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Video Chat: STPF Opportunities for Midcareer Fellows

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Are you midcareer or a faculty member seeking a sabbatical or yearlong fellowship to develop new research projects and apply mature scholarship to real-world policy problems? Looking to grow your career and gain hands-on policy experience? 

The AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) is the premier opportunity for outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking while using their knowledge and analytical skills to address today’s most pressing societal challenges. STPF seeks experienced STEM professionals for the Judicial Branch Fellowship as well as fellowships in the executive and legislative branches. 

STPF will host a live video chat on August 31, 2017, 2:00 p.m. ET with judicial fellows to discuss how the fellowship transformed their career. Hear STPF fellows share why mid- to later-career was the right time to apply, and how they applied their research and training to federal policy.  

Apply today! The deadline is November 1.

The AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens who hold doctoral level degrees in any of the following:

  • Medical and Health sciences.
  • Biological, Physical or Earth sciences.
  • Social and Behavioral sciences.
  • Computational sciences and Mathematics.
  • Engineering disciplines (applicants with an M.S. in engineering and three years of professional experience also qualify).

Before the chat, read an overview of STPF program to provide more time to answer specific questions relevant to you.



Cynthia Bernardez


Pate Skene, Ph.D./J.D., 2016-17 AAAS S&T Policy Fellow, Judicial Branch 

Pate Skene was the 2016-17 Judicial Branch Fellow hosted at the Federal Judicial Center where he worked on challenges for courts evaluating scientific and technical evidence. 

He is an Associate Research Professor at Duke University. Pate is a neurobiologist and lawyer who studies brain mechanisms that allow humans to live and cooperate in large, complex societies. As a graduate student, Pate studied genes involved in brain development and nerve regeneration in the brain and spinal cord. He continued that research through faculty positions at Stanford and Duke before shifting to focus on genes associated with complex social traits in humans and other primates. An interest in complex social decisions in the legal system led Pate to Duke law school, where he received his J.D. in 2014. 

He continues to use molecular genomics and functional brain imaging to investigate social decision-making in monkeys and humans, including decision-making in the legal system. 

Pate holds a PhD in Neuroscience. 

David M. Cwiertny, Ph.D., 2016-17 AAAS S&T Policy Fellow, Legislative Branch

David Cwiertny was the 2016-17 AAAS S&T Policy Congressional Fellow, working as Democratic staff for the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and its subcommittees on Energy and Environment. In this capacity, he worked on issues including legislation updating the Safe Drinking Water Act, reauthorization of the Brownfields program, energy infrastructure and delivery systems, management of nuclear waste, and oversight of EPA implementation of updates to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. 

David is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Iowa (UI). His expertise at the interface of science and policy stems from his role as Director of the Environmental Policy Research Program at UI Public Policy Center. As Director, he has organized symposia on key environmental issues in Iowa that bring together stakeholders from diverse sectors including state and federal government, the private sector, academia and the general public. Through this role, he has also served on the advisory board for the Iowa Energy Center, in addition to serving on the executive committee for the UI Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination. His research program broadly focuses on water quality and water treatment, with specific expertise in the (i) environmental fate and risk assessment of emerging and unregulated (e.g., agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals) pollutant classes, and (ii) development of (nano)material-based technologies for environmental cleanup and resource sustainability. A member of the UI campus-wide Water Sustainability Initiative, he is a faculty affiliate of the UI Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute and the UI Environmental Health Sciences Research Center.  He also currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology.

David holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. 

Click here to see other chats in this series.

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