Policy decisions are based on a delicate balance of many factors including societal norms and values, economics, science, and of course- politics. Unfortunately, the best available scientific and technological information is not always weighed effectively in policy decisions. Well trained scientists and engineers occupying positions of influence can help bridge this critical divide, informing better decisions on everything from human rights and health to water quality and endangered species.
Now more than ever, we need our best and brightest science and engineering students to pursue career opportunities at various levels of government and in the National Capital Region. The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech seeks to inspire the next generation of scientists by providing Science Policy Fellowships for students to spend the summer fully immersed in Washington, DC. We are transforming career paths one student at a time.
Please help us send a Hokie to Capitol Hill, and ensure that science maintains its important place in public policy deliberations. One Science Policy Fellowship ($7,000) fully funds tuition, living expenses, transit and a stipend for a Virginia Tech student to intern in our nation’s capital.
Please choose a giving level on the right or simply click the DONATE NOW button at the top of the page to enter your amount. Together, we can make a difference.
FOR EVERY DOLLAR YOU GIVE, THE GLOBAL CHANGE CENTER WILL MATCH YOUR DONATION!
More about Undergraduate Science Policy Fellowships:
This fellowship program offers a unique 11-week immersion for science and engineering students to work on challenging science policy issues that shape communities locally and nationally while obtaining academic credit. All fellowship recipients will participate in the Science-Policy Track of the Washington Semester program, which is administered by the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). Students will be placed in an internship within a public, private, or non-profit organization for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Examples of placement agencies include USFWS, USAID, USEPA, USDA, The Nature Conservancy, American Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, etc. Final placements are based on each student’s interests and professional goals. For more information about the program, please visit http://www.globalchange.vt.edu/spf/.
The GCC currently funds this initiative and handles advertising and recruitment, interviews and fellow selection, and participates in activities in Washington D.C. In addition to administering the program, SPIA works with fellows to identify optimal internship placements and provides professional development opportunities, for which students earn six hours of graded course credit.
Please help us sustain this innovative program! Thank you!
2017 Fellowship Recipients
Steven Hall, Mechanical Engineering:
I have developed a new awareness of politics and events in our nation as a result of working at the EPA in Washington, DC. The atmosphere in D.C. is contagious and it made me want to be more politically aware because I now understand the significance of all kinds of legislation, not just environmental law.
I learned a great deal from my Washington Semester experience. It made me realize how much of an impact I can make through my career and how I can become a change-agent for society.
Kallie Peurifoy, Environmental Science
I experienced a lot of personal growth in D.C., including the discovery of my true passions. The biggest driver was the high-stakes atmosphere in our Nation’s Capital, which drastically elevated my desire to succeed. Meeting new people that were more experienced opened my mind to careers I had never considered. All these interactions increased my understanding of policy, law and government.
My experience in the National Capital Region made me more confident in taking the next step: I plan to apply to graduate school to pursue a career in environmental engineering focused on renewable energy and climate. I hope that one day I will return to the federal government in a position that allows me to protect the Earth and to serve the American people.
2016 Fellowship Recipients
Lauren Buttling, Environmental Policy and Planning:
After receiving a Science Policy Fellowship through the Global Change Center, I interned at the Environmental Protection Agency for the summer. My experience at the EPA revealed the sheer complexity of environmental policy. Through this program, I saw firsthand the controversies, innovations, and contraints that impact the ability of science to shape public policy in the United States.
Austin Berrier, Engineering Science & Mechanics:
The Science Policy Fellowship Program allowed me to explore my career interests before graduation while gaining valuable experience at a federal agency.
As a result of my summer in the Washington Semester program, I am now focused on previously unexplored career options and have a new interest in combining my engineering background with my public policy interests.
Choose a giving level
Your $10 donation to this Science Policy Fellowship Campaign will help with tuition, lodging, food, and transportation for one student.