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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, June 2004 Fellows
*Reminder the program’s name changed from internship program to policy fellowship program in September 2004

“This is an experience you can't get anywhere else in Washington. The NAS is an incredibly respected organization and to be able to go to the Hill for a hearing and hear witnesses cite studies to Congressmen that you've been working on is thrilling. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat and definitely recommend it to any scientist even remotely curious about how science policy works in the national government.”

“Do not let yourself get weighed down by the workweek. Take the time after work to hang out with friends, or other interns. Attend many of the happy hours organized by policy groups and AAAS. Do not live too far away in an attempt to save money. You end up cheating yourself out of a lot of experiences because it is harder to get into or out of the city later on in the night. The little money you would save is not worth it. You can still be money savvy by looking for housing as much ahead of time as possible. I lived in the middle of Georgetown and had an absolutely fantastic time. In addition, schedule capitol tours and white house tours as early on as possible through your congressperson. Try to attend as many committee meetings at the house and senate buildings as you can. “

“Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to use your technical background in a new way, to learn about how science and technology advising is accomplished in Washington, DC. This is a great time to explore in which roles you want to affect science and technology policy for the US.”

“The program is very well run and the structure allows the interns to have a meaningful professional experience. It is also great fun to be in a program with so many smart graduate students from around the country.”

“Definitely try to network and meet some people outside of your board, especially if you are all the way over in NAS and can’t meet the other interns for last-minute lunch dates!”

“It is an experience you can not pass up, because of the opportunities and great people you meet during the course of time. The atmosphere is generally open-minded, interdisciplinary, and team-orientated…three things you need to succeed in life.”

“Set goals and follow through with them. Come into the program with interest and drive and the opportunities to learn, see, and participate will be endless. It's really up to you.”

“I highly recommend this internship in every sense; new work experience, policy training, the exciting city.”

“I am so glad that I met with my mentor right away to discuss goals and expectations. We also had periodic reviews of my work so that I always knew what she expected of me and how she regarded my work. “

“It was great to attend a Senate subcommittee meeting on an issue that I care about. Find one that interests you and go.”

“The internship program is a great way to determine if Washington policy is a career that you would like to pursue. In my opinion, there is no better place to spend a summer than in Washington, DC, and at the same time, receive a crash-course in science/technology policy.”

“The National Academies is a great place to come for two months to see if the world of science policy appeals to you. If you do decide that it is what you want to do, it is a great stepping stone into government or other organizations. If you decide to return to research, it will still be a valuable source of connections and perspective on life away from the laboratory. Either way, if you have any interest at all in science policy, it is a great use of 3 months.

“For someone looking to experience Washington and the science and policy arena, this is a perfect opportunity.”

“This internship provides an amazing opportunity to learn about science and policy and, in particular, the role of the National Academies in contributing to science policy. If you are in graduate school in the sciences and have an interest in science and policy, you don’t have to wait until you’ve got your degree to see what it would be like to work in DC. The internship can inform your graduate education and help you to think “outside the box” in terms of potential careers. Summer is an excellent time to be in DC. Although it’s hot and humid, there are many outdoor activities to enjoy, including art, music, and athletics.

“The internship program was an excellent starting point from which to start a science policy career path. The interns are given ample opportunity to explore not only the activities of the Academies, but also attend various seminars and hearings around town. Anyone who is considering taking the plunge from lab work to science policy should apply for this fellowship as it is a fantastic sampling of policy, politics, and life on the Potomac.”

“Leave your preconceptions in the laboratory. Get to know your colleagues outside of the Academy.”