2005-07 NIH Fellow at the National Institutes of Health
Many AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows so enjoy their work that they pursue full-time positions in their placement offices at the end of their fellowships. Brad Wible thought so highly of his experiences with two different AAAS fellowship programs that he became a AAAS employee after leaving the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Upon receiving his PhD in neuroscience from Northwestern University where his research concentrated on learning disabilities and communication sciences, Brad conducted postdoctoral research as a Brain, Biology and Machine Initiative Fellow at the University of Oregon’s Brain Development Lab. Prior to starting his 2005-06 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at NIH (which he renewed for 2006-07), Brad spent the summer as a AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellow working as a science writer for the Los Angeles Times. Brad says the communication of science has always intrigued him. “Technical wizardry is completely useless if it isn’t put into a meaningful context and communicated effectively,” he says.
Brad’s fellowship at NIH entailed spearheading the development of a strategic communications plan for the office; leading efforts to solicit, review, fund, and manage research grants dedicated to the topic of health literacy; and representing the NIH in offering supplemental funding to NSF-funded neuroscientists studying human learning processes and abnormalities. Thanks in part to the department’s small size, he notes, “There’s definitely a wide range of issues and opportunities available for exploration by AAAS Fellows who work in this NIH office.”
Now, as a senior program associate for the Research Competitiveness Program at AAAS, Brad helps universities and agencies from states that do not typically receive a large share of science and technology funding (such as South Dakota, Mississippi, and Maine) become more competitive in securing federal research funds. “We create advisory teams comprised of technical experts from across the country that can help assess strengths and weaknesses of a state’s organizational plan and provide unbiased advice on what steps to take in the future to help the state’s efforts thrive,” he says.
Taking on this role was a logical next step for his career, Brad says. “As a AAAS Fellow, I was very impressed with the quality and integrity of the organization and its programs. My fellowship experiences prepared me well for this great career opportunity.”