Four years into my very technical, very mathy graduate training, I spent the summer of 1998 in DC learning a few things about science and technology policy, the workings of Congress, and politics. I was a fellow at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Office of Congressional and Government Affairs. I spent most of the summer soaking in congressional hearings of all types but with a focus on Y2K issues. At that time some thought it’d be a big deal. Turned out, not so much.
It was a gratifying experience, and it propelled me into a career in policy-relevant research. I made a transition from science and technology to health, but the lessons learned about government during my summer internship at NAS remain relevant and significant.
For those interested in learning more about the fellowship program, below is an official blurb. For readers with affiliations with or connections to academic institutions, please share this fellowship opportunity with your institution’s graduate-level programs in science- or technology-relevant disciplines.
The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program of the National Academies—consisting of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council—is designed to engage its Fellows in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy. Fellows develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.
This 12 week educational and hands-on training takes place in Washington, DC. To learn more about the program, visit: www.national-academies.org/policyfellows.