The AMS Congressional Science Fellowship places highly qualified, accomplished scientists within the offices of individual Members of Congress as well as congressional committees for a one-year assignment. Fellows serve as regular staff members to those congressional offices. This makes it possible for fellows to bring to the Congress new insights, fresh ideas, extensive knowledge, and education in a variety of disciplines. Not only are the Fellows provided with the opportunity to make a significant public service contribution, but they also obtain firsthand experience in the legislative and political process.

The effects of Congressional decisions on society and on scientists are far-reaching.  Policy choices advance the interests of society most effectively when grounded in the best available knowledge and understanding. We need more scientists working on Capitol Hill to ensure that policy makers have ready access to the best available information.

Fellows perform every type of work normally asked of the permanent congressional staff, whether they are in members' offices or with committees. The range of activities is illustrated by these examples:
  • Assist in preparation of major parts of legislation from preliminary agency reviews to House-Senate conferences and final enactment into law;

  • Work on legislative and oversight activities on budgets for various agencies, such as NOAA, NASA, EPA, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Defense;

  • Assist with oversight investigations into major national problems such as global change, hazardous wastes, natural disasters, ground water, acid rain, etc.;

  • Help prepare Members for debates on the floors of the House and Senate;

  • Write speeches and other materials for Members on a wide range of topics;

  • Provide liaison and coordination with committees to which a Member is assigned;

  • Give briefings and arrange for public hearings; and,

  • Meet with lobbyists, members of the public, agency representatives, and many others.


Fellowships are for one year, running from September through August. The stipend for the most recent Fellow is $63,000, plus health and dental insurance premiums, and approved business related travel expenses. There will be a two-week orientation period organized by the AAAS in Washington in early September. This orientation includes seminars on the Congress and the Executive Branch; meetings with former Fellows, members of Congress, and staff; and preparing for placement in the Congress. There will be roughly 35 Congressional Fellows in the class, sponsored by over two dozen different societies, and roughly 200 executive branch fellows..


We strongly encourage applicants to apply for all Congressional Fellowship programs for which they are eligible. For members of the Earth science community this likely includes: AGU, AGI, GSA, APS, AIP, AAAS, ACS, and in some cases the American Mathematical Society. Of course, we very much hope you will also apply for the AMS fellowship.