientific disciplines. Before completing an application, applicants should familiarize themselves with the review criteria and the terms of the fellowship. Up to ten fellows will be chosen in 2017. To see where previous fellows have been placed, click here.

Placement Process

The Gulf Research Program identifies host offices—applicants do not need to self-identify their potential host office. Once selected, fellows will be provided information about hosting offices and will arrange their own interviews with these offices during a time window determined by GRP fellowships staff.

Learn more about this opportunity and get answers to frequently asked questions by watching this video:

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