Jefferson Science Fellowship Program

Secretary of State greets the Jefferson Science Fellows
Secretary of State Kerry greets the 2012-2013 Jefferson Science Fellows

Pictured (left to right): Jerry O’Brien, Deputy Director, Office of Science & Technology, USAID; David Benson, University of Connecticut; Rajan Sen, University of South Florida; Clyde Martin, Texas Tech University; Sara Harkness, University of Connecticut; Secretary of State John Kerry; Raj Khosla, Colorado State University; Maureen Goodenow, University of Florida; Jean Beagle Ristaino, North Carolina State University; M. Samy El-Shall, University of South Florida; Bill Colglazier, Science & Technology Adviser to the Secretary.


Sign up to receive email updates

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