(This FAQ is about the fellowship. For information on planning grant applications, click here.)
To be eligible for the Fellowship, candidates must possess the following minimum qualifications:
|Agricultural Sciences||Anthropology||Computational Sciences|
|Biological Sciences||Economics||Health Sciences/Medicine|
|Earth and Ocean Sciences||Political Sciences||Systems Sciences|
|Environmental Sciences||Psychology||Space Sciences|
|Physics & Physical Sciences||Sociology||Education|
The following are not eligible to compete:
While there is no ideal candidate, there are certain traits that predict success. Among these are:
The selection committee will take into account the level of policy expertise a candidate could reasonably be expected to have based on their training. An astronomer would not be expected to have any formal training in policy, whereas an economist or a political scientist might. Neither candidate would have an inherent advantage. However, the selection committee will be looking for candidates who demonstrate an understanding of the potential societal value of their work and of science in general and how technical expertise can be useful to those who make decisions on behalf of the public.
Recommendation letters must be submitted online and must reference your application account number. Under special circumstances, recommendation letters may be submitted via U.S. mail (see below). See directions on the applications page .
Finalists will be notified immediately, at which time they will receive a briefing paper assignment and information about when and where to report for an interview. Interviews will take place over a three-day period approximately a month after being notified of finalist status. All applicants must be able to attend their interview in person. No teleconference or videoconference interviews will be permitted. Reasonable domestic travel costs for the interviews will be reimbursed.
Fellowship placement offers will follow soon after the interviews. This timing provides ample opportunity for fellows to complete current assignments, secure housing in Sacramento, and be ready to begin the Fellowship on November 1st of the selection year. For a more detailed look at the selection calendar please click here.
The CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program is modeled on a federally focused Fellowship program operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for more than three decades.
AAAS has done extensive research into the effect its policy fellowships have had on participants. In brief, nearly 100% of fellows reported that the Fellowship had a major positive effect on their careers, regardless of the professional path they took after completing the Fellowship. Fellows are nearly unanimous in citing the Fellowship as one of the best and most important experiences in their professional lives.
CCST fellows have also cited the impact of our program on their professional and personal growth. To read profiles from CCST Fellowship alumni, visit the CCST Fellowship blog.
One extremely valuable aspect of this Fellowship is a three week training period that occurs before placement begins. During this time, fellows will benefit from an intensive, interactive (and fun) introduction to the Fellowship, to the legislative process, and to Sacramento. In addition to lectures, panel discussions, and seminars on various relevant topics, there will be numerous opportunities for experiential learning, including role playing, mock legislative sessions, group assignments, and more. Fellows will also meet legislators and legislative staff, tour the Capitol, and enjoy an in-depth introduction to Sacramento. There will be time built into the schedule for fellows to tour the area and to seek their placements in legislative offices. The training curriculum will include topics such as an overview of California politics and the legislative process, science and policymaking, effective writing and presentation styles for the legislative arena and more.
Once your placement has officially begun, you will be under the supervision of your sponsoring office; CCST will, however, monitor your progress, provide ongoing professional development training, provide you with technical contacts, mentoring, and other support throughout the Fellowship year.
At the time you are selected as one of the 10 finalists, if you feel you need to seek a higher stipend, you will be asked to complete a stipend increase request. Your request will be reviewed and you will be notified immediately of the level of stipend available to you. You will then have one week to determine your interest and ability to accept the offer as proffered. If you decline, an offer will be made to an alternate from the finalist list.
All designated employees of the state legislature are required to submit annual financial disclosure forms that elucidate any financial relationships that might cause a conflict of interest. Given the nature of the Fellowship, participants will be required to sign standard forms certifying that they will abide by rules of ethical conduct established by the state legislature. Fellows will also be required to attend ethics training courses.
These provisions are guided by the California Political Reform Act, the State Constitution and other government codes that regulate the conduct of legislative members and staff. You will be provided more detailed information regarding these requirements if you are selected to be a Fellow.