Centers and Major Program Areas

Eagleton Science and Politics Initiative

The Eagleton Science and Politics Initiative explores: how science, technology, and American politics intersect; the political systems that connect them; and how deeper understanding and clearer communication within and across these disciplines can benefit policymakers, scientists, and the larger public.

Get Involved

Graduate students, post-docs, and faculty can participate in the Initiative’s annual workshop series. Ph.D. scientists and engineers can apply their scientific training in service to the state of New Jersey through a new one-year fellowship program.

Eagleton Science and Politics Workshop

The Eagleton Science and Politics Workshop (ESPW) is a collaborative initiative that enables graduate students, post-docs, and faculty to explore intersections between science and politics in order to increase their understanding of how politics affects their disciplines and how they can effectively engage with political and policymaking leaders and institutions.

The workshop series aims to make connections and improve communication between scientists and policy-makers, as well as to expand the pool of scientifically trained graduates interested in public service careers.

A student speaking

“The science workshop has changed my career path.”
– Rutgers Graduate Student

Past Workshops



The Eagleton Science and Politics Workshop is offered in collaboration with the following partners (list in formation):

  • The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences
  • Departments of Neuroscience & Cell Biology and Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Division of Life Sciences
  • Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
  • Graduate School-New Brunswick
  • Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Office of the Executive Dean, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
  • The Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (SciWomen)
  • The Rutgers University iJOBS Program, funded by a Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training grant from the NIH
  • Science and Policy and Advocacy at Rutgers (SPAR), a graduate student organization

Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship

The Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship offers PhD-level scientists and engineers the opportunity to apply their training and expertise to the development and implementation of relevant state policy. As full-time aides in the executive or legislative branch, Science Fellows bring their advanced technical skills to service in state government.

During the one-year program, Science Fellows participate in the political process and support New Jersey state government officials in making evidence-based decisions in public policy areas involving science, engineering, and technology. Through this work, they develop an understanding of state government and learn how to build careers in public service.

The program begins with an intensive summer training seminar focused on New Jersey state politics and government, covering topics such as effective communication strategies, power structures, and political processes. Throughout the year, Science Fellows participate in professional development and networking sessions organized by the Institute.

“Eagleton has a long history of working to connect academia and government. This project is an exciting extension of that work.”
– Associate Director John Weingart

Applications for the 2020/2021 fellowship year are now closed.
Sign up here to receive updates about the fellowship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fellowship timeline?

November 22, 2019 – Application period begins
January 17, 2020 – Application period closes
Mid-February 2020 – Notification sent to applicants for interviews
April 2020 – Notification sent to selected Fellows
July 2020 – Intensive training seminar at the Eagleton Institute begins
Mid-July/August 2020 – Fellows begin their placements at host offices
July 2021 – Fellowship ends


Who can apply for the Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship?
To be eligible for the Fellowship, candidates must possess the following minimum qualifications:

  • A PhD or equivalent level degree
    • Examples of PhD equivalent degrees include, but are not limited to: MD, DVM, DO, DDS, and PharmD.
  • U.S. citizenship OR suitable immigration status for non-residents

Examples of acceptable disciplines include, but are not limited to:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Animal Sciences
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Earth, Ocean and Marine Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering: Biomedical, Ceramic, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Nuclear
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Food and Nutritional Sciences
  • Health Sciences/Medicine
  • Mathematics/Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Systems Sciences

Individuals who will not have completed all doctoral program requirements by July 1, 2020 are not eligible to apply.

Is the Fellowship limited to New Jersey residents?
No, all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply. However, the program does not offer relocation reimbursement or housing assistance.

Do I need to have previous experience in public policy?
No, Science Fellows are not expected to have previous experience. However, they are expected to be interested in the processes of American politics and government, and they should understand value of scientific expertise in political and governmental spheres.

Note: All selected Science Fellows will participate in a one—week seminar before their placements, gaining intensive training in communication as well as government and legislative processes.

Can I keep another full-time appointment in addition to the Fellowship?
No, all selected Science Fellows are expected to dedicate a full-time schedule to the Fellowship and may not keep outside full-time appointments. Moreover, individual office working hours may vary and may include some evenings, and possibly weekends.

Is the Fellowship only for early-career scientists?
No, applicants with all ranges of experience and at all stages of their careers may apply.

What will my stipend be?
The yearly stipend will be $50,000, paid bi-weekly starting in July 2020.

The stipend is taxable as income, but no federal or state taxes will be withheld. Fellows will be responsible for reporting the income and determining tax liability.

Will I receive health benefits?
Health insurance for individuals and families is available through Rutgers University Health Plans (UHP) at the Fellow’s expense. The plan is underwritten by UnitedHealthCare and is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) which offers both “in-network” and “out-of-network” benefits. Participants are not required to select a primary care physician or receive referrals prior to visiting specialists. Out-of-network providers require members to pay deductibles and coinsurance. Detailed insurance plan information is available on the UHP website.

Will you help me find a placement?
Yes, Science Fellows will be matched with appropriate and interested State offices.

What else should I know about the Fellowship?
All Fellows are expected to fulfill their mission as trusted sources of fact-supported and unbiased scientific knowledge. Your work might be relevant to your specific expertise, but, more realistically, you will work on a variety of issues relevant to the hosting office’s interests. Furthermore, your role might be individually further defined by your hosting office and you might not work on science-related issues at all times.