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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Jefferson Science Fellowship
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs
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I am interested in applying for this fellowship, but I am not sure if I am competitive. 

Prospective applicants can refer to biographies and profiles of past Jefferson Science Fellows to compare qualifications.  While academic stature is an important consideration in selection, other factors are of equal importance (see selection criteria).  Candidates will be asked to articulate important issues in science, engineering, technology, and medicine that impact foreign policy and to demonstrate an understanding of how their knowledge could be used to inform foreign policy decision-making.

I am interested in applying, or a colleague is interested in applying, but we do not know if our university holds an MOU with the National Academy of Sciences. How can we find out?

E-mail and you should receive an answer within a few days.

How is funding managed for the Jefferson science Fellowship program?

The Jefferson Science Fellow will be paid a stipend of $50,000. A travel budget of $10,000 is provided through the National Academy of Sciences and supplemental travel funds are provided by the Fellow’s bureau or office.  Under the JSF MOU, the Fellow’s home institution will be responsible for all salary and benefits due to the Fellow during that academic year.

What is the schedule for the Jefferson Science Fellowship selection process?

August: The application period opens
November: The application and reference letter deadline occurs
November-December: The review process occurs and Fellows are notified
Mid-August: Fellows begin their Fellowship in Washington, DC

Why is there such a long period of time between the selection of fellows and fellows start date at the State Department?

Once Fellows are selected for a JSF award, they must go through a U.S. government security clearance process that can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months. To assure that  Fellows can begin a productive fellowship year in mid-August (to coincide with the academic calendar) Fellows are selected in December.

Do Jefferson Fellows get placed in an office at the State Department or do they get to choose their assignment there?

The process for finding a placement at the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development is similar to a job interview process, though one that is guaranteed to be successful in the end for a selected Jefferson Fellow. Fellows will have the opportunity to review a series of work statements, then to meet with bureaus and offices that are interesting or relevant to their expertise and abilities.  At the same time, certain bureaus and offices will show interest in specific Fellows and will contact them. Fellows can meet with several different bureaus and offices during the process; the final placement depends on mutual interest between each party and with some guidance by the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser. This process ensures that the Fellow is placed in the best possible position within the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Which bureaus within the Department of State and USAID currently have opportunities for Jefferson Fellows?

U.S. Department of State

Bureau of African Affairs
Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Bureau of Energy Resources
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Office of the Secretary of State
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs


Office of the Administrator
Bureau for Food Security
Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade
Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning

For a more comprehensive look at Jefferson Fellows' experiences at the State Department, go to Jefferson Fellows Bios and Profiles.