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Planning Grants Available

The California Council on Science and Technology, in partnership with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation, is providing multiple grants to support planning processes (including landscape analyses and strategic plan development) for creating immersive science and technology policy fellowship programs in state legislatures. We would like to invite you to submit a letter of interest for funding up to a maximum of $25,000.

State legislators and policymakers are encountering increasingly complicated science- and technology-related matters pertaining to water, agriculture, energy, privacy, health, natural resources, and food security. Because policy decisions on these topics have widespread and long-term impacts, it is valuable for lawmakers to have rapid access to trusted, impartial experts who can provide advice on and help decipher these complex issues.

What is the Policy Fellowship Program?

Since 2010, CCST’s Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program has placed ten PhD-level scientists annually in the California Legislature for one-year appointments. Fellows work side by side with policymakers addressing complex scientific and technical issues and assume other responsibilities of full-time legislative staffers. By placing PhD-level scientists directly in the California Legislature, the CCST program helps inform policy discussions with impartial, nonpartisan scientific perspectives and expertise. While the program in California and the federal level American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Fellowships in Washington, DC are two examples of fellowship programs, we expect proposals for other state legislatures to fit their particular needs, legislative agenda, and organizational structures. A vision for the future is a network of state-based science advising programs that better inform state legislatures on science- and technology-relevant policy issues.

How do I apply?

The granting process will proceed as follows:

Round 1: Letter of Interest

A short letter of interest (no more than two pages) should describe your interest in a Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program, why your state is a good candidate, and how much you would request (up to $25,000). Letters should be submitted by July 18, 2016, no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time to info@ccst.us.

Round 2: Submission of Full Proposal

Qualifying candidates will be notified in August 2016 and be asked to submit a full proposal (6-8 pages) that includes:
  • An outline of current legislative science and technology needs, challenges and goals, including the suitability of your state’s legislature to host a fellowship (e.g., sufficient workload)
  • Likely program champions inside and outside the legislature
  • A potential host organization to manage the program
  • Potential funding sources for development and implementation of a Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program
  • Outline of proposed planning process and associated budget (not to exceed $25,000)
Letters of support will be considered but are not necessary for a full proposal.


We invite you to view the following documents that may be of use in preparing letters of interest and full proposals.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

Updated 7/18/16