Massachusetts Summer Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (MASSTPF)



In the summer of 2019, the Scientific Citizenship Initiative (SCi) at Harvard Medical School initiated a three-year pilot of the Massachusetts Summer Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (MASSTPF). This pilot placed STEM graduate students from Harvard University, and eventually the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in a part-time paid summer fellowship where they worked as advisers to MA state legislators. The program was an experiential learning opportunity that allowed students to engage in dialogue with stakeholders and provided professional development applicable to a variety of careers. It also allowed state legislators to draw on the research skills and expertise of highly motivated students to improve their legislative work. 


In total 12 students have participated in the program (2 in 2019, 4 in 2020, and 6 in 2021). In 2021 SCi admitted two students from MIT’s Technology and Policy Program (TPP). Legislative offices and committees have benefited from working with highly-skilled STEM students, who help with tasks such as researching science and technology-related policy areas and interacting with constituents. Demand to host a fellow has grown from two offices in 2019 to 13 in 2021.


Upon successful completion of its pilot, SCi has decided to incorporate the fellowship into the Civic Science Clinic while also investigating options for developing a more inclusive and diverse fellowship program open to students across the Commonwealth of MA.