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 Fellows Do?
- Advocate on Capitol Hill: ASPET 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 and assist in the development of an ASPET policy position. ASPET will cover transportation costs, lodging, and expenses in accordance with ASPET’s reimbursement policy.
- Become advocates in their home districts: ASPET Fellows will learn how to schedule and host meetings with local congressional representation, act as a conduit to inform colleagues within their departments/institutions about federal legislative matters, and write op-ed pieces on science policy issues for publication in local media outlets. These activities will be prepared with the support and advice of ASPET.
- Attend the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2020: ASPET Fellows will attend the 2020 ASPET Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA and any related policy program sessions assigned. Fellows will receive complimentary registration to the meeting at the early registration rate.
- The ASPET Washington Fellows Program is open to any graduate student, postdoctoral trainee, or researcher no more than four years past the completion of his/her 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.
ASPET anticipates selecting up to ten Washington Fellows Program participants in 2020. 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 open on Tuesday, September 3rd and must be completed by Friday, October 18th at 11:59 PM EST. Applicants will be notified of their admission status in early December. The program begins in January and typically concludes in midsummer.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Washington Fellows
ASPET Fellows Alumni
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