Become a Fellow: Evaluation Criteria & Scoring Guidelines

Candidates are evaluated and scored based on the five categories outlined below. Scientific/Technical Background and Professional Accomplishment are weighted more heavily than the other four categories, as first and foremost the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships are professional development opportunities for highly-qualified scientists and engineers.

However, that alone is not sufficient for success as a Fellow. We also seek individuals who have a combination of leadership attributes, problem-solving and communication skills, who demonstrate commitment to this professional development opportunity and the fellowship objectives, and whose experiences and interests fit with the focus of the specific fellowship area.

The five criteria categories are:

Scientific/Technical Background & Professional Accomplishment (1- 40 points)

  • Solid scientific/technical education and experience in area of expertise, appropriate to career stage
  • Employment in relevant academic, applied scientific/technical, research, administration, outreach or policy positions appropriate to career stage and field
  • Record of publications and/or presentations appropriate to career stage, field, and institutional setting
  • Record of grants and/or participation in research projects or other scientific/technical initiatives appropriate to career stage, field, and institutional setting


Leadership & Potential (1 – 15 points)

  • Prior leadership roles relevant to career stage (graduate student governance or faculty committees; advisory or editorial committees; active in professional societies, non-profit, or community initiatives; other)
  • Skill/potential to organize, build consensus, lead projects and people toward positive outcomes
  • Confidence, maturity, and self-direction with the capacity, initiative and flexibility to work well independently as well as in groups
  • Ability to identify personal strengths and areas for growth and development
  • Potential to take initiative to make the fellowship a rich and positive experience, to disseminate the skills learned through the fellowship, and take advantage of networks developed


Problem-Solving Abilities (1 – 15 points)

  • Evidence of creative thinking and analytical skill
  • Ability to translate theoretical concepts into practice
  • Awareness of connections between science/technology and broader economic, social, political issues
  • Record of, or communication of interest in, interdisciplinary and cross-sector initiatives


Communication, Interpersonal & Outreach Skills (1 – 15 points)

  • Excellent communication skills: articulate, cohesive, concise, rational flow of information, and clear in both context and detail
  • Ability to convey scientific knowledge in broader, non-scientific contexts
  • Capacity to work effectively with diverse stakeholders outside scientific/engineering communities


Commitment to AAAS Fellowship Objectives & Opportunities (1 – 15 points)

  • Strong interest in applying his/her knowledge toward the solution of problems in areas in which the fellowship would be served
  • Clarity of objectives for applying to the fellowship, and how he/she imagines using the fellowship experience in the future
  • Willingness and flexibility to tackle issues beyond area of expertise, openness and capacity to expand experience in the policy realm, and to interact with policymakers and regulators
  • Realistic expectations, open-minded and adaptable to fellowship opportunities as well as working through challenges
  • Demonstrates/communicates commitment to apply scientific/technical expertise to serve society