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ASPET Washington Fellows Program

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Applications for the 2024 ASPET Washington Fellows Program are now closed.

Beginning in December, selected fellows will participate in policy training webinars focusing on an introduction to government and science policy; receive a comprehensive overview of ASPET’s policy interests, including drug policy and animal research; gain advocacy experience during Hill Day by attending meetings with legislative officials and/or staff on Capitol Hill in May 2024; and attend a writing workshop with an opportunity to publish a policy brief. For more information, please contact us at publicaffairs@aspet.org.





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Program Mission

The mission of the ASPET Washington Fellows Program is to enable developing and early-career scientists interested in science policy to learn about and become more engaged in public policy issues.

Fellows will develop an understanding of how public policy decisions made in Washington, D.C. help shape and impact science policy, such as funding for the National Institutes of Health and other science agencies. Fellows will also learn how to advocate effectively on Capitol Hill and in their home districts.

This program will help fellows develop the skills and insights to become future leaders in science.

What Will ASPET Washington Fellows Do?
  • Get introduced to science policy: ASPET Washington Fellows will attend weekly virtual seminars and discussions to introduce them to science policy and advocacy. This includes sessions on public policy and the US government, ASPET’s policy interests (including science funding and animals in research among others), as well as policy writing. Fellows will receive instruction on writing policy briefs that will be published in ASPET's member magazine The Pharmacologist
  • Advocate on Capitol Hill: ASPET Washington Fellows will travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with their congressional representatives and staff to advocate for the importance of biomedical research. Fellows will receive training from ASPET on visiting Capitol Hill and interacting with Congressional staff. ASPET will cover transportation costs, lodging, and expenses in accordance with ASPET’s reimbursement policy. 
  • Attend the ASPET 2024 Annual Meeting: ASPET Washington Fellows will attend the ASPET 2024 Annual Meeting in Arlington, VA and any related policy programming. ASPET Washington Fellows will receive discounted registration to the meeting.
Eligibility
  • The ASPET Washington Fellows Program is open to any graduate student, postdoctoral trainee, or researcher no more than four years past the completion of their postdoctoral training.
  • Applicants must be members of ASPET in good standing and have a strong interest in science and its intersection with public policy. 
  • Applicants must be residing in the US and working or studying at a US institution to be eligible. Non-US citizens may apply as long as they meet these conditions. 
Application Information

ASPET anticipates selecting up to ten Washington Fellows for the 2024 program. The fellowship application must be completed online and will require a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s immediate supervisor or mentor, a personal statement, and responses to several short essay questions. Applications will be accepted between August 1- October 2, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their admission status by mid-November 2023. The 2024 program begins on December 1, 2023, and concludes on May 30, 2024.

Questions? Email us at publicaffairs@aspet.org.

ASPET Washington Fellows Alumni

Testimonials
Thank you so much for teaching me an incredible amount of policy and advocacy work last week on Capitol Hill. Before this, I had minimal experience with advocacy but was always interested in getting involved. After all of our meetings on the hill, I felt truly inspired to get involved in advocacy as a component of my career and make this a significant part of my future. At first, I was a little nervous for our meetings on the hill. However, the encouragement and preparation provided me took all of that away, and left me with a real love for advocacy work. I am very excited to continue advocacy efforts on both the local and national level in the years ahead!

- Raghav Tripathi, 2017 Washington Fellow

I went into research in the neuroscience/pharmacology field to be able to make contributions to the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders but as I progressed, I also became interested in raising awareness about the science policies at issue in my community as well as also reaching broader audiences of government officials and the general public.

– Rebecca Benham Vautour, PhD

It is very important to have people who are expert researchers also know how to communicate with policymakers. In times of limited federal budgets, advocacy for research in Washington has never been more important.

– 2016 Washington Fellow

Not only were these meetings informative but they also made me realize how important a role we as scientists, particularly early career scientists, play in informing lawmakers about the importance of federally funded research and the subsequent consequences of cutting that investment.

– Prasad Krishnan, PhD 

The ASPET Washington Fellows Program was a great experience. It was also a very interesting endeavor advocating for strong budget support for NIH funding since the inaugural class served just as sequestration was coming into effect. It was very satisfying to develop a brief presentation that provided the unique perspective of young investigators and students just starting to pursue a science education. We really tried to give the people meeting us new information that they could use to convince others of the importance of sustained biomedical funding.

– Adam Kuszak,PhD

The Washington Fellow Program was a positive experience in every way. I was able to explore a particular avenue of science advocacy, participate in the policy making process within ASPET leadership meetings, and I made many professional connections that opened the doors to many other opportunities. The ASPET Washington Fellows Program was instrumental in my career development.

– 2015 Washington Fellow

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