Each year, the AAAS places fellows in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the federal government where they can use their STEM training to work on policy development and implementation. Fellows learn about policymaking while directly applying their technical skills in service of the greater good. A legislative branch fellow might meet with constituents, write policy briefs, or draft and negotiate legislation. After orientation in August, Gibbons will be assigned to a legislator or legislative committee to use her mathematical training to help tackle problems of interest to her host office.
According to its website, “For more than 40 years, the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) have provided opportunities to outstanding scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines and career stages to learn first-hand about policymaking while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal realm. The experience has a profound effect on fellows’ lives.”
The AAAS explains to legislators that hosting a fellow will:
- Bring additional scientific expertise to policymaking. Representing a full spectrum of science and engineering backgrounds and career stages, fellows contribute their knowledge and analytical skills to the activities of host offices.
- Boost efficiency. Fellows assist in a wide range of tasks, including: organizing high-level, international meetings; producing videos and other communications; and, drafting and negotiating legislation.
- Help build a strong science and technology enterprise for the nation. Fellows are a constantly growing corps of science and technology leaders who take their knowledge of federal policymaking to government, nonprofits, industry, and academia to serve the nation and citizens around the world.