Advocacy & Policy

2019-20 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship


The Fellow spends one year working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Activities may involve conducting legislative or oversight work, assisting in congressional hearings and debates, and preparing briefs and writing speeches. The Fellow also attends an orientation program administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on congressional and executive branch operations, which includes guidance in the congressional placement process and a year-long seminar series on science and public policy issues. The AAAS also administers many other aspects of the program for the MRS/TMS Fellow, as well as other Fellows sponsored by nearly two dozen other scientific societies.


A prospective 2019-2020 Fellow must have a record of success in research or scholarship in a field relevant to materials science and technology, familiarity with the discipline and a working understanding of the scientific communities. The Fellow must also demonstrate sensitivity toward policy issues and have a strong interest in applying scientific and technical knowledge to United States public policy issues. The Fellow must be able to work quickly and communicate effectively to both scientific and non-scientific audiences on a wide variety of topics and work cooperatively with individuals having diverse viewpoints. An applicant is expected to be a member of MRS or TMS (or an applicant for membership) and have a Ph.D. by September 1, 2019, or a master’s degree with at least three years professional experience. U.S. citizenship is not required; however, applicants must be authorized to work in the United States. Specifically excluded as selection criteria are age, sex, creed, race, ethnic background and partisan political affiliation. 

MRS/TMS Fellow

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Michele Bustamante
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Current and Past MRS/TMS Fellows

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following categories:

  • Scientific/technical background and professional accomplishments—weighted in consideration of the applicant’s career stage.
  • Communication skills—to scientific and nonscientific audiences—including writing ability, community involvement and outreach activities.
  • Demonstrated public policy interest, such as through participation in policy or advocacy activities; service to professional societies and/or the broader scientific community; and student government or other campus involvement (if applicable).
  • Fellowship skills and abilities, including (but not limited to): capacity to work quickly, flexibly and cooperatively; experience working with individuals with diverse viewpoints; ability to work in a public environment; and strong interpersonal skills.


The 2019-2020 Fellow will have a one-year appointment beginning September 1, 2019. The Fellowship stipend will be $75,000, plus additional funds for health insurance, travel and relocation expenses to the Washington, D.C., area. 

Submission Information—New Process

Applications will be submitted through the MRS Awards Nomination Submission Portal and must be received by 11:59 pm (ET), Friday, January 4, 2019. Applicants will use their MRS customer ID and login information to access the system. Applicants must submit the required documents in PDF file format.

  1. resume, no longer than two pages, providing information about educational background, professional employment, community and professional activities, public policy and legislative experience, and committee and advisory group appointments. One additional page (for a total of up to three pages) should list publications and presentations. Resumes should be tailored to address the qualifications above.
  2. statement of up to 1,000 words addressing the applicant's interest in the Fellowship, career goals, contributions the applicant believes he or she can make as an MRS/TMS Fellow to the legislative process, and what the applicant wants to learn from the experience.
  3. Three signed letters of reference sent directly to, specifically addressing the applicant's qualifications for the fellowship as described in the "Criteria" section above. Letters of reference should be emailed directly to by the reference and must be in PDF format, on official letterhead, and include an electronic or scanned signature. Letters of reference should not be sent by the candidate themselves. However, the candidate is responsible for ensuring the letters are received by the application deadline.

Please contact Donna Gillespie ( should you have technical difficulties or other submission concerns.

For additional information contact:

Mary F. Samsa
TMS Foundation and Public Affairs Manager
The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society
Tel: 724-814-3130