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STPF Impacts

Alondra Nelson, past acting director of WHOSTP, speaks to STPF fellows.
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For half a century, the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) program has helped ensure that public policy is informed by science. STPF fellows are STEM experts who are committed to serving society and who reflect society’s full diversity. Bestowed with the National Science Foundation’s NSB Public Service Award, the STPF program has spurred a cascade of positive impacts throughout society since 1973, and is excited to continue making waves into the future. 

Scroll down to view our history in motion, impact on policies and legislation, STPF alumni who are making waves in policy, where fellows go after their fellowship, other fellowships that were a direct or indirect outgrowth of AAAS STPF, and a few testimonials.

Watch the video that brings 50 years of STPF history to life!


Moving & Shaking.

For half a century, STPF has recruited and trained scientists and engineers to bring an evidence-based mindset to bear on public policy in the United States. Many continue to impact policy in big ways.

Below, left to right: Rush Holt, AAAS CEO Emeritus, Former US Representative (NJ); Amber Hewitt, Chief Equity Officer, Office of Racial Equity, Office of the City Administrator, District of Columbia; Maynard Holliday, Director, Defense Research and Engineering for Modernization, The Pentagon; Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator, Research and Development and Agency Science Advisor, EPA; Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology.

Collage of STPF alumni

Legislation & Implementation.

STPF fellows are at the epicenter of US decision-making, with approximately 300 scientists and engineers placed among all three branches of federal government each year. Read about the multitude of ways they impact policy here. They also help ensure that critical policies, programs and legislation (too numerous to list all) are based in evidence, such as:


After their fellowships, STPF alumni fellows continue to impact science and society. Close to half of them go on to take permanent jobs in government and more than 80% agreed or strongly agreed that they participated in science-policy integration activities as a result of the fellowship (STPF Retrospective Evaluation & Strategic Learning Report, 2019).

Infographic of percentages of fellows going down different career paths post-fellowship.

Ripple Effects.

STPF is the gold standard in science policy fellowships and has directly or indirectly spawned or impacted the formation of similar programs around the world. Here are some examples...

Logos from several science and technology policy fellowships


Heard on the Street.

The AAAS STPF program enjoys a long history of highly beneficial collaborations and partnerships. And now, 4,000+ alumni fellows equipped with policy know-how are embedded throughout the world to continue bringing science to policy for the benefit of all people. 

Quote from APS CEO about STPF.