Skip to main content

How to Make Your STPF Application Stand Out

There are more than 300 AAAS S&T Policy Fellows across the federal government tackling nearly every public policy issue imaginable. Each has a unique fellowship experience. Where do all fellows’ journeys begin? They all start with a great application.

Whether you’re ready to hit “submit” or you’re just getting started, here are some resources to get organized and make your application shine. But don’t delay: the STPF application closes on November 1.

STPF application portal

There are hundreds of fellows in the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) program across the federal government tackling pressing public policy issues ranging from climate and COVID to energy and infrastructure. Each one has a unique fellowship experience, but what’s the one thing they have in common? They all started with a compelling application. Here are some resources to make your application shine, at any stage of the process. 

I Haven’t Started Yet 

Confirm your eligibility. Before launching into the application, confirm that you meet all eligibility criteria, including holding your qualifying degree by November 1. 

Check out the application overview. This is a step-by-step guide to the STPF application. What should be included in your applicant statement? How long can your CV be? How many references do you need? Find out in the application overview. 

Get familiar with how applicants are evaluated. It’s no mystery: find out what reviewers will look for in your application. See what makes a perfect score. 

Chat with fellows. You don’t have to rely on your magic 8-ball for an answer. Join us live for a Live Chat webinar with fellows, or watch a recording on-demand. 

I’m In the Middle of My Application 

Select two program areas. Read up on fellowship placements: executive, legislative and judicial. Applicants are encouraged to apply to two of the three program areas. Doing this gives you the greatest opportunity to be considered for a fellowship. 

Tailor each program area application. Customize your essay responses to each program area application.  

Ask for recommendation letters early. Remember that your references need time to write a great letter. Your deadline is their deadline! Let them know to which program areas you are applying and share resources with them about the fellowship for context. 

I’ve Already Hit ‘Submit’ – What’s Next? 

Get an overview of the review process. Hitting “submit” is the first step in a process that takes several months. Prepare for a virtual interview. Read up on policy memos (below). 

Read tips for writing a policy memo. Written by STPF fellows, this blog post is a great resource for anyone preparing for the semi-finalist interview phase. 

Get psyched for Finalist Interview Week. Check out this blog all about executive branch interview week and what to expect in spring 2023, which is planned to be in-person in Washington! 

Good luck! The deadline to apply is November 1:  apply now


Jessica Soule

Alumni Engagement Director

Related Focus Areas