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 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.

“I have learned so much about civil service during my time at Eagleton. I know that I can take this invaluable experience with me as I move forward with my career.”
– Allison McCague, 2020 Eagleton Science Fellow

“I believe I have the opportunity to make a real impact with my work, which is both meaningful to me and exciting.”
– Liana Vaccari, 2020 Eagleton Science Fellow

Overview

The Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship is a year-long, full-time fellowship for PhD-level scientists, engineers, physicians, and pharmacists based at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

Requirements

1) PhD or equivalent earned by July of the fellowship year in:

  • Natural sciences
  • Engineering
  • Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (MD, DO, DVM)
  • Pharmacy (PharmD)
  • Dentistry (DMD, DDS)

and

2) U.S. citizenship OR a suitable immigration status for non-residents

Application Process
The Institute welcomes application between December 1, 2020 – January 18, 2021 submitted through the online portal. Three letters of reference must be emailed separately to science@eagleton.rutgers.edu by Monday, January 18, 2021.

Applicants selected for video interviews are contacted in March/April.

Final candidates are selected and notified in May.

Placement Process
Placements in either state legislative or executive offices are identified and secured after discussions with the Science Fellow and outreach to state offices to determine available need and openings. The goal is to select placements that both meet the interests of the Science Fellow and the needs of the potential host agency. The Science Fellows are notified of their final placement before they commit to the fellowship.

Fellowship Year
The Fellowship is a 12-month, full-time position beginning in early July with an intensive summer training. Placements are based in or around Trenton, New Jersey.

Throughout the year, the Science Fellows participate in monthly meetings, Eagleton Institute events, and professional development/mentorship opportunities, drawing from the Institute’s rich network of Visiting Associates, Eagleton alumni, and government contacts.

Fellowship Benefits
The Science Fellows receive a $50,000 stipend, up to $1,500 for professional development to offset conference travel and registration, and 15 ‘flex’ days to use as sick and holiday time in addition to state-observed holidays. Health insurance is provided for the Science Fellow with additional coverage for spouses and dependents available for purchase. Dental and vision plans are available as well. Visit the University Health Plans website for more information on health insurance benefits.

The Science Fellows also benefit from many Rutgers University resources, including access to over 20 libraries, extensive subscription to databases through PubMed, and university-wide events.

For More Information
For more information about the Fellowship and application process, please contact Anna Dulencin, Ph.D., Sr. Program Coordinator.

Apply and FAQs

Apply here

Frequently Asked Questions

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 the Science Fellow is provided with the Fellowship. Dental and vision plans are available for purchase as well as additional health coverage for spouses and dependents. All plans are available through Rutgers University Health Plans (UHP) which are underwritten by UnitedHealthCare.  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.

Current Science Fellows


Krista Connelly, Ph.D.
Temple University – Neuroscience
Placement: NJ Department of Corrections

 

 

 


Peter Frank, Ph.D.
University of New Hampshire – Organic Chemistry
Placement: NJ Department of Education

 

 

 


Kira Lawrence, Ph.D.

Lafayette College – Geology
Professor and Department Head
Placement: NJ Board of Public Utilities
 

 

 


Ian McLaughlin, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania – Neuroscience
Placement: Assembly Majority Office

 

 

 


Evvan Morton, Ph.D.

Arizona State University – Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering
Placement: Senate Majority Office

 

 

 


Mai Nguyen, Ph.D.

Princeton University – Psychology
Placement: NJ Department of Children and Families

 

 

 


Hanna Sherrill, Ph.D.

Brown University – Neuroscience
Placement: NJ Department of Health

 

 


Past Science Fellows

Shin-Yi Lin, Ph.D.
Princeton University – Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
Placement: Department of Human Services

Andrew McAllister, PhD
University of Michigan – Applied Physics
Placement: Assembly Majority Office

Allison McCague, PhD
Johns Hopkins University – Human Genetics
Placement: Department of Health

Liana Vaccari, PhD
University of Pennsylvania – Chemical Engineering
Placement: Department of Transportation

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

 

Partners

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