Awards & Honors: Jefferson Science Fellowships

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is pleased to announce a call for applications for the Jefferson Science Fellowship program. Initiated by the Secretary of State in 2003, this fellowship engages the American academic science, technology, engineering and medical communities in the design and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and international development through on-site work at the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Jefferson Science Fellowship is open to tenured, or similarly ranked, academic scientists, engineers and physicians from U.S. institutions of higher learning. Applicants must hold U.S. citizenship and will be required to obtain a security clearance. For 2018, up to five Jefferson Science Fellowships will be available at the USAID.


Deadline: October 31, 2017
Link: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/Jefferson/PGA_046612.htm

Program Description

  • Each Fellow will spend one year at the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for an on-site assignment in Washington, D.C. that may also involve extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and/or missions. All JSF assignments will be designed in consultation with regional and/or functional bureaus within the U.S. Department of State/USAID.
  • Since the program is a collaborative effort between the U.S. academic community, the U.S. Department of State, and USAID, financial and institutional support for the program is shared among these partners. During their one-year assignment at the U.S. Department of State/USAID, the Fellow’s salary and benefits are paid by the academic institution at which their position is held. The academic position of the Fellow, together with all the rights and privileges associated with that position, are maintained during the fellowship year.
  • While in general JSF assignments will involve providing up-to-date expertise in the rapidly advancing science, technology, engineering and medical arenas that routinely impact the policy decisions encountered by the U.S. Department of State/USAID, each Fellow will also be expected to become conversant with the functional operation of the U.S. Department of State/USAID. In doing so, the JSF program complements and enhances the existing efforts by the permanent staff within the U.S. Department of State/USAID. 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 for short-term projects over the subsequent five years.
  • The following bureaus within the Department of State and USAID currently have opportunities for Jefferson Fellows:
    • S. Department of State
      • Bureau of African Affairs
      • Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
      • Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
      • Bureau of Economics, Energy, and Business Affairs
      • Bureau for Energy Resources
      • Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
      • Bureau of Intelligence and Research
      • Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
      • Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
      • Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
      • Office of the Secretary of State
      • Bureau for Western Hemisphere Affairs
    • USAID
      • Office of the Administrator
      • Bureau for Food Security
      • Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade
      • Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
      • Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Learning

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be a scientist, technologist, engineer, or physician holding a tenured or similarly ranked academic appointment at a U.S. college or university
  • If awarded, the candidate must successfully complete and maintain security clearances at the U.S. Department of State/USAID
  • Applicant’s academic institution must sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Academy of Sciences in order to be considered as a finalist

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Stature, recognition, and experience in the national and international scientific or engineering community
  • Ability to articulate science and technology to the non-specialist/general public
  • Ability to rapidly and accurately understand scientific advancements both within and outside their discipline area and to effectively integrate this knowledge into U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) policy discussions
  • Benefit of the fellowship to the applicant and the applicant’s university
  • Related experience which may positively influence the success of the applicant in this fellowship

Terms of the JSF Award

Since the JSF program is a partnership between the U.S. academic community and the U.S. Department of State and USAID, financial and institutional support for the JSF program is shared among these parties.

  • The tenured or similarly ranked academic position of those selected to be Jefferson Science Fellows, together with all the rights and privileges associated with that position, will be maintained by the Fellow’s home academic institution during their assignment at the U.S. Department of State/USAID.
  • During their one-year assignment at the U.S. Department of State/USAID, the salary and benefits of the Fellow will be paid by the academic institution at which the tenured appointment is held.
  • The Fellow’s home academic institution will be expected to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (JSF/MOU) with the National Academy of Sciences to document this support.
  • The Jefferson Science Fellow will be paid a stipend of $50,000 by the National Academy of Sciences.
  • It is expected that each Fellow will travel as part of their assignment with the U.S. Department of State/USAID. $10,000 will also be made available to the Fellow for travel associated with their assignment(s). Travel support may also be provided by the Fellow’s office or bureau.
  • The U.S. Department of State will apply for a security clearance consistent with the assignment given to each Fellow and will provide the administrative and logistical resources normally associated with an assignment at the U.S. Department of State/USAID. Click here for more information about the JSF security clearance process.
  • Following their JSF assignment at the U.S. Department of State/USAID, each Jefferson Science Fellow will be expected to remain available for short-term projects.

Instructions for Applications

A complete application package should be completed online and will include the following components:

  1. Application
  2. Curriculum Vitae (limit 10 pages)
  3. Statement of Interest (1-2 pages)
  4. Two Essays (limit 2 pages each)
  5. Letters of Recommendation (minimum of 3, maximum of 5)

Online Application
The online application will open on August 1 when the selection process for the 2017-2018 Jefferson Science Fellows begins. After providing basic application information on the online application (i.e., name, institution, phone number, etc), applicants will be asked to upload the following supporting documents in PDF format: a Curriculum Vitae, a Statement of Interest, and two Essays (content and format details are described below).  Applications must be submitted online to be considered in the review process. Click here to access the online application system. If you have technical difficulties, please contact jsf@nas.edu.

Curriculum Vitae (limit 10 pages) should include the following:

  • Name and Current Institutional Affiliation
  • Education (degrees, institutions, dates)
  • Academic Employment History (including dates, academic rank, and tenure)
  • Honors and Awards (list up to 10 of the most significant)
  • University Service (past 5 years)
  • Professional Society Service (past 5 years)
  • Other National or International Professional Experience
  • Peer-Reviewed Publications (no more than 5 of the 10 pages; you may indicate the total number of publications from which the list is derived)
  • Other Publications or Patents

Statement of Interest
The applicant should provide a concise (1-2 page) Statement of Interest in the Jefferson Science Fellowship Program. In this statement, the applicant should explain what benefits they hope to derive for themselves and their university, if selected for the program, and also indicate any knowledge they might have of the U.S. Department of State or USAID and possible contributions they might make to different bureaus and offices therein.

Essays
The applicant should prepare essays responding to the following two questions. Each response should be limited to 2 pages (12-point font, 1″ margins, double-spaced).

  • ESSAY 1: Within your general field of research, describe two major advances in the past ten years with significant international socio-economic impact. Discuss how effective the scientific community has been in providing information to policy makers on these advances, such that these socio-economic impacts can be managed effectively.
  • ESSAY 2: Within your general field of research, describe one emerging science and technology issue with implications for foreign policy. Describe steps that should be taken by scientists and policy makers to better address this issue.

Letters of Recommendation
Applications must be accompanied by at least three (3) and no more than five (5) Letters of Recommendation from peers of the applicant. Letters of Recommendation should address the qualifications of the applicant relative to the selection criteria listed above and are limited to two pages. On the online application, applicants will be asked to list three to five letter writers before submitting their application. Applicants must contact their letter writers and are responsible for the letters being submitted by the application deadline. The Fellowships Office will not contact any letter writers on behalf of applicants.

Letters of Nomination
Applicants are not required to be nominated by their university; however, a Letter of Nomination from a university official may be submitted as part of the application package. A Letter of Nomination is limited to two pages and should clearly indicate that it is a Letter of Nomination (not an Letter of Recommendation). Letters of Nomination will not count against the number of Letters of Recommendation that can be submitted.

Letters of Recommendation and Letters of Nomination may be submitted by the applicant or the letter writer and should be sent as pdf attachments to jsf@nas.edu.

Jefferson Science Fellowship Memorandum of Understanding

It is required that all applicants’ academic institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Academy of Sciences by the final stage of the interview process. Please read the MOU Guidelines for instructions on securing a JSF MOU.


Questions?

For questions or more information, contact program officers at jsf@nas.edu or 202-334-3560.