Science Policy Fellows Program

Dr. Marianne Alleyne and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), May 2015In 2014, ESA formed the Science Policy Fellows (SPF) program as a way to support and develop scientists as visible and effective advocates for entomology and entomological research. This program has become one of the most prestigious ways to serve the Society and profession. ESA accepts five new Fellows each year for a two-year term. In the program, ESA SPFs will engage in a variety of virtual and in-person educational events to teach them about how science policy and science funding decisions are made at the federal level, and to provide them an opportunity to engage with lawmakers, legislative staff, and federal agency leaders in Washington, DC. In the image to the right, Dr. Marianne Alleyne (SPF class of 2014) meets with US Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) in May 2015.  

  • Class of 2018 (call for applications to be published in April 2018)
  • Class of 2017 (serves until the 2019 ESA Annual Meeting)
  • Class of 2016 (serves until the 2018 ESA Annual Meeting)
  • Class of 2015 (serves until the 2017 ESA Annual Meeting)
  • Class of 2014 (served until the 2016 ESA Annual Meeting)

Typical activities for an ESA Science Policy Fellow may include:

  • Attending science and policy workshops and networking events at ESA’s Annual Meeting (receive gratis registration and $500 travel stipend);
  • Participating in teleconferences and webinars on federal science policy and budget development, as well as specific policy issues;
  • Assisting in the development of policy statements;
  • Participating in Washington DC-based meetings and events for hands-on experience with legislators, legislative staff, and agency leaders (all travel expenses covered by ESA).

Required Materials for Application:

All applicants must be an ESA member in good standing. All applications must include the below items:

  1. Candidate statement, 500 words maximum. Please describe why you would like to participate in the ESA Science Policy Fellows program. How do you think the ESA Science Policy Fellows program will benefit you and your career? 
  2. Issue statement, 500 words maximum. Please describe one policy issue and why it is important for the future of entomology. Candidates are encouraged to review ESA’s science policy section of the ESA website for ideas.
  3. Two letters of reference, including one from a supervisor. These may be submitted anonymously. All anonymous letters can be sent to  Please note that any anonymous letters need to be sent after the application has already been submitted. All letters must be received no later than COB June 2.
  4. CV or resume
All finalists will conduct a telephone interview with a representative of the Science Policy Committee.  Prior to the telephone interview, finalists must provide a letter from their institution authorizing participation in the program if selected. 

Review Process and Evaluation:
The ESA Science Policy Committee will conduct the evaluation and selection process. Among other factors, the Society seeks to have broad representation on these factors:

  • Geographic representation across the United States and territories
  • Functional representation across the ESA Sections
  • Demographic representation across the breadth of ESA's membership
  • Experiential representation (Ideally there will be one student, two postdoctoral/early career, one mid-career, and one senior scientists in each class).

The precise mix may vary from year to year, depending upon the quality of submitted candidates and the existing Fellows in the program. In general, candidates at each career stage will be evaluated with others at similar stages, rather than with the entire applicant pool. All applicants will be evaluated on the following categories:

  1. Writing Skills
  2. Research and/or Professional Area of Interest
  3. References
  4. Interview (if selected as a finalist)

Important points to know prior to applying to the Science Policy Fellows program:

  1. Prestigious. Being selected as an ESA Science Policy Fellow is a high honor and applicants should carefully consider all aspects of the program prior to applying.
  2. Not employment.  The program is not full-time and you would not be required to relocate nor quit your current job.
  3. No age limit. As stated above, we are looking for applicants from all levels of career development.
  4. Starting and ending dates. The 2017 class of ESA Science Policy Fellows will begin their appointment at the 2017 ESA Annual Meeting and conclude it just prior to the 2019 meeting. Following service as an active Fellow, periodic opportunities may present themselves for ESA Science Policy Fellow alumni to advocate for science and the Society's priorities.
  5. Expected workload. There will be two annual trips (spring and fall) to Washington D.C. with required attendance at the ESA Annual Meeting while in active service. Additionally, there will be periodic opportunities for contributions throughout the year in your home political district or via webinars, email, or telephone conferences.
  6. Remuneration.  Beyond gratis ESA meeting registration during the active years as a Fellow and a $500 annual travel stipend, this is not a paid position, though all Washington D.C. travel expenses will be covered by ESA.

For any questions on the ESA Science Policy Fellows program please contact Chris Stelzig.

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