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IEEE-USA Engineering & Diplomacy Fellowship:
U.S. Department of State

 

"We still have far too few officers with strong science backgrounds, but thanks to the National Academies and others in the scientific community such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Physics and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a small group of scientific fellows have joined our ranks, and their number will grow. Scientists, volunteers have graciously put their own research on hold, stopped their own work, their own life, to perform tours of duty in many of the State Department's bureaus, and they are making a real difference. And we look forward to welcoming more scientists on to our State Department team, either as fellows or as career Foreign Service Officers or Civil Service Officers."

Secretary of State Colin Powell, Remarks to the National Academy, 30 April 2002

IEEE-USA is seeking IEEE U.S. members who are interested in spending a year working in Washington as an IEEE-USA State Department Engineering & Diplomacy Fellow. Beginning with the 2013-2014 fellowships, IEEE-USA's fellows serve one-year starting in September. Requests to extend the term for a second year will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The fellowship offers an opportunity for the science, technology, and engineering community to provide technical expertise to the U.S. State Department, and help raise awareness of the value of your input while you learn about and contribute to the foreign policy process.

SELECTION CRITERIA

To be considered for an IEEE-USA State Department Engineering & Diplomacy Fellowship, applicants must:

  • Be a REGULAR Member of IEEE at the time of application. Graduate student or student memberships do not qualify.
  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application or, at the latest, prior to selection.
  • Be a practicing member of the engineering profession with a degree from a four-year university or college that has a recognized program in electrical or electronics engineering, radio, or an allied branch of engineering or science.
  • Possess or be able to obtain a security clearance **PRIOR** to the beginning of the fellowship.
  • Possess either,

    --a Bachelor's degree and a minimum of 10 years responsible experience in engineering or qualified science;
    --a Master's degree and a minimum of 5 years of such experience in engineering or qualified science; or
    --a Doctoral degree in engineering or qualified science

    Work experience must consist of FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT in an engineering or qualified science field.Time spent working as an intern, a graduate assistant, or in non-engineering or qualified science professions will not apply.

The IEEE-USA Government Fellows Committee considers the following factors when selecting State Department fellows:

-- length of IEEE membership,
-- education,
-- technical competence and professional experience,
-- previous public service/public policy expertise,
-- basic comprehension and understanding of the public policy process,
-- evidence of service to IEEE and the engineering profession,
-- communication skills,
-- demonstrated interest in foreign policy,
-- foreign language proficiencies, and
-- overall suitability for the Fellowship.

A joint IEEE-USA and State Department committee reviews finalists, with the State Department giving final approval of the Fellow selection. The selection committee may establish additional criteria. Specifically excluded as selection criteria are age, sex, creed, race, ethnic background, and partisan political affiliations.

APPLICATION MATERIALS & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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

The APPLICATION DEADLINE for the 2014-2015 fellowship year is Friday, 24 JANUARY 2014.

The interviews for 2014-2014 Fellows are tentatively scheduled for: 3-4 March 2014 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.

If the Government Fellows Committee selects you as a finalist, you will be invited to interview in-person in Washington, DC at IEEE-USA's expense. If selected for a face-to-face interview, finalists must be able to attend in person. Rescheduling the face-to-face interview is not an option.

Reasonable travel and lodging expenses for the interviews will be reimbursed by IEEE-USA.

The Fellow does not act as a representative of IEEE-USA during the Fellowship term, and is not considered an employee of IEEE-USA. (See also AAAS Ethics Policy.)

If you interview and are selected for an IEEE-USA Engineering and Diplomacy (State Dept) Fellowship, you must spend approximately one week in Washington in mid-April (the 2014 dates are 7-11 April), participating in the Fellowship placement process which is coordinated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State (STAS).  In addition to the opportunities provided by the AAAS process, the STAS office will work with you one-on-one and connect you personally with offices that work on topics of interest to you.

Just prior to the beginning of your fellowship in September, you will attend a required two-week orientation program coordinated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in early September of each year.

Please mail your application— electronically —to Linda Hall at: l.hall at ieee.org. You may also send a hardcopy if you wish, but we must receive your application via e-mail by the 5pm deadline for it to be considered valid.

IEEE-USA Government Fellows
2001 L Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
202-530-8365 (Phone)
202-785-0835 (Fax)

SECURITY CLEARANCE

IEEE-USA Engineering & Diplomacy Fellows must have a security clearance. Once the Fellow is selected, arrangements must be made immediately with the State Department to obtain a security clearance (if the Fellow does not already have a clearance). A security clearance currently requires a 4-6 month background check.The Fellow will be asked to complete a clearance form, provide contact information, and make various disclosures. For more information, see:

Getting A Security Clearance...In a Nutshell (OPM)
General Questions and Answers About OPM Background Investigations (OPM)
Questionnaire for National Security Positions (OPM Form SF 86)

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. The orientation for 2013-2014 fellows is scheduled for Wednesday, September 4th - Monday, September 16th, 2013. At the completion of the orientation, each fellow begins their fellowship.

STIPEND & TRAVEL

During the Fellowship year, IEEE-USA Congressional Fellows receive a Fellowship stipend of either $65,000 (MS and BS with experience) or $55,000 (Post Docs/ PhDs just entering the workforce). PhD's with work significant work experience may receive the higher of the two stipend levels. The Government Fellows Committee has the discretion - based on the applicant's professional experience - to determine which of the two stipend levels an applicant will receive.

Payment of the Fellowship stipend is contingent upon the Fellow's receipt of an appropriate security clearance, participation in the AAAS orientation, and reaching agreement with the State Department on a suitable assignment.

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

When making arrangements to supplement the Fellowship stipend through a continued salary from an employer, applicants must consider potential conflicts of interest.

HISTORY

In an October 1999 report, the National Research Council concluded that, "the Department [of State] needs the capability to understand how technological factors influence political and economic developments." In its 15 May 2000 response, the State Department recognized, "the growing significance of science and technology based issues in foreign policy and is aware that this trend will continue and accelerate. The Department is determined to do what is necessary to respond to this challenge and to meet its responsibilities in this area." 

The State Department Science & Technology Adviser reached out to IEEE-USA and other science and engineering societies for help in building its S&T expertise; the result is the IEEE-USA's Engineering and Diplomacy Fellowship program.

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