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Christine Mirzayan Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
The National Academies
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The National Academies Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
500 5th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-334-2455
Email: policyfellows@nas.edu


What They Say, Winter 2006 Fellows

“Interested in doing science policy work in DC? Well, you have come to the right place! I learned more than I anticipated.”

“The fellowship was a delightful and invaluable crash-course in science policy opportunities and the Washington culture. I highly recommend this experience to any science graduate student who’s curious about government and S&T policy.”

“The fellowship program opened my eyes to a whole new realm of career possibilities. The opportunity to be a productive staff member of the National Academies while having the freedom to explore all that Washington has to offer in science policy is priceless.”

“Not only has the fellowship opened my eyes to all the job opportunities in science policy, it has also opened doors and provided invaluable contacts.”

“This fellowship is an incredible opportunity. While it is a lot of work, it is interesting and valuable work—and fun too. As I work towards my Master’s in Science and Technology Policy I found my experiences working at the Academies to provide a great complement to my academic studies.”

“Beyond the resources of the Washington area and the Academies one of the best aspects of this program is your ‘fellow Fellows.’ Each of us come from different backgrounds, different perspectives, and for me learning from the other Fellows contributed as much to what I take away from this program as anything I worked on for my division.”

“While the program officers will be very accommodating if you need to leave town during your fellowship (for a conference, department retreat, etc.), doing so really breaks up the continuity of the DC experience and the DC mindset. Try to stick around as much as possible! Make a list of things you want to see and do, and try to check a few things off each week - it’s very easy to get to week 10 and realize you haven’t yet made it to many, many things! Take advantage of long lunch hours, if not every day, at least once a week or so! Be proactive - network, network, network!!!”

“It's a very worthwhile experience. It really flies by, though, so make sure that you think about what you want to get out of it and how you will achieve that before you arrive.”

“This is a good program for learning about science policy and beginning to think about science policy as a career choice. You get to meet a lot of people that you would not probably meet if you were trying to get into the science policy area on your own.”

“Spend a significant amount of time reviewing each Board’s activities when applying for the fellowship. The fellowship program is well worth any graduate’s time but having a match between your interests and your Board’s study activities will provide both a tremendous learning and networking opportunities.”

“This is a fantastic program where you will get a very thorough, first-hand view of the relationship between science and policy. A great opportunity to meet a number of people and contribute to the work of a well-respected organization. This fellowship can only benefit one's professional experience.”

“If you enjoy thinking about science policy, then you should definitely apply for this Fellowship program. This is true even if you know that you want to stay in academia. Members of the academy have a lot to contribute to science policy, but it is also important to learn something about how the policy world works.”

“Take advantage of your time in D.C. Live near the city so that distance is not your reason for not interacting with fellows after hours. Make sure that you go to the hearings, symposiums, meetings, etc. that interest you—you are supposed to as part of the program. Research organizations you may be interested in either before you get to DC or during your first week and find out how you can meet people in them as soon as possible. There are tremendous opportunities to gain exposure to people and organizations as a fellow, but it is up to each individual to take advantage of it.”

“In the world of science policy, the Academies have a coveted status and a unique role, and the Mirzayan fellowship will help you understand why. The program is rich with opportunities and activities—but it flies by, so make sure you hit the ground running.”

“Whether you plan on staying in academia or are interested in entering the policy world, you should take advantage of this opportunity. Do it. You’ll like it. Do it. You’ll be glad you did.”

“If you think you are interested in science policy but can’t actually describe what that is, then this is the program for you! The only way to truly understand is to observe it first-hand in DC. Just be open to learning and working on anything, even if it doesn’t seem relevant to your particular area of scientific expertise. Once you’re in DC, your community becomes the entire scientific community and it’s important to think about how those interests fit into the many other competing interests that comprise public policy.”