AAAS works every day to increase public understanding of science and technology and to enhance communication among scientists, engineers, and the public. Through the AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows program, AAAS aims to strengthen the community of scientists who are well-versed in communicating complex ideas to a general audience and to bring science stories to the public.
This highly competitive program strengthens the connections between scientists and journalists by placing advanced undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate level scientists, engineers, and mathematicians at media organizations nationwide. Fellows work as journalists at media organizations such as National Public Radio, Los Angeles Times, WIRED, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and NOVA. The Mass Media Fellows use their academic training in the sciences as they research, write and report today's headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to non-specialists. Participants come in knowing the importance of translating their work for the public, but they leave with the tools and the know-how to accomplish this important goal.
For 10 weeks during the summer, the AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows collaborate with media professionals at radio and television stations, newspapers, and magazines. As part of their job, the scientists and their journalist-hosts strive to make science news easy for the public to understand. The program strives to improve public understanding of science by enhancing coverage of science-related issues in the media. By embedding science students and recent grads in media outlets, the Fellows learn how to communicate scientific topics in clear and engaging ways, better understand how science is covered in the media, and build up a professional network of scientists and journalists who can work together to share science effectively. In its 45-year history, the program has supported over 700 fellows.
- Applicants must a) be enrolled as students (upper level undergraduate or graduate), b) be a postdoctoral trainee, or c) apply within one year of the completion of a) or b). Applicants must be in the life, physical, health, engineering, computer, or social sciences or mathematics and related fields. If you have questions about your eligibility, email email@example.com.
- 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 Diverse Voices in Science Journalism Internship.
- 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.
- 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.
Fellows are provided a stipend of $7000 for the summer as well as travel expenses to and from AAAS and their sites. AAAS does not provide health care or employee benefits. AAAS does not provide housing or an additional housing stipend.
Anticipated dates for 2021 are below. We are currently planning for onsite activities, but this may change as needed due to COVID-19.
Application window: October 1, 2020 - January 1, 2021
Fellowship: June 2, 2021 - August 17, 2021
Orientation in DC: June 2 - 4
Dates onsite: June 7 - August 13
Wrap-up in DC: August 16 - 17
Keep up with fellowship dates and news on Twitter @AAASMassMedia.
Learn more about past Mass Media fellows here.