There are eight steps to the AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship application. This overview highlights what to expect and will help prepare you for starting your application. Detailed instructions for each step can be found on their respective application pages.


STPF reserves the right to exclude incomplete or incorrectly completed applications from review—this includes applications not completed in the requested format. Only the information requested will be considered in reviewing applications. Do not send additional documents.

Receipt of applications and letters of recommendation is acknowledged and displayed on this application system. Please do not contact staff to inquire about the status of application materials.

All application materials are confidential and become the property of the AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships. We do not provide written or verbal reviews of applications.

Step 1 – Initial Eligibility Self-Check

Are you eligible to apply for a AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship? Your responses in this step will identify if you are eligible to apply, and if not, explain what would be necessary to become eligible in the future.

Applicants must:

  • Hold a doctoral level degree (Ph.D., Sc.D., M.D., DVM, EdD, etc.), in a qualified discipline or a MS in engineering and have three years of professional engineering experience.
  • Hold U.S. citizenship (dual citizenship from the United States and another country is acceptable).
  • Be eligible to receive federal government funds through the System of Award Management (SAM).
  • Be in compliance with the U.S. Selective Service System requirements.
  • Not be a federal employee.
  • Not be an employee of AAAS or be working with AAAS through a paid engagement.

More information about eligibility can be found here.

Step 2 – Applicant Background

Here you will provide your academic history: the degrees you have earned, the institutions from which you earned them, and the discipline(s). You will also be required to upload your curriculum vitae (5-page limit): Use your CV to highlight your education, expertise, achievements and honors, and publications. When deciding what to emphasize in your CV, be sure to consider the full suite of application materials that a reviewer will receive from you, including your statement of interest, extracurricular activities and references. The CV should not repeat information included in the extracurricular section in step 6.

Step 3 – Applicant Verification

Per federal government audit expectations, eligibility data for every applicant must be confirmed. Your data is verified through a third-party vendor in order to confirm eligibility. The cost of this process must be paid by you, the applicant, directly to the vendor. The process is required only once in a given application cycle, even when applying to more than one fellowship program area.

As U.S. citizenship is a requirement for eligibility, you are required to upload a digital copy of a U.S. passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization.

Step 4 – Fellowship Program Area Selection

You may apply for up to two program areas.

AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships offers over 130 placements in the executive branch, two - five placements in the legislative branch and one placement in the judicial branch (at the Federal Judicial Center) of the federal government each year. A fourth program area is the Roger Revelle Fellowship in Global Stewardship which focuses on environmental initiatives and is offered periodically (not annually). Click here for information about program areas.

There are also roughly 30 additional placements in the legislative branch through our partner societies. Each partner society has a separate application process and deadline. If you are interested in a legislative branch fellowship, we encourage you to apply to STPF plus any partner societies.

Applicants with a background in climate science 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.

Step 5 – References

Three recommendation letters are required for each program area application. If you are applying for more than one fellowship opportunity you may designate the same or different references for each program area application. To provide your references sufficient time to craft a compelling letter, submit the contact information for each of your references as soon as possible once you begin the application process. Recommendation letters are confidential and must be submitted via the application system. We do not accept letters via Interfolio.

Select your references carefully. Letters must be from individuals who can comment on your professional competence and other qualities and interests that make you qualified to serve as a fellow. If applicants are applying to two program areas, a reference may write a single letter in support of both program area applications. This letter can include sections that describe an applicant’s fit for one or both program area applications. References should review the Reference Instructions and tailor their letter to the program area(s) to which you are applying: Executive, Legislative, Judicial, and/or Roger Revelle.

You are responsible for providing guidance to your references and ensuring that all three letters (per program area) are submitted by the application deadline. Applications with fewer than three letters of recommendation (per program area) will not be considered.

Step 6 – Applicant Interests, Skills, & Statements

For this step, you will be asked to identify your policy interests; skills and proficiencies; and compose a professional bio, extracurricular activities, and applicant statements.

Professional Bio (1500 character limit): Provide a brief summary of your background, work history, and interests.

Applicant Statement (7000 character limit): Provide a statement about your qualifications for the fellowship and your career goals. Target your statement specifically for the fellowship program area to which you are applying. A generic statement submitted for multiple fellowship program areas will weaken the competitiveness of your application. The statement should address the following points:

  1. Reasons for applying for a AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship.
  2. Qualifications: A summary of your background and expertise – what you can bring to the fellowship.
  3. Areas of interest: Outline the policy areas or issues that you are particularly interested in addressing in a fellowship.
  4. Role as a fellow: Describe how you imagine you might apply your scientific expertise in the particular fellowship program area to which you are applying.
  5. Career goals: State your goals for after the fellowship and into the future, and how you envision the fellowship will help you achieve those goals.

Extracurricular Activities (3500 character limit): Provide brief examples of your activities beyond the lab, classroom or office, and your role and accomplishments in those efforts. These might include activities with community groups, professional associations, advisory and editorial committees, nonprofit organizations, outreach and teaching to non-scientific audiences, etc. Remember: this should complement your CV, not repeat it.

Step 7 - Review Your Application

This step lets you review all of the application materials you have filled in, as well as the CV file you uploaded for that program area. Your application is not submitted until the end of step 8 described below.

Step 8 – Applicant Agreement & Signature

In this last step of the application you will sign a series of agreements related to the fellowship, sign a Statement of Commitment and officially submit your application. There will be information covering the AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship Ethics Statement, potential security clearance and background checks for select positions, and conflicts of interest related to: outside employment, research, speaking engagements, publishing, and honoraria.

Please note: If you are applying to two program areas, you will need to complete this step for each application.

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