FASEB Public Policy Fellowship Program


Opportunities  |  Expectations  |  Projects  |  Application


FASEB's Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is dedicated to promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy. Major OPA activities include policy development, government liaison, policy research, communications, coalition building, and public outreach. We have on-going projects on research funding, employment and training, animal research, research information technology, and peer review, among others.

For PhD students and post-docs seeking an introduction to public policy, OPA can provide a unique vantage point. Our accomplishments have been recognized by many groups, and we have received awards from Research!America, the National Postdoctoral Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges. Other organizations call upon our expertise. Senior OPA staffers have served on advisory boards and committees of the National Institutes of Health, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Women in Science, National Postdoctoral Association, the Coalition for Health Funding, the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, and the Friends of VA Medical Care and Research.


OPA policy fellows will receive an introduction to issues and perspectives in biomedical research policy by working with the leadership and staff of the Federation and its member societies. They may also interact with federal agencies, Congress, other scientific associations, and advocates for research such as the Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of American Universities, and the Association of Public Land-grant Universities.

On a weekly basis, policy fellows will participate in the FASEB public affairs staff meetings during which they will be exposed to a wide range of policy issues, perspectives, and strategies. Monthly conference calls of the FASEB Science Policy Committee (the fourth Tuesday of each month) and the Board of Directors (the first Tuesday of each month) will expose fellows to the policy development and review process used by a successful policy organization.


We expect that each fellow will make meaningful contributions to at least one major project that will serve as a demonstration of his or her contributions to the OPA mission. The ideal project will be one that is consistent with current OPA agenda and matches the fellow’s interests, experience, and career goals. This will be work of a non-confidential nature so that it can be shared with individuals outside of the FASEB community.

Fellows will meet with the Director of Science Policy and the Director of OPA to identify goals and expectations and reach mutual agreement on appropriate projects at the beginning of the fellowship.

As participants in the early stages of policy development, policy fellows will be exposed to open and frank discussions of individual and group perspectives. These are confidential communications and should not be shared with outside individuals or groups.  Similarly, privileged information about the fellow’s home organization will not be solicited by FASEB staff.

Most policy documents prepared by OPA are collaborative statements, developed by committees, and approved by the FASEB Board. With the exception of the transmittal letters signed by the FASEB president, they do not typically carry individual authorship.  Individual contributions are described in an acknowledgments section. It is appropriate, however, for individuals to list contributions to collective projects on curriculum vitae.


Examples projects undertaken by recent OPA fellows include:

  • Assisting with efforts to organize a conference/workshop for scientists. Examples of such include the role of basic scientists in clinical/translational research, international perspectives on combating animal rights extremism, laboratory management, and fostering innovation in science
  • Preparing a report based on a major meeting or conference
  • Developing tools and resources for the community. For example:
    • Creating state level advocacy resources explaining how federal research funding affects each community
    • Developing a website compiling information on the benefits of NSF funded research
    • Organizing and securing speakers for webinars on policy-related issues

Application Procedures

For more information about the OPA fellowship, including application requirements, contact Yvette Seger, PhD, Director of Science Policy. Fellowship applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Preference is given to those who can commit to a full-time fellowship (5 days/week) for 10-12 weeks.