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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
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Phone: 202-334-2455
Email: policyfellows@nas.edu


What They Say, Winter 2005 Fellows

“Boundless opportunities await in DC- just be prepared to take advantage of them!”

“This experience with the Academies was truly inspiring. It has opened my horizon to so many fascinating career opportunities as a scientist outside academia.”

“Ten weeks can go by so quickly and they indeed did. But I don’t think I had 10 weeks more intense as those with the fellowship program. I’ve engaged in so many activities, met so many people, learned so much and had so much fun that it all could cover a whole year! I am not a scientist so I did not have to face the lab X policy dilemma. But I have noticed that my fellow scientists all confronted and learned whether they preferred the lab or the Hill through the best way with this fellowship.”

“If you are considering a career change from the lab to policy, I would suggest that you network every chance you get. The Fellowship program does a good job of informing you of seminars, meetings, and events, so there are a lot of opportunities to meet people while at the National Academies, so take full advantage. The Fellowship will expand a scientist’s or engineer’s way of thinking about their own research and how it affects federal government funding, ethics and societal implications, and the future of science and technology. There are many issues to think about outside the lab, and the Fellowship does a good job of exposing those issues.”

“The fellowship program was a great experience. The methods of Science and Policy are often at odds, but good policy depends on good science. The Academies is one of the few places where real science can be injected into policy discussions.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring academics to learn about the relationship between science and government, which is important since science policy affects the course and funding of research. It is also the perfect way to explore a wide variety of careers outside of academia.”

“It is a privilege working as a fellow for the National Academies in Washington DC, the policy center of the world. You will be exposed to numerous science and technology policy issues, you will meet exceptional young scientists and you will have the opportunity to create friends and collaboration networks.”

“The fellowship is as much about people as it is about policy. It was an excellent opportunity to meet folks with common interests as well as science policy professionals who had insights into various policy-related career paths.”

“This is a great opportunity to get out of the lab for a couple of months and see what the scientific policy world has to offer. Among us fellows it’s been a fairly polarizing experience, in that when it’s over most of us know pretty well whether the policy world is for us or not. That, in itself, makes the experience extremely valuable. In addition, there’s so much going on in Washington, D.C., it’s very easy not to ever be bored. Personally, I thought the internship was amazing and it was very encouraging to find something that I know I could be happy doing after I leave the lab.”

“For the scientists out there: practice to think in the big picture. Go to lots of meetings on topics that you have never even heard about, and look for parallels within the world you know. I had a great time doing this, and will benefit from it in my future career.”

“This experience will open more doors than you knew existed. Just go for it!”

“This may not be the best soundbite for someone who is first applying to the program. However, it’s worth stressing that as mentioned on the website, acceptance sometimes depends on the match between an applicants knowledge and interests and ongoing activities at the units to which they are applying. So, if you are first declined, reactivating your application for another session is a good idea. It was in my case.”

“If you have been selected do check out some of the websites like those of the Senate, Congress and some prominent think tanks to get a better idea of the kind of work that goes on in DC. If you are really keen on policy, then contact some experts in think tanks and other places and try to meet them personally once you are here.”

“Half of what makes this fellowship amazing is the opportunity you will have to network. Definitely talk with as many people as you can while you are a fellow – many will be interested in talking with you! There are a lot of possibilities here in DC, and talking with people will help you go far.”