CCST S&T Policy Fellows

Applications Now Open: CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship in Sacramento, California
A photo of the 2022 Fellows with a blue banner below highlighting that applications are now open for the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with CCST's logo.
CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship Program Places PhD Scientists into Policy Careers Apply to transform your PhD expertise into an impactful science policy career in California. START YOUR APPLICATION  |  Download Fellowship Flyer  |  Download Fellowship Poster SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is now recruiting and accepting applications for the CCST Science & […]
REGISTER: Life as a CCST Fellow: What’s It Like? | Application Q&A
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CCST S&T Policy Fellowship Alums to Discuss the Day-to-Day Life of a Fellow Learn about an opportunity to transform your PhD expertise into an impactful science policy career in California. REGISTER Dec. 13th 11am PT | Download Fellowship Flyer Moving to Sacramento. Adjusting from lab to office. Working in policy. There’s a lot of new […]
Assessing Climate Risk – My Fellowship Year: Like An ‘Inverted Delta’
A photo of Kara Voss, PhD, a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the title of her blog post and CCST logo on a blue background
As a flowing river runs into a larger, standing body of water like a lake or the sea, it deposits sediment into a triangular shaped wetland known as a delta—most often with a narrow tip at the river opening into the broader end of the open water. Occasionally, this formation can happen in the reverse, […]
WATCH: Why Choose the CCST S&T Policy Fellowship?
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Why Choose the CCST S&T Policy Fellowship? Held Mon. Oct. 3, 2022 In this first of three informational webinars, hear directly from current and former CCST S&T Policy Fellows about the ins and outs of the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows program, the impact that the program has had on their careers, and the […]
From Biostatistics to Pesticide Policy: Q&A with Natalie Gasca
A photo of Natalie Gasca, PhD, a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the title of her blog post and CCST logo on a blue background
What did you study in grad school and why did you decide to go into policy? As part of my biostatistics PhD program at the University of Washington, I investigated ways to use nutritional information from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis—designed to research predictors of cardiovascular disease—to identify heart-healthy diet patterns. I considered ways to […]
Building Bridges: From Bioengineering to Science Policy
A photo of Stephen Cutie, PhD, a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the title of his blog post and CCST logo on a blue background
Stephen Cutie, PhD is a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the Office of Senator Richard Pan. He earned his PhD in Bioengineering from UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley studying the hormonal switches that regulate heart regeneration across evolution and development. From Miami, Florida, Stephen earned his BS in Biology from […]
California Policymakers Signify Enduring Value of CCST to the State by Investing in Fellows
The 2022 CCST S&T Policy Fellows standing in front of the California State Capitol dressed in formal attire.
California Invests in CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows Program, Placing PhD-level Scientists, Engineers, and Social Scientists in the Legislature, State Agencies, and Offices of the Governor. SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom this week, the 2022 California State Budget allocates $10 million for the California Council on Science and Technology’s […]
The Keyword? Adaptability. Making the Career Transition from Science to Policy.
