Application window opens October 16th 2018 and closes January 15th 2019  

Start the Online Application HERE (after Oct 16th)

Watch our pre-recorded webinar to hear all about the fellowship from the program director and three 2017 fellows.  

Veiw the Q & A from the Webinar here.


There are some things that you can do NOW to help your application rise to the top.  Reviewers helped to create a list of these tips here.

It’s important to start the online application as soon as you decide you want to apply.  This will allow you to provide us with the email addresses of your recommenders.  This year, instead of accepting letters of reference we are sending a link to a “Recommendation Questionnaire”.  Recommenders will answer questions online and must submit by January 15th.

A complete application packet consists of:

  1. Applicant information (contact information, academic history etc.) 
  2. Two "Recommendation Questionnaires" completed online by recommenders you identify.  At least one two of these recommenders should be from a faculty member who can comment on your academic work.  A third is optional but encouraged.  Recommendations from those that can comment on your science communication or writing is highly encouraged as well.  The questions on the Recommendation Qustionaire are:
    1. Should one or more of the societies listed take an interest in supporting the applicant and why? (American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Mathematical Society, American Physiological Society, American Statistical Association, American Society of Plant Biologists, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics).
    2. Describe your work with the applicant (research, academic, communication, etc). Highlight the applicant’s contribution, role and accomplishments.
    3. Describe why you think the fellowship is a good match for the candidate’s talents and career goals.
    4. Describe any additional information that you think the selection committee should take into account?
  3. Your CV – structured in a way that makes sense for this opportunity.
  4. Candidate Questions: Responses to each of the 7 reflective questions found within the online application.
    1. Why are you, as a scientist or engineer, interested in participating in this program?
    2. What in your background has prepared you for this fellowship?
    3. How do you think the skills learned from the fellowship will impact your future career or academic plans?
    4. Have you had previous media-related experiences? Please Provide Details.
    5. Describe any activities, other than previous media experiences, you have undertaken that involved increasing public understanding of science and technology.
    6. What community outreach or educational activities have you participated in, science-related or otherwise?
    7. How did you find out about the program?
  5. General Writing Sample: ONE 2-3 page, double-spaced brief sample of your writing that is on any subject (science or non-science topic) and directed toward a non-scientific audience (using language appropriate for the general public). Please do not include technical or journal articles
  6. Sample News Story: A 750-word 'news' story for the general public summarizing a science, mathematics or engineering journal paper from the past 6 months (published after July 1, 2018) and describing what the study's findings are, why the study's findings are important and what impact it will have on the public.   The original paper needs to be PRIMARY literature (scientific papers published in a journal or presented at a scientific conference NOT from a newspaper, magazine or other popular media).
  7. Source Article: The source journal article used to write your Sample News Story

*If you advance to the finalist level, unofficial transcripts of your undergraduate and graduate work must be provided.  You must be prepared to supply these documents immediatley if you are selected for the final round of review

Applicants are evaluated by a selection committee composed of experts in the sciences, education, and media. The committee makes recommendations to the AAAS staff, who are responsible for the final decisions and for negotiations between the candidates and the media hosts. Telephone or virtual interviews are conducted with semi-finalists sometime in March each year. Applicants should receive final notification of the status of their application by April 15th, but are encouraged to contact at any time to check on the status of their applications.


  1. Applicants must be enrolled as students (upper level undergraduate or graduate) or postdoctoral trainees at a university — or within one year of a completed degree — in the life, physical, health, engineering, computer, or social sciences or mathematics and related fields.  If you have questions about your eligibility, email 
  2. Students enrolled in English, journalism, science journalism, or other non-technical fields are not eligible for the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship BUT these students may be eligible for the Minority Science Writers Internship.
  3. Applicants must be US citizens or already hold visas that allow them to receive payment for work during the summer.  AAAS cannot assist in obtaining/retaining visas. 
  4. Successful applicants are required to attend an orientation at AAAS headquarters at the beginning of the summer (early June) and a wrap-up session at the end of the summer (mid-August). They will prepare reports on the progress of their fellowships throughout their placement.

*The fellowship is open to international students who are already studying in the United States and who hold visas that allow them to receive payment for work during the summer. AAAS cannot assist in obtaining/retaining visas. The fellowship is also open to US citizens studying abroad, as long as they can pay their way back into the US for the fellowship.

If you have any questions, please see the FAQs page and then email

Application window opens October 16th 2018 and close January 15th 2019