Centers and Major Program Areas

Eagleton Science and Politics Program

The Eagleton Science and Politics Program 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 Program’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

 

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

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 doctoral-level scientists, engineers, and healthcare professionals based at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Sign up to join the email list.

Requirements

1)  PhD or equivalent doctoral professional degree earned by July 1st

    of the fellowship year in:
  • Natural sciences
  • Engineering
  • Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (MD, DO, DVM)
  • Pharmacy (PharmD)
  • Dentistry (DMD, DDS)
  • Nursing (DNP)

and

2) U.S. citizenship OR a suitable immigration status for non-residents to work in the U.S.

Rutgers University faculty, staff, and postdocs, as well as applicants from across the country are encouraged to apply.

Application Process

Applications for the 2023-2024 Fellowship year are open until February 20th.

APPLY HERE

Important dates

  • Applications close on Monday, February 20th, 2023, at 11.59pm.
  • Applicants selected for video interviews are contacted in March/April.
  • Final candidates are selected and notified in May.

The fellowship begins on July 10th, 2023, with a week-long orientation at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Fellowship appointments end on July 9th, 2024.

The Fellowship offers three tracks:

Climate Action Track – executive placement with a project specifically focused on climate-related issues in New Jersey including clean energy, energy storage, resiliency, or sustainability.

Executive Track – placement in one of New Jersey’s executive departments and agencies, including Departments of Health; Human Services; Children and Families; Transportation; Education; Environmental Protection, and others. A Science Fellow in this track may also work on climate-related topics.

Legislative Track – placement in one of New Jersey’s four partisan legislative offices: the Democratic or Republican staff in the State Senate or State Assembly.

Fellowship Year
The Fellowship is a 12-month, full-time position beginning in early July with an intensive, one-week 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, alumni, and government, non-profit and business contacts.

Fellowship Benefits
The Science Fellows receive a $60,000 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, dental, and vision insurance is provided for the Science Fellow as part of the benefit package with additional coverage for spouses and dependents available for purchase. 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 subscriptions to databases through PubMed, university-wide events, and mentorships.

For More Information
For more information about the Fellowship and application process, please contact Anna Dulencin, Ph.D., Director, Eagleton Science and Politics Program.

 

FAQs

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 doctoral degree in natural sciences, engineering, or healthcare
    • Examples of PhD equivalent degrees include, but are not limited to: MD, DVM, DO, DDS, PharmD, and DNP.
  • U.S. citizenship OR suitable immigration status for non-residents
    Examples of acceptable natural sciences 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, 2023, are not eligible to apply.

Is the Fellowship limited to New Jersey residents?
No, all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply. However, residency within a reasonable commuting distance to the host office and the Eagleton Institute is required throughout the Fellowship. The program is not able to offer relocation reimbursement or housing assistance at this time.

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.

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.

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 $60,000, paid bi-weekly starting in July 2023.

The stipend is taxable as income, but no federal or state taxes will be withheld. Science 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 along with dental and vision plans. Coverage for spouses and dependents are available for purchase. 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. The interview finalists will be presented with a list of available placements and projects per their track selection. In addition, individually tailored placements outside of this list are possible as well. The finalists, the Fellowship leadership, and the host office remain in conversation throughout the process which culminates with a virtual or in-person meeting of the finalist with the host office.

What are the Fellowship policies regarding in-person, hybrid, or virtual-only placements?
Science Fellows will become part of project teams which will have separate requirements or expectations on working policies based on the host office. We are unable to secure placements with specific advance knowledge of whether the Science Fellow would be working fully in-person or virtually or somewhere in between. Such arrangements become clearer in May, after a placement has been selected, and the final candidates have met with their potential supervisors.

Historically, legislative placements have been fully in-person, while executive placements have varied.

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.

What kind of careers do the Science Fellows pursue after the Fellowship?
Many of the Eagleton Science and Politics Fellowship alumni have been hired by their original host offices and remain working there. Some have pursued federal-level fellowships or joined non-profit research and trade organizations as policy analysts, program officers, or government affairs executives.

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 while also holding in confidence any information or material required or suggested by their host office. Your work might be relevant to your specific expertise, but it is more likely that 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

 

Past Science Fellows

Krista Connelly, Ph.D.
Temple University – Neuroscience
Placement: NJ Department of Corrections: Mental Health Services; Psychiatry & Addiction

Virginia Folgado Marco, Ph.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine – Biomedical Sciences
Placement: NJ Office of Innovation – COVID19 Contact Tracing; Digital Data Modernization

Peter Frank, Ph.D.
University of New Hampshire – Organic Chemistry
Placement: NJ Department of Education – Division of Academics and Performance; Learning Loss; Virtual Learning; Science Education Standards

Joseph Gurrentz, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Austin – Inorganic Chemistry
Placement: Senate Majority Office

Jesse Kolodin, Ph.D.
Montclair State University – Environmental Science and Management
Placement: NJ Department of Banking and Insurance – Catastrophe Planning Response Program; Property & Casualty; Homeowner Market & Coastal Restrictions

Federica Lari, Ph.D
University of Oxford – Cancer Biology
Placement: NJ Department of Environmental Protection – Bureaus of Sustainability and Climate Change & Clean Energy

Kira Lawrence, Ph.D.
Lafayette College – John H Markel Professor of Geology
Placement: NJ Board of Public Utilities – Offshore Wind; Energy Storage; Wave and Tidal Energy; Grid Modernization

Shin-Yi Lin, Ph.D.
Princeton University – Molecular Biology and Neuroscience
Placement: Department of Human Services – NJ Medicaid; Maternal and Infant Health

Andrew McAllister, Ph.D.
University of Michigan – Applied Physics
Placement: Assembly Majority Office – Committees: Telecommunications and Utilities; Science, Innovation, and Technology

Allison McCague, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University – Human Genetics
Placement: Department of Health – Newborn Screening Program; Office of Policy & Legislative Services

Ian McLaughlin, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania – Neuroscience
Placement: Assembly Majority Office

Gabriel Moore, Ph.D.
Princeton University – Molecular Biology
Placement: NJ Department of Health – Office of Multicultural Health

Sawyer Morgan, Ph.D
University of Washington – Chemical Engineering
Placement: NJ Board of Utilities – Clean Energy Division: Solar Energy, Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles

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 – NJ COVID Mobile App Development; NJ COVID State Response Team

Liana Vaccari, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania – Chemical Engineering
Placement: Department of Transportation – Climate Resiliency of Transportation Assets

Zixuan Wang, Ph.D.
University of Michigan – Chemical Engineering
Placement: Assembly Majority Office – Committees: Environment and Solid Waste, Telecommunication and Utilities, Education, Natural Resources and Infrastructure