A photo of Montrai Spikes, PhD, is a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the title of his blog post and CCST logo on a blue background
  The last few months have introduced a lot of new things into my life. I moved from the Midwest, where I had lived most of my life, to California with my partner and our menagerie of animals. I began working nine to five instead of the sporadic hours of an academic. Most notably I […]
Making the Move (Literally): From Science to Science Policy in Sacramento
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  Hannah Frye, PhD, is a 2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the California State Senate Business, Professions, & Economic Development Committee. From Missouri, Hannah studied the role of genetics and sex on memory mechanisms underlying opioid use disorder risk. She earned her PhD in Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis […]
Alumni Encourage Future Science Policy Talents on Fellowship Celebration Day
Screen shot of photo tweet by CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow alum Meron Tesfaye PhD. She is seen with short hair, an ample scarf, and smiling in front of a California State Senate framed commendation on a wall. It's hashtag CCST week & yesterday was at CCSTFellows Day! My experience as a CCST fellow at CAlegislature has changed the trajectory of my career. It's also hashtag Black History Month   & I'm beyond grateful for all the Black fellows that came before me! hashtag SciPol at Black In Sci Pol at BlackInSciComm
Our annual CCST Science & Technology Weeks (S&T Week) are a celebration of science-informed policymaking in the great state of California — how scientific expertise can play an important role as we guide the future of California’s economy, society, and environment. So naturally, any #CCSTweek would have to give a big shoutout to our CCST […]
Watch: Science Policy for a More Resilient California: CCST Sessions at the 2022 AAAS Annual Meeting
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SACRAMENTO, Calif.—From extreme heat to wildfires, California faces a variety of complex, interacting scenarios in adapting to climate change. The type of science policy advice and resources required to plan and act on these disaster resilience scenarios was the focus of CCST events during the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement […]
Introducing the 2022 Class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows
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  SACRAMENTO, CA—We are excited to introduce the 2022 Class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows. Now celebrating its 13th year, the program places PhD level scientists, engineers, and social scientists in Legislative and Executive Branch offices, training them for careers in public policy while helping to equip California’s decision makers with science-savvy staff. These sixteen PhD scientists […]
From Fellow to 40 Under 40: Alum Spotlight with Dr. Debra Cooper
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This fall, 2015 CCST S&T Policy Fellow Debra Cooper, PhD, was recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Sacramento Business Journal, a highly competitive achievement that recognizes outstanding young professionals. In the SacBiz profile, Debra reflects on her professional accomplishments, lessons learned, and her motivation to inspire Black girls, including her daughter. As […]
Applications for CCST’s Science & Technology Policy Fellowship in Sacramento, California
Update: The 2023 Application cycle is now closed. SACRAMENTO, Calif. | CONTACT: Puneet Bhullar The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is seeking PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and government leadership training in the California State Legislature and Executive Branch offices.  Applications are Due March 1st. CCST is recruiting and […]
Watch: CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship 2023 Application Webinar Series
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  Fellows Application Webinar Series   SACRAMENTO, CA—Each year, the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows program recruits a cohort of fifteen PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and leadership training within the California State Legislature and Executive Branch. The application for the upcoming 2023 Fellowship class opens December 1st, 2021 and closes […]
Communicating Science to Policymakers: From the Lab Bench to the Legislature
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Marika Nell is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials. Originally from Maryland, Marika earned a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. In her research, she studied the water quality impacts of fracking operations by searching for known and unknown […]
Finding Balance: Learning to Let Go of Impossible Standards
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Nichole Holm, PhD, is a 2021 CCST S&T Policy Fellow placed on the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee. Nichole’s doctoral research focused on the genetic changes in neurodegenerative disease and the use of genetics in clinical practice. She earned her PhD in Genetics from UC Davis and a BS in Biology from Eckerd College.   […]
Yes, I Belong Here: How To Recognize The Skills And Value You Bring To The Table
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  Bianca L. Gentil, PhD, is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Bianca’s PhD research focused on identifying the economic characteristics of resilient prehispanic settlements in the face of economic, ecological, and demographic pressures. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from Penn […]
From Oil Spills to Energy Bills: My Path from Science to Policy
Photo of 2021 Fellow Jane Park with her blog title.
Jane Park is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the Assembly Committee on Utilities & Energy. From Northern California, Jane studied multigenerational impacts of crude oil exposure on development in natural fish populations. She earned her PhD in Integrative Genetics and Genomics from UC Davis and a BA in Biological Sciences […]
Finding the Right Fit: Taking on Toxic Substances in My Science Policy Placement
Photo of 2021 Fellow Grant Hisao and his blog title.
Grant S. Hisao is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Grant earned his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying biological molecules associated with infectious diseases. He conducted postdoctoral research in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Grant holds a […]
Update: The 2022 Application Cycle is Now Closed
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  SACRAMENTO, Calif. | CONTACT: Jeffery Song The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is seeking PhD scientists and engineers for a year of public service and government leadership training in the California State Legislature and California state agencies.  Applications are Due March 1st. CCST is recruiting and accepting applications for the 2022 Class of CCST Science & […]