Skip to Main Content
Christine Mirzayan Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
The National Academies
The National Academies
Home About the Program WHAT FELLOWS SAY About Christine Mirzayan and the Memorial Fund STAFF
Quick Links

Join the Policy Fellows Mailing List
Interested in being notified about events surrounding the fellowship program? Join the Policy Fellows Mailing List

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

“In no other program can one so quickly experience the full range of science policy processes, personalities, and venues in DC – and be paid for it!”

“This was an absolutely wonderful experience. I met so many different types of people and really discovered that I love this work. Even if you decide to return to academia or do clinical work for people in the health sciences, this is a worthwhile experience that gives you a great glimpse into how decisions are made and the potential impact of scientific work.”

“Even if you are planning a career in academia, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about the world of science policy and how it will affect your life in the lab.”

“As a scientist it is your privilege and your obligation to society to provide unbiased advice to your Senators and Representatives regarding future scientific research directions so that they can make intelligent choices for the scientific future of our nation.”

“If you are interested in learning about science and technology policy, this is hands-down the best internship program to gain such experience. Of all my federal agency internships, the National Academies internship has provided the most comprehensive look to policymaking and Washington as a whole.”

“I think it is imperative for anyone who is interested in science, technology, or medicine to apply for this internship program. It will help give you a better idea of how these realms affect policy and industry, and how the world works on “The Hill”. Furthermore, and possibly more importantly, you will meet people in the internship program who can impact your career in a very positive way.”

“In the unit/office, don’t be afraid to express your opinion, who knows if you’ll get a chance like this again- it could pay off! Although the interns are a great group, get to know people other than the intern group, broaden your horizon. Take advantage of everything this city has to offer- Committee meetings on subjects outside of your realm, think tanks, Congressional hearings, Congressional staffers, and Congressional events (especially the whiskey tasting ones)! Take a chance on yourself and do something you never thought you would, talk to people, learn about life!”

“I had no idea that this experience would affect me in the way that it has. This program has revitalized my love for science, given me a perspective from a new environment, raised my awareness of important policy issues, allowed me to network with colleagues, and, for the first time in a long while, made me look forward to going to work every day. I highly recommend this internship.”

“Absolutely incredible experience!”

“Network to find out about receptions. There are lots of promotional events centered around policy issues. There are state societies for every state. Find like-minded interns and go together! Get hearings listings from the Office of Congressional Affairs weekly email. Attend different kids of hearings from different committees, and go early, talking to people in line while you're waiting. People are very social, so it's easier than it sounds. Use the informational interview. I'd never heard of it when I started, but everyone does it. Everyone is so friendly and amenable. I met a former Congressman (currently lobbyist) and a former Assistant Secretary (currently businessman) who both agreed to do informational meetings!”

“Informational Interviews are a fantastic way to get numerous viewpoints of the workings of DC. The best way to start is to ask your mentor to introduce you to a few people he/she may know outside of your board. In an interview with them, they are likely to mention a few others they know who do something that may interest you. And so on – it is amazing how many people you will meet on this path.”

“This internship is a great experience not matter what your future plans are. It is a unique opportunity to view the interaction between science and technology. The skills you learn are invaluable. You’ll regret not taking part.”

“I would tell prospective interns that this internship is a valuable experience, but to make sure that they are qualified and have the skill set for the assignment beforehand. The internship provides tremendous flexibility in allowing an intern to explore their science policy interests. Furthermore, it serves as a great way to network with people in the policy field.”

“A worthwhile experience. It’s a place that allows you to test-the-waters, explore, and make errors without being fired.”

“If you are a researcher who wants to learn more about how science fits into the rest of the world, or if you are a scientist who would like to learn about opportunities to apply your skills to a wider array of fields, I can’t think of a better way to do it than this internship.”

“This program provides an excellent opportunity to explore alternatives to research careers. The internship’s success will depend on you, so put thought into how you balance your time and into what you choose to work on. Get out and enjoy DC—it is an amazing place to be and full of interesting people and activities.”

“I would recommend to prospective student candidates to contact potential mentors in advance of the unit-selection process to assess for mutual interest and determine whether or not the Board wants/needs/can afford an intern at that time.”