Q: When does the application open?

The application opens on June 1.

Q: What is the application deadline?

The deadline to submit a complete application is November 1 by 11:59 p.m. ET.

Q: How do I prepare a competitive application?

Applicants can improve their chances of gaining a fellowship by reading all sections of this website to ensure an understanding of the fellowship program areas, the eligibility requirements, and the application instructions. Applicants should allow enough time to develop a comprehensive, well-presented, and error-free applicant statements and other documents. It is critical to contact references early to provide them time to prepare thoughtful letters of recommendation. Do not submit documents that exceed the mandated page or word limit. If invited for an interview, prepare to articulate your interests and background, and be able to discuss your demonstrated interest in or involvement with policy or policymaking.

Q: May I apply to more than one fellowship program area?

You may apply to up to two fellowship areas via STPF. Keep in mind that each fellowship area is distinct from the others, with a unique focus and requirements. It is necessary to submit a separate application for each fellowship area. Click here for more information about the program areas. Note: Additional fellowships are available via our science and engineering partner societies.

Q: How do I apply for a legislative fellowship?

AAAS sponsors two fellows for placements in the legislative branch. In addition, about 30 fellows are sponsored by our scientific and engineering partner societies. Each partner society has its own application process, deadlines, requirements and stipend levels: contact them directly to apply.

In addition to the legislative and judicial branch fellowships, there are hundreds of opportunities in the executive branch. Click here to learn about the four types of policy fellowships.

Q: How do I apply for the Legislative Branch Fellowship in Climate Science?

Applicants with a background in climate are eligible for a new legislative branch fellowship placement. To apply, follow the steps for the legislative branch placement area; at Step 6, check the box indicating your interest in this fellowship placement, then complete the prompt that asks for your relevant experience for this fellowship.

Q: How is the Roger Revelle Fellowship different from other program areas?

The Roger Revelle Fellowship is an opportunity for scientists and engineers with a variety of backgrounds to contribute their technical expertise to environmental policy in a fellowship focused on global stewardship. Placements may be in any branch of federal government, a nonprofit organization, an NGO, or a similarly identified organization. Applicants must meet the criteria for the STPF Fellowships Program as well as have seven (7) years of post-qualifying degree full-time professional scientific, engineering or other related experience. There is one (1) Roger Revelle Fellowship placement available in years that it is offered.

Q: What happens if one or more of my letters of recommendation arrive late or not at all?

All required information must be received by the November 1 deadline. Applications with fewer than three letters of recommendation are ineligible and will not be forwarded for review. The application system will display your application status, including submission status of reference letters.

Q: When will I be notified about the status of my application?

Applicants are notified by email of their status at several points throughout the application and selection processes. The application system will also display your application status, including submission status of reference letters. For more information, visit the Process & Timeline page.

Q: When do semi-finalist interviews take place?

Semi-finalists are interviewed virtually in late February-early March by Selection Committees who determine the finalists. Candidates must be available for interviews; there are no exceptions or deferrals.

Q: Does STPF grant deferrals?

STPF may be able to offer a 1-year deferral for a qualifying medical accommodation depending on at what stage of the application process the request is made. The qualifying reasons for deferral accommodations are the same as those in the Family and Medical Leave Act. Deferral accommodations are offered at the same stage of the application as when the deferral decision is made. For example, if an applicant is in the finalist stage when granted a deferral, the individual will be invited back as a finalist in the following application cycle and will not need to go through semi-finalist interviews again. However, individual placement opportunities vary from year to year, so if an individual has agreed to a placement but will defer for the year, they will need to go through the placement process again in the following year. This is because funding for each placement is granted on a year-by-year basis, so a placement available in one year might not be available the next.

In order to become a fellow, applicants must participate in semi-finalist interviews, placement events, and orientation activities. If an applicant is unable to attend semi-finalist interviews for any reason, they will be asked to reapply. Before semi-finalists interviews, semi-finalists will be asked to request any ADA accommodations to facilitate their participation in the interviews. If an applicant is unable to attend the entirety of finalist interview week or the multi-day orientation for medical reasons, they may request a deferral from STPF by contacting STPF staff.

We cannot grant any deferrals for non-medical reasons; instead, applicants will be asked to reapply another year.

Q: If I am eligible for a fellowship, do I have a voice in where I am placed?

Placements in the executive and legislative branches are joint decisions between the finalist, AAAS and the interested host office.

The fellowship opportunity within the judicial branch is in the Federal Judicial Center.

Revelle fellowship placements are also joint decisions between the finalist, AAAS and the interested host office; Revelle placements may be in any branch of federal government, a nonprofit organization, an NGO, or a similarly identified organization.

Q: Does STPF pay travel costs for semi-finalist or finalist interviews?

Travel is not required for semi-finalist interviews -- they are conducted remotely online.

STPF pays travel, lodging and meal costs for finalists invited for placement interviews. In-person participation in placement interviews is a mandatory requirement to participate in the fellowship program.

Q: Can I reapply for a AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship?

Yes. STPF does not impose limits on the number of times a candidate may apply. There are fellows who were selected upon their second or third application.

Q: May I receive feedback on my application or interview?

STPF does not provide written or verbal feedback on applications or interviews.

Q: Can I print a pdf of my application materials?

You can find a print pdf button on the top of steps 6 - 8 once you have completed and submitted an application for a program area.

Q: How do I unlock additional application steps?

Some application steps only unlock after you have completed previous ones. You must complete step 1 to open steps 2 - 4, and starting with step 4 you must complete each step to unlock the next one. You will be able to go back and edit a step, with the exception of step 1, up until you submit your final application.

Q: What should I expect during Step 3: Verification?

STPF uses a third-party vendor to verify your application data (e.g., education, citizenship). You will be asked to provide your contact information, education institution, work history, and proof of citizenship. The verification form and fee are submitted once per application year. The fee cannot be refunded. If you are applying to two fellowship areas, only one form and fee are required. In some cases, the vendor may need additional information from you and will contact you directly with questions (e.g., if you have a graduate degree from an international institution, if you have not submitted items specifically stating the equivalency of your degree to a qualifying degree). The responsibility to provide materials confirming eligibility is the applicant’s alone. Please note that applicants may not submit certificates related to professional licensures held (licensed physician, licensed therapist, etc.) as a substitute for verification of a qualifying degree. Providing proof of licensure alone does not equate to demonstrating that a qualifying degree is held.

Applicants with international degrees may be eligible to apply. The qualifying degree must be equivalent to a U.S. degree. It is the responsibility of applicants to provide proof of degree equivalency at the time they apply, as part of Step 3: Verification. Applicants may need to work with their degree granting university to acquire transcripts or other documentation outlining the degree’s equivalency to a U.S. degree. As noted above, applicants may not submit certificates related to professional licensures held (licensed physician, licensed therapist, etc.) as a substitute for verification of a qualifying degree.