January 15 is the deadline for all application materials to be postmarked for both the American Institute of Physics and American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellowship programs.
These programs enable scientists with a PhD in physics or a closely related field -- or outstanding non-PhD candidates with compensating research experience -- to spend a year working for a congressional office or committee, learning how congressional decisions impact the science community and how a scientist can provide advice and expertise to Congress.
Many former Fellows have gone on to help craft administration science policy by serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, or in federal science and technology agencies. Others return to academia or industry, while some accept permanent staff positions on Capitol Hill.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 10, 2001.