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IEEE-USA Congressional Fellowships

It is notable that one professional organization in particular, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), currently supports several Congressional Fellows, all of whom are engineers in senior level positions. Members' offices and committees have found these individuals among the most helpful and productive Congressional Fellows.

— Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government

IEEE-USA created the Congressional Fellowship program in 1973 to:

  • further the effective use of scientific and technical knowledge in government;
  • help educate the scientific and engineering community on the public policy process; and
  • broaden the perspectives of the science, engineering and governmental communities regarding the value of such interaction.

Each year, the IEEE-USA Government Fellows Committee selects eligible IEEE members from a pool of applicants to serve a one-year fellowship on Capitol Hill. The fellow works on the personal staff of a U.S. Senator or Congressman, or the professional staff of a Congressional Committee. IEEE-USA's fellowships run September 1st - August 31st.

“We work on science and innovation and all kinds of things, but you have to have somebody who knows what they’re talking about. In this office, in health care, science, technology and innovation, we’ve had those people, and they make all the difference in the world.”
-- Senator John D. Rockefeller, 2014 Recipient of the IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished Public Service & host of several IEEE-USA Congressional Fellows

To apply for an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellowship, applicants must complete the application materials and follow the instructions on this page..

Submit applications ELECTRONICALLY to Linda Hall at: (e-mail) L.hall@ieee.org. Be sure to specify your name, member number, mailing address, daytime phone number, and e-mail address.

If you wish to apply for an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellowship, please apply directly to IEEE-USA, using the application linked to this page.  Do not apply to AAAS for the IEEE-USA Fellowship.

If selected for an interview, finalists must be able to attend in person. Rescheduling the face-to-face interview is not an option.

The interviews for 2015-2016 Fellows are tentatively scheduled for: 2-3 March 2015 in Washington, DC.   Interviews are approximately 45 minutes long and you will need to be here for only one of those days. Scheduling will occur at the time of notification of an interview.

APPLICATION DEADLINE for the 2015-2016 fellowship year:

Friday, 16 JANUARY 2015

SELECTION CRITERIA

To be considered for an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellowship, applicants must submit an application confirming the following basic eligibility requirements:

a.   Applicants must be a Member in good standing of IEEE at the time of application.

b.   Applicants must possess a Ph.D., or a Masters Degree plus five (5) years of relevant professional experience. The degree must be granted by a recognized program in a subject field that falls with the science, engineering, computer, or allied disciplines eligible for IEEE membership. In exceptional cases, the Masters or Ph.D. requirement may be waived by the Government Fellowship Committee for candidates with compensating experience. Work experience must consist of relevant professional employment and does not include internships or student-related employment.

c.   An applicant must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application or, at the latest, prior to selection.

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of:

  • Technical competence,
  • Ability to serve in a public environment,
  • Basic comprehension and understanding of the public policy process, and
  • Evidence of service to IEEE and the engineering profession.

The Government Fellows selection committee may establish additional criteria. Specifically excluded as selection criteria are age, sex, creed, race, ethnic background, and partisan political affiliations.

ORIENTATION

Prior to beginning a fellowship, Fellows are enrolled in a mandatory, multi-society, two-week orientation program organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The orientation takes place in Washington, D.C. every September at IEEE-USA's expense. At the completion of the orientation, each fellow remains in Washington to begin their search for a fellowship placement, and upon finding a placement, begins their fellowship. The fellowships run for one year, from September 1st through August 31st.

STIPEND & TRAVEL

During the Fellowship year, IEEE-USA Congressional Fellows receive a stipend of either $65,000 (for those fellows who possess both the required degrees and work experience), or $55,000 (for Post Docs and new PhDs just entering the workforce). Ph.D.s with significant work experience - as determined by the Government Fellows Committee - will receive the higher stipend. The Government Fellows Committee has the discretion to determine which stipend a fellow will receive based upon an applicant's experience. For more details, please review the Policies and Procedures.

IEEE-USA provides an additional supplementary allowance of $5,000 to each fellow for travel and relocation expenses; this may be incorporated into the stipend if desired.  The Fellows or their employers - if applicable - are responsible for the balance of salaries, benefits, and all other expenses.

FELLOWSHIP REPORTS

During their Fellowship year, the Fellows are required to provide IEEE-USA with three (3) reports.

  • 1st—the placement report, due at the end of January or the first month of the fellowship—highlights the Fellowship assignment and expectations for the year.
  • 2nd—the midyear report, due at the end of June or the sixth month of the fellowship—is a progress report highlighting the Fellows activities and achievements for the year to date.
  • Final—due at the end of December or the twelfth month—summarizes the Fellowship experience and offers advice for prospective Fellows as well as recommendations to IEEE-USA regarding the Fellowship program.

The Fellowship reports provide helpful insight about the experience and what information on to expect in the different types of Fellowship assignments. The reports are published on-line and linked to the Fellows directory for quick reference.

THE FELLOWSHIP EXPERIENCE

The fellowship experience is intended to be both a learning experience for the Fellow, but more importantly, it is an opportunity for an IEEE member to pass on her knowledge and experience to policymakers who may or may not have a science and technology background. A successful Fellow:

  • Performs professionally and completes projects
  • Articulates needs in a constructive way
  • Addresses challenges
  • Takes initiative to obtain information to accomplish tasks and achieves fellowship goals
  • Balances work time with learning time

 

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