OSA/MRS Congressional Fellowships


OSA / MRS Congressional Fellowship

*Applications for the 2015-2016 Fellowship are due Friday, January 2, 2015*

OSA and MRS offer a congressional fellowship program providing members with an invaluable opportunity of public policy learning. Fellows contribute effective use of optical and materials science knowledge in government and broaden awareness of the value of scientist- and engineer-government interaction among our memberships, the federal government, and the public.

Program

The Fellow spends one year working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Activities may involve conducting legislative or oversight work, assisting in congressional hearings and debates and preparing briefs and writing speeches. The Fellow also attends an orientation program administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on congressional and executive branch operations, which includes guidance in the congressional placement process, and a year-long seminar series on science and public policy issues. The AAAS also administers many other aspects of the program for the OSA/MRS Fellow, as well as other Fellows sponsored by nearly two dozen scientific societies.

Criteria

A prospective 2015-2016 Fellow must have a record of success in research or scholarship in a field relevant to optical science and technology and/or materials, familiarity with the discipline, and a working understanding of the scientific communities. The Fellow must also demonstrate sensitivity toward policy issues and have a strong interest in applying scientific and technical knowledge to United States public policy issues. The Fellow must be able to work quickly and communicate effectively to both scientific and non-scientific audiences on a wide variety of topics and work cooperatively with individuals having diverse viewpoints. An applicant is expected to be a member of OSA or MRS (or an applicant for membership) and have a PhD by September 1, 2015. US citizenship is not required; however, applicants must be authorized to work in the United States. Specifically excluded as selection criteria are age, sex, creed, race, ethnic background, and partisan political affiliation.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following categories:

  • Scientific/technical background and professional accomplishments - weighted in consideration of the applicant's career stage.
  • Communication skills - to scientific and nonscientific audiences - including writing ability, community involvement, and outreach activities.
  • Demonstrated public policy interest, such as through participation in policy or advocacy activities; service to professional societies and/or the broader scientific community; student government or other campus involvement (if applicable).
  • Fellowship skills and abilities, including (but not limited to): capacity to work quickly, flexibly, and cooperatively; experience working with individuals with diverse viewpoints; ability to work in a public environment and; strong interpersonal skills.

Award

The 2015-2016 Fellow will have a one-year appointment beginning September 1, 2015. The Fellowship stipend will be $72,000, plus additional funds for health insurance, travel and relocation expenses to the Washington, D.C. area.

Application

Applications for the 2015-2016 Fellowship must be emailed or post-marked by Friday, January 2, 2015.

Candidates must submit the following materials:

  • A resume, no longer than two pages, providing information about educational background, professional employment, community and professional activities, public policy and legislative experience and committee and advisory group appointments plus one additional page for professional publications and presentations. Resumes should be tailored to address the qualifications above.
  • statement of up to 1,000 words addressing the applicant's interest in the fellowship, career goals, contributions the applicant believes he or she can make as an OSA/MRS Fellow to the legislative process and what the applicant wants to learn from the experience.
  • Three signed letters of reference sent directly to bdillingham@osa.org, specifically addressing the applicant's qualifications for the fellowship as described in the "Criteria" section above. Letters of reference should be emailed directly to bdillingham@osa.org by the reference and must be in PDF format, on official letterhead and include an electronic or scanned signature. Letters of reference should not be sent by the candidate themselves.

Application Materials Should be Mailed or Emailed to:
OSA/MRS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow Program
c/o Brandy Dillingham
The Optical Society
2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Office: +1 202.416.1409
Email: bdillingham@osa.org

NOTE: Applicants applying for both the OSA/MRS and Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship can send in one set of application materials for both fellowships, as long as it is noted that the materials are for both fellowships.

Directly below is a list of present and past fellows, along with their congressional office placements:


2014-2015 James O'Dea
PhD Chemistry
University of California, Santa Barbara
 
2013-2014 Sydney Kaufman
PhD Chemical Physics
University of Colorado Boulder
Sen. Mark Begich
2012-2013

Mirvat Abdelhaq
PhD Physical Chemistry
University of Colorado, Boulder

Sen. Jeff Merkley
2011-2012

Laura Povlich
PhD Macromolecular Science and Engineering
University of Michigan

Rep. Sandy Levin
2010-2011

Ashley White
PhD in Materials Science
Cambridge University

Senator Al Franken
2009-2010

Gavi Begtrup
PhD in Physics
University of California, Berkeley

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
2008-2009

Amit Mistry
PhD in Bioengineering
Rice University

Rep. Ed Markey
2007-2008

Alicia Jackson
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
2006-2007

Kevin Whittlesey
PhD in Biological Sciences
Northwestern University

Rep. Doris Matsui
2005-2006

Benjamin Jay Gross
PhD in Physical Chemistry
Columbia University

Rep. Rush Holt

2004-2005

Karin Ezbiansky Pavese
PhD in Inorganic Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania

Sen. Joseph Lieberman

2003-2004

Colin McCormick
PhD in Physics
University of California, Berkeley

Rep. Edward J. Markey

2002-2003

Jeffrey Haeni
PhD in Materials Science
Pennsylvania State University

Rep. Rush Holt

2001-2002

Eric Werwa
PhD in Electronic Materials
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rep. Mike Honda

2000-2001

Susan Ginsberg
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota

Rep. Howard L. Berman

1999-2000

Arun Seraphin
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman

1998-1999

Merrilea Mayo
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman

1997-1998

Brian Holloway
PhD in Mechanical Engineering
University of Florida

Sen. John D. Rockefeller

1996-1997

Michal Freedhoff
PhD in Physical Chemistry
University of Rochester

Rep. Edward J. Markey

1995-1996

Kelly Kirkpatrick
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
Northwestern University

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman