What is the Jefferson Science Fellowship Program?

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Secretary of State Clinton greets the 2009-2010 Jefferson Science Fellows
Secretary of State Clinton greets the 2009-2010 Jefferson Science Fellows.

Pictured (left to right): Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Dr. James Stone, Boston University; Dr. Deborah Lawrence, University of Virginia; Dr. John Savage, Brown University; Dr. Cynthia Baldwin, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Dr. Jerome Dobson, University of Kansas; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Dr. Najmedin Meshkati, University of Southern California; Dr. Wayne Pennington, Michigan Technological University; Dr. Diana Farkas, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Dr. Kenneth Verosub, University of California – Davis; Dr. Nina Fedoroff, Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State; Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID.

Established in 2003, the Jefferson Science Fellows (JSF) program is a model for engaging the American academic science, technology, and engineering communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. The JSF program is overseen by the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, with administrative support of the National Academies. It is a model of a public-private partnership between the U.S. academic community, professional scientific societies, and the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Jefferson Science Fellows serve for one year at the U.S. Department of State or USAID as science and technology advisors on foreign policy issues. The role of the Jefferson Science Fellows is both to advise and educate. They use their professional experience to increase the understanding among policy officials of complex, cutting edge scientific issues and their possible impacts on U.S. foreign policy and international relations. By bridging the science and policy worlds, they are able to advise policy makers on available policy options to address solutions for emerging international scientific issues. Following the fellowship year, the Jefferson Science Fellow will return to his/her academic career, but will remain available to the U.S. Department of State/USAID to serve as subject matter experts for a minimum of five years.

The Jefferson Science Fellowship is open to scientists and engineers who are tenured faculty from U.S. institutions of higher learning. U.S. citizenship is a requirement. The application period opens each fall and closes in mid-January. The fellowship takes place in Washington, DC and follows the U.S. academic calendar, beginning in mid-August. For more details on eligibility criteria, terms of the fellowship and instructions for applying, visit http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/Jefferson.