About the Program
Purpose of the Program
The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program within the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the National Academies is designed to engage its Fellows in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy. Fellows develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.
What to Expect
During the program, fellows engage in studies and activities throughout the National Academies. Some examples of projects fellows conducted include developing:
- An outline of themes of leading research in remote sensing applications;
- A workshop on how scientists in developing countries can take better advantage of the new wireless communication networks to gain access to the Internet;
- A background paper on the current state of knowledge about the demography of street-children, and on what is known about the cost and effectiveness of existing programs to help street-children and orphans in the U.S. and abroad.
Each fellow is assigned to a senior staff member who acts as his or her mentor. The mentor provides guidance and ensures that the fellow’s time is focused on substantive projects and activities. The first week of the fellowship program, the fellows spend the morning gaining a better understanding of how the National Academies work and the fundamentals of science and technology policy analysis. In addition, the fellows are briefed by organizations in Washington other than the National Academies who influence, make, or report on science and technology policy.
A continuing activity of the fellowship program that begins during orientation week is a seminar series that is developed, designed, and implemented by the fellows themselves. During the first week, fellows select three science and technology policy topics where there is controversy to be the topics of their seminars. They then break into groups to refine the topic, determine the category and identification of speakers, and develop a plan of action. After that week, the plan of action is implemented with each group running the seminars that occur the month before the program ends. The purpose of this exercise is for the fellows to gain a better understanding of committee dynamics, similar to that in which National Academies committee engage, and a better understanding of the challenges of putting together an activity similar to that of a congressional hearing or a panel discussion at a committee meeting.
After the first week, the fellows training and educational experience continues and includes weekly events such as lunches with each of the three Academies presidents, field trips, briefings, as well as seminar series development and collaboration. Fellows are encouraged to independently seek activities outside the National Academies as well. These activities can include congressional hearings, seminars at other think tanks, shadowing federal officials or others involved in S&T policy to observe their activities, etc.
The fellows overall educational activities encompass all of these activities as well as their activities within their program unit.
See "How to Apply" for more information...