S&T Policy Fellowships: Partner Society Criteria
The AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® program is operated as a cooperative effort of more than 30 national scientific and engineering societies that provide an opportunity for accomplished scientists and engineers with public policy interests to learn about and contribute to the policy-making processes in Congress. The AAAS Fellowships have been operating for 37 years, placing more than 800 Fellows in Congress.
Congressional Fellows spend one year working as special assistants in legislative areas that would benefit from scientific and technical analysis and perspective, serving on the staffs of Members of Congress or congressional committees, and participating as part of the class of AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows. Please click on the links below for more information:
- What is a partner society? 
- What are the criteria for partnership? 
- How does a scientific or engineering society become a partner? 
- What is the program? 
A partner society is a national or international scientific or engineering association that sponsors one or more congressional or executive branch fellows under the umbrella of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships. The partner societies conduct separate application and selection processes, and provide different stipend and benefits support, but agree to abide by a set of common elements for the selection of fellows, and to adhere to the general principles and purposes, and all policies and ethics guidelines of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.
AAAS collaborates with the partner societies to maintain overall standards and program coherence. Click here for a complete list of participating scientific and engineering societies .
Partnership in the Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® program, under the umbrella of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, is open only to scientific or engineering societies. The Fellowships program does not accept as partners any universities or university associations, academic institutions or consortiums, trade associations, foundations, or commercial sponsors, or professional societies without a significant focus on science or engineering.
Criteria for partnership are set forth below, but final judgment as to whether or not an organization sufficiently satisfies these criteria will be made by AAAS in consultation with the AAAS Congressional Fellowship Advisory Committee. Societies become partners of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships upon approval of their submitted application to the Committee.
A partner society must
- be national or international in scope/membership
- have individual members of whom a significant portion
- have a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree level, or other terminal degree level (engineers with a master’s degree or higher), and
- are directly involved professionally in science and engineering research or applied activities, or in education related to science and engineering;
- exhibit one or more of the following metrics
- publication of one or more reputable peer-reviewed journals
- members who have published in other recognized peer-review journals, and
- funding of research or other scientific activities (i.e., scientific conferences, publications).
A society’s fellowship program criteria, policies and procedures must
- require candidates to be scientists with a PhD or equivalent level doctoral degree, or engineers with a master’s degree or higher, who demonstrate exceptional competence in their fields;
- be committed to the concept of “free agency,” allowing its Fellows to select a placement assignment and to work without direction, influence or an agenda from the sponsoring organization;
- be sensitive to both real and perceived conflicts of interest in all interactions with Fellows; and
- adhere to the general principles and purposes, and all policies and ethics guidelines of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.
A scientific or engineering association that wishes to apply for partnership with the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships must submit an application to the AAAS Fellowships Department for consideration by the AAAS Fellowships Advisory Committee. The application may be obtained by emailing Eddie Gonzalez. 
The Advisory Committee meets three times a year – typically in May, January and October – and applications are due to the AAAS Fellowships Department in the month prior to the meeting. The Fellowships Department will contact the society with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee and the decision regarding partnership. Upon approval of partnership, the society will be listed on the partner society page of the AAAS Fellowships web site.
The AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships are designed to provide a public policy learning experience, while making practical contributions to the more effective use of scientific and technical knowledge in government. The overarching goals are to increase the capacity of scientists and engineers to inform the discussions and decisions of individuals and institutions that influence or determine policies, and to provide scientific expertise and analysis to support decision-makers confronting complex scientific and technological issues. The fellowships aim to
- educate scientists and engineers on the intricacies of federal policymaking;
- foster positive exchange between scientists/engineers and policymakers;
- empower scientists and engineers to conduct policy-relevant research and other activities that addresses challenges facing society; and
- increase the involvement and visibility of scientists and engineers in the public policy realm.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) manages the Science & Technology Policy Fellowships. Management activities include outreach and recruitment for the fellowships, promoting the availability of Science & Technology Policy Fellows to the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies, implementing a two-week orientation  on congressional and executive branch operations, managing the congressional placement process, and providing a year-long professional development program and networking activities.
For more information about the Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows® Program and the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, please contact Eddie Gonzalez at 202-326-8979 or firstname.lastname@example.org .