OSA, along with co-sponsors SPIE and the Materials Research Society (MRS), hosts two Congressional Fellows each year. Congressional Fellowships are designed to provide a unique public policy learning experience, demonstrate the value of science-government interaction and bring technical backgrounds and external perspectives to the decision-making process in U.S. Congress. Fellows spend one year working in Washington, D.C. as special legislative assistants on the staff of a member of Congress or Congressional committee, beginning in September.
This program, as well as many other fellowship programs, is facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and includes an orientation on congressional and executive branch operations and a year-long seminar program on issues involving science, technology and public policy.
Applicants must have a Ph.D. by the start of the program (September). Mid-career professionals are also encouraged to apply; many professionals who are currently employed in academia or industry have been successful in gaining sponsorship from their employers in which the fellowship stipend is exchanged for their current salary and benefits support.
To learn more about requirements and application process, click on the links for each fellowship below:
OSA/MRS Congressional Fellowship Program
Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellowship Program (co-sponsored with SPIE)
To learn more about the Fellowships and life on Capitol Hill, please view these videos of former Congressional Fellows.
If you would like to speak to an OSA representative about these programs, please contact:
The Optical Society
2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Read more about the Congressional Fellowship experience
Optics and Photonics News
has done several articles about the Congressional Fellowship: