STEM graduate students are increasingly interested in applying their scientific skills and expertise to careers in science policy. Likewise, policymakers are increasingly facing complex challenges and would benefit from scientific input. This report was written to present a pathway for development the first and only science and technology policy fellowship for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts based on a SCi’s three-year pilot of the Massachusetts Summer Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (MASSTPF). This report summarizes the structure of the MASSTPF pilot program, analyzes its success, and examines other state science and technology policy fellowships. It then synthesizes this material into a proposal to move towards and inclusive and diverse fellowship open to any university in Massachusetts.
Report Completed 2022
Report Findings. Students who participated in the MASSTPF reported significant career development outcomes, PIs were satisfied with student participation, and legislative offices indicated that students contributed meaningfully to policy development. In addition, while there are many other state-level science and technology fellowships, no such program exists in Massachusetts. Therefore, SCi is poised to use its programmatic scaffolding to create a state-wide MASSTPF, providing an inclusive and equitable career training opportunity for STEM graduate students as well as direct scientific input to state-level public policy.
Next Steps. With data demonstrating the success of the phase one pilot program and growing demand from other institutions, SCi is seeking to create a state-wide MASSTPF accessible to all STEM graduate students in MA. The next step toward this goal is to conduct a phase two pilot that builds on Harvard and MIT’s initial investments and doubles the number of participating universities by including students from two additional partner universities.