ION Government Fellowship Program

What is the ION Government Fellowship Program?

The Government Fellows Program is designed to offer ION members a unique educational experience while providing the government a resource of technical experience and private sector perspectives that we hope will help foster effective public policy on the issues that affect our society and our profession.

What Fellowship Opportunities are available?

Application and Program Details

Congressional Fellowship Program

A Congressional Fellows serves as a Science and Technology staffer for a Member of Congress or a Congressional Committee making practical contributions to the more effective use of scientific and technical knowledge in government, to educate the navigation and engineering community regarding the public policy process, and to broaden the perspective of the science, engineering and governmental communities regarding the value of such interaction.

The ION Congressional Fellowship is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Engineering Fellowship Programs. Eligible ION members are competitively selected to serve a one-year fellowship consisting of an appointment to the personal staff of a U.S. Senator or Representative, or to the professional staff of a Congressional Committee. The Fellows selected interview for positions and choose their own assignments with guidance from Capitol Hill and AAAS.

The ION will select up to one Congressional Fellow each year. Selections are made on the basis of applications and interviews with the ION's Government Fellows Selection Committee, which is composed of three ION members. The committee's recommendations must be approved by the ION Executive Committee.

Once selected, Fellows are required to participate in a two-week orientation organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. (held in September). The ION reimburses the fellows for orientation fees and travel expenses.

Executive Fellowship Program

An Executive Fellow serves as a Science and Technology Advisor in an Executive Department making practical contributions to the more effective use of scientific and technical knowledge in government, to educate the navigation and engineering community regarding the public policy process, and to broaden the perspective of the science, engineering and governmental communities regarding the value of such interaction.

The ION Executive Fellowship is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Engineering Fellowship Programs. Eligible ION members are competitively selected to serve a one-year fellowship consisting of an appointment to the staff of an executive department. The Fellows selected interview for positions and choose their own assignments with guidance from AAAS.

The ION will select one Executive Fellow each year. Selections are made on the basis of applications and interviews with the ION's Government Fellows Selection Committee, which is composed of three ION members. The committee's recommendations must be approved by the ION Executive Committee.

Once selected, Fellows are required to participate in a two-week orientation organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. (held in September). The ION reimburses the fellows for orientation fees and travel expenses.

What does a Government Fellow do?

A Government Fellow will support a member of Congress, or Department, or Committee, typically for one year (September 1 – August 31).  Activities may include:

  • Providing unbiased advice on science and technology policy
  • Preparing for and attending congressional and agency hearings
  • Assisting with creation of legislation
  • Attending meetings and briefings
  • Researching issues
  • Conducting correspondence with constituents and others
  • Preparing talking points for TV interviews and public speeches
  • Interacting with lobbyists, special interest groups, state visitors, etc.

What are the obligations of an ION Congressional/Executive Fellow?

  • The Fellow’s first allegiance is to the Member or Department or Committee where he/she serves
  • You are an insider
  • You will not lobby in behalf of any outside agency, person or organization
  • You will protect confidential proceedings and discussions from untimely disclosure
  • You will abide by the Government Fellows Ethics Policy as provided by the AAAS found at http://www.aaas.org/page/become-fellow-policy-ethics

The Fellow reports to the ION by:

  • Attending semi-annual ION Council meetings
  • Writing a quarterly column for the ION Newsletter
  • Providing timely reports to ION and offering a “heads-up” on pending legislation or executive actions of interest to the ION membership (subject to confidentiality constraints)

What have previous ION Government Fellows done?

  • Phil Ward, 2000-2001: Served with Senator James Imhofe (R-OK). Influenced policy on GPS “NAVWAR” and RFI attributable to UWB services.
  • Clark Cohen, 2001-2002: Served with Senator Carl Levin (D-MICH). Advised on "CAFE" and investigated “Special Purpose Entities” established between banks and Enron, Inc.
  • Bill Klepczynski, 2003-2005: Executive Fellow, placed with U.S. Department of State.
  • Marie Lage, 2003-2004: Congressional Fellow, placed with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
  • Doug Taggart, 2005-2006
  • Albert Glassman, 2007-2008
  • Dr. Frank van Graas, 2008-2009
  • Dr. Gerald Mader, 2015-2016
  • Dr. Kyle Wesson, 2016-2017

Who is Eligible?

Fellowship selections are based on technical competence, on ability to serve in a public environment, and on evidence of service to the Institute and the profession. Applicants must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen at the time of selection
  2. Be a current ION member
  3. Hold a doctoral degree in engineering, physical or earth sciences, computational sciences or mathematics and have a minimum of three years of responsible navigation experience  in engineering programs, university teaching, or independent research; or have a master’s degree in engineering and have a have a minimum of six years responsible navigation experience in engineering programs, university teaching, or independent research
  4. Be eligible to receive federal government funds through the System of Award Management (SAM)
  5. Male applicants must be registered with the U.S. Selective Service System unless they became naturalized U.S. citizens after age 26 or have received a waiver.
  6. Complete applications must be received by March 15.

Note that federal employees are not eligible for the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.

Additional criteria may be established by the Government Fellows Selection Committee or by the AAAS Government Fellows program. Specifically excluded as selection criteria are age, sex, creed, race, ethnic background, partisan political affiliations and disabilities as defined by the American's with Disabilities Act.

What costs are covered?

All ION Fellowship salaries and benefits will be funded through the AAAS Fellowship Corporation at the AAAS Stipend Level 2, as established each year by AAAS.  Fellowship support includes annual stipend/salary (at the average equivalent of GS 12 step 5); a moving allowance of up to $4000 (based on eligibility); monthly metro allowance and health plan as established by AAAS Fellowship Corporation.  The Fellowship also funds AAAS orientation and training.

Send applications and requests for more information to:

The Institute of Navigation
Government Fellowship Program
8551 Rixlew Lane, Suite 360
Manassas, Virginia 20109
Fax: 703-366-2724
E-mail: LBeaty@ion.org