Dear Friends and Colleagues —
The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), in partnership with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation, is now providing multiple grants for institutions to explore the creation of science and technology policy fellowship programs in their state legislature.
We invite you to submit a letter of interest for funding up to a maximum of $25,000 to support the planning process — including landscape analyses and strategic plan development — of an immersive training program. Letters are due July 18th, 2016. Complete instructions available at fellows.ccst.us/grants.php.
State legislators and policymakers are encountering increasingly complicated science- and technology-related matters pertaining to water, agriculture, energy, privacy, health, natural resources, and food security. Because policy decisions on these topics have widespread and long-term impacts, it is valuable for lawmakers to have rapid access to trusted, impartial experts who can provide advice on and help decipher these complex issues.
Since 2010, our own CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows Program has placed ten PhD-level scientists annually in the California State Legislature for one-year appointments. These “Science Fellows” work side-by-side with policymakers addressing scientific and technical issues, in addition to the other responsibilities of full-time legislative staffers. By placing PhD-level scientists directly in the California State Assembly and California State Senate, the CCST program helps inform policy discussions with impartial, nonpartisan scientific perspectives and expertise.
While our program in California — and the Federal-level AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships in Washington, DC — are two examples of fellowship programs, we expect proposals for other state legislatures to fit their respective needs, legislative agenda, and organizational structures. Our common vision for the future is a network of state-based science advising programs that better inform state legislatures on science- and technology-relevant policy issues.
The granting process will proceed as follows:
Round 1: Submission of letter of interest
A short letter of interest (no more than two pages) should describe your interest in a Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program; why your state is a good candidate; and how much you would request (up to $25,000). Letters should be submitted by Monday, July 18, 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Round 2: Submission of full proposal
Qualifying candidates will be notified in August 2016, and be asked to submit a full proposal (6-8 pages) that includes:
- An outline of current legislative science and technology policy needs, challenges and goals, including the suitability of your state’s legislature to host a fellowship
- Likely program champions, both inside and outside the legislature
- A potential host organization or consortium to manage the program
- Potential funding sources for development and implementation of a Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program
- Outline of proposed planning process and associated budget (not to exceed $25,000)
- Letters of support will be considered but are not necessary for a full proposal.
We invite you to visit fellows.ccst.us/grants.php to view several documents that may be of use in preparing your letter of interest and full proposal:
- CCST recently completed a report titled “Elements of a Successful Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Program for State Legislatures”, which outlines recommended best practices to follow when seeking to establish a similar program in another state.
- Two legal memoranda, articulating (1) the legal basis for funding the CCST Science Fellows program and associated ethical issues, and (2) considerations for creating and funding this type of fellowship program for jurisdictions other than the California State government.
- A list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this grant process.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have. Thank you so much for helping us share this important opportunity — and we look forward to working with many of you in the near future!
— Amber Mace
Amber Mace, PhD, is the Deputy Director of the California Council on Science and Technology and a Policy Fellow at the UC Davis Policy Institute. Mace formerly served as the Executive Director of California Ocean Protection Council and Assistant Secretary for Coastal Matters at the California Natural Resources Agency, after serving as a Sea Grant Policy Fellow with the United States Senate. Mace received her PhD in ecology from the University of California, Davis.