Jefferson Science Fellowships (USA)

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Established in 2003 by the Secretary of State, the Jefferson Science Fellowships serve as an innovative model for engaging the American science, engineering, and medical communities in the U.S. foreign policy and international development process through a one-year immersive experience at the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Jefferson Science Fellowships are a mutually beneficial partnership between government and participating U.S. academic institutions. These fellowships are open to tenured, or similarly ranked, faculty from U.S. institutions of higher learning who are U.S. citizens. After successfully obtaining a security clearance, Fellows are embedded in an office at the U.S. Department of State or USAID where they can expect to learn the foreign policy and international development process while contributing their technical expertise to policy formulation and implementation.

Fellows can expect to become conversant in the operations and processes of the U.S. Department of State or USAID and will complement and enhance existing staff while being provided the opportunity to contribute their expertise on teams managing rapidly evolving foreign policy and international development issues. Fellow placements vary each year and are designed in consultation with host offices within the U.S. Department of State or USAID.

After completing the fellowship, faculty return to an academic career with a deeper understanding of the impact of science and technology in foreign policy, diplomacy, and international development to augment their research and teaching. Upon mutual agreement, Fellows may remain consultants for their host office, further strengthening the partnership between government and the U.S. academic community.

Recruiting Fellows who reflect the diversity of the American people is a high priority. America’s diversity is a source of strength that few countries can match. The more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible the diplomatic and international development communities, the stronger, smarter, and more creative the response will be to the challenges of the 21st Century.

As we celebrate 20 years of the Jefferson Science Fellowships, we again extend the call to serve to the academic scientific community. Additional information on the Jefferson Science Fellowships activities can be found here.

Visit the application page for host agency offices, eligibility criteria, application instructions and FAQs.

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