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Idaho Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (ISTPF)

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Who We Are

The Idaho Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (ISTPF) is a nonpartisan program that connects science with policy by fostering a network of science, social science and engineering leaders who understand government and policymaking and are prepared to develop and implement solutions to address societal challenges.

The ISTPF provides opportunities for outstanding scientists, social scientists and engineers to learn firsthand about policymaking while using their knowledge and skills to address pressing challenges facing Idaho. Fellows support decision makers in Idaho, serving in yearlong assignments across state agencies. Fellows address challenges facing Idaho such as water, energy, fire, public health and economic development.

The fellowship program is similar to a program started nearly 50 years ago by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which places scientists and engineers in fellowships to support Congress, executive branch agencies and the judiciary. The California Council on Science and Technology in partnership with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation provided startup funding for the ISTPF. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and individual contributions are supporting the first cohort. Idaho is one of 21 states developing a science policy fellowship program at the state government level.

The ISTPF is a collaborative effort among the University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University. The three universities provide oversight and administration of the ISTPF program. The operation of the ISTPF program is informed by the ISTPF advisory board.

An advisory board meets twice yearly to provide ongoing guidance on the ISTPF. The advisory board is chaired by Nöel Bakhtian, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) and a member of the senior leadership team at Idaho National Laboratory.

Members of the board include:

  • Stephanie Bailey-White, State Librarian, Idaho Commission for Libraries
  • Celia Gould, Director, Idaho Department of Agriculture
  • Angela Hemingway, Ph.D., Director, Idaho STEM Action Center
  • Dave Jeppesen, Director, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
  • Jay Larsen, President and CEO, Idaho Technology Council
  • Dustin Miller, Director, Idaho Department of Lands
  • Dee Mooney, Executive Director, Micron Foundation
  • Christine Neuhoff, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, St. Luke’s Health System
  • Megan Ronk, Director, Business Innovation and Development, Idaho Power
  • Gina Schatteman, Ph.D., Director, STEM for Idaho Consulting
  • Ed Schriever, Director, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • Andrew Scoggin, Board Chair, Idaho Business for Education
  • John Tippets, Director, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
  • Josh Wright, Executive Vice President, Emsi

Ex officio advisory board members:

  • Governor
  • Lieutenant governor
  • Speaker of the House
  • Senate Pro Tempore
  • House minority leader
  • Senate minority leader
  • Legislative Services Office director

What We Do

The ISTPF program provides Idaho scientists, social scientists and engineers the opportunity to learn firsthand about policymaking through a yearlong fellowship. Up to three fellows will be supported for the 2020-21 fellowship year.

Graduate and professional students, postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors at the University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University will be invited to participate in various aspects of the fellowship. This engagement will cultivate opportunities for scientists, social scientists and engineers to learn about science policy and expand technical skills through professional development and networking opportunities in early career.

Become a Fellow

Total compensation provided to ISTP fellows includes salary, benefits and certain support for travel and professional development. Salary provided is generally commensurate with the expertise and experience of the selected fellow and is based on employment of the fellow for a 12 month period. Total compensation provided to ISTP fellows may not exceed $100,000.

Please note that salary provided through the ISTPF may be reduced by an amount commensurate with salary support to the fellow from other sources (e.g., salary provided in support of a faculty sabbatical).

Benefits provided to fellows will depend upon the employing university. For a better understanding of health and other benefits see: Boise State University Human Resources, Idaho State University Human Resources and University of Idaho Human Resources.

Fellows whose stipends are administered by ISTPF receive a travel/professional training allowance of $3000. The funds may be used only for fellowship-related travel and for professional training. All travel and training must be pre-approved by the placement office and ISTPF.

The professional development program is an integral part of the fellowship experience and includes a one-week orientation and monthly workshops and trainings. The curriculum is designed around learning goals and objectives developed specifically for science and technology policy fellowship programs. The learning goals and objectives support each fellow’s development as a science policy leader and encompass four areas of learning: policy and the state government; leadership; communication and networking and career strategies.

Are you eligible?

  • You hold a doctoral level science or social science degree or a master’s in engineering and three years of work experience.
  • You have solid science/social science and/or technical credentials and three references.
  • You exhibit integrity, problem-solving flexibility and leadership qualities.
  • You are committed to serving society.
  • You have good verbal and written communication skills.

How to apply

  • Check your eligibility
  • Start the online application early. The deadline is April 20, 2020.
  • Read the application thoroughly.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation soon.
  • Understand the ISTPF and customize your essays to it.

How are applicants evaluated?

Fellowships are highly competitive, involving a merit review and selection process. Members of the selection committee represent a board range of backgrounds including academia, private and non-profit sectors and ISTPF advisory board members. All applications are evaluated based on five criteria with points that total 100.

Candidates are evaluated and scored based on the five categories outlined below*.  The ISTPF seeks individuals who have a combination of leadership attributes, analytical and problem-solving abilities, and communication skills, and demonstrate commitment to this professional development opportunity and its objectives. A perfect score is 100 points.

Scientific/Technical Background & Professional Accomplishment (1-20 points)

  • Solid science/social science/technical education and experience in area of expertise, appropriate to career stage.
  • Employment in relevant academic, applied science/social science/technical, research, administration, outreach or policy positions appropriate to career stage and field.
  • Record of publications and/or presentations appropriate to career stage, field and institutional setting.
  • Record of grants and/or participation in research projects or other science/social science/technical initiatives appropriate to career stage, field and institutional setting.

Leadership & Potential (1-15 points)

  • Prior leadership roles relevant to career stage (e.g., graduate student governance or faculty committees; advisory or editorial committees; active in professional societies, nonprofit or community initiatives).
  • Skill/potential to organize, build consensus, lead projects and people toward positive outcomes.
  • Confidence, maturity, and self-direction with the capacity, initiative and flexibility to work well independently as well as in groups.
  • Ability to identify personal strengths and areas for growth and development.
  • Potential to take initiative to make the fellowship a rich and positive experience, to disseminate the skills learned through the fellowship, and to take advantage of networks developed.

Analytical & Problem-Solving Abilities (1-15 points)

  • Evidence of creative thinking and analytical skill.
  • Ability to translate and apply theoretical concepts into practice to solve problems.
  • Capacity to make connections between science, social science and technology and broader economic, social and political issues.

Communication, Interpersonal & Outreach Skills (1-15 points)

  • Excellent communication skills: articulate, cohesive, concise, rational flow of information, and clear in both context and detail.
  • Ability to convey science/social science/technology knowledge in broader contexts.
  • Capacity to work effectively with diverse stakeholders outside science, social science and/or engineering communities.

Commitment to ISTPF (1-15 points)

  • Strong interest in applying science/social science/technical knowledge toward the solution of problems in areas in which the fellowship would be served.
  • Clarity of objectives for applying to the fellowship, and how the fellowship experience will be used in the future.
  • Willingness and flexibility to tackle issues beyond area of expertise, openness and capacity to expand experience in the policy realm, and to interact with policymakers and regulators.
  • Realistic expectations, open-minded, and adaptable to fellowship opportunities and challenges.
  • Demonstrated or clearly communicated commitment to apply science/social science/technical expertise to serve society.

* Based on selection criteria set by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF)

Apply Here

  • Application opens: Monday, March 16
  • Application closes: Monday, April 20
  • Application review: Through early May
  • Semi-finalist video interviews: Week of May 18
  • Fellow notification: Late May
  • ISTPF placement process: Week of August 24
  • ISTPF orientation: Week of August 31
  • Fellows in office: September 8

McClure Center

Physical Address:
GAR Building

Mailing Address:
James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research
GAR Building
714 W. State Street
Boise, ID 83702

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