ASME Congressional Fellowship (Bioengineering)
Apply for a 2021-2022 ASME Congressional Fellowship!
Applications will be accepted September 15, 2020–January 31, 2021: Apply online!Make a Gift
Since 1973, ASME has sponsored the Congressional Fellowship program to provide an opportunity for Society members to work with the U.S. Congress. As federal legislation becomes increasingly technical, the need for engineering expertise is essential. Congressional fellows participate directly in the lawmaking process and learn how the federal government operates. In addition, Congress is provided with the necessary engineering expertise and, at the end of the fellowship year, a fellow's employer has an engineer with in-depth knowledge of congressional decision-making processes.
Once chosen as a congressional fellow, an ASME member selects his or her congressional assignment through interviews with congressional offices, with assistance from the ASME Government Relations staff, and with reference to the issues identified with ASME's technology strategy.
Applicants for this Fellowship must have a strong bioengineering background. Bioengineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies physical, chemical, and mathematical sciences and engineering principles to the study of biology, medicine, behavior, and health. It advances knowledge from the molecular to the organ levels and develops new and novel biologically derived medications and devices, materials processes, implants, and informatics approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, for patient rehabilitation, and for improving health. Bioengineers have employed mechanical engineering principles in the development of many lifesaving and life-improving technologies, such as the artificial heart, prosthetic joints, diagnostics, and numerous rehabilitation technologies.
In addition, new emerging areas such as nanotechnology and biomanufacturing require significant contributions from bioengineers. While total health-related U.S. research and development investments have expanded significantly over the last decade, investment in bioengineering at NIH institutes like the NIBIB has remained relatively flat over the last several years. In many instances, bioengineering-based solutions to health care problems can result in improved health outcomes and reductions in health care costs. ASME has long been concerned about the level of bioengineering investments and the need to increase bioengineering expertise within the NIBIB and across NIH and the federal government, including Congress.
Recruitment and Training
Selected fellows may serve their one-year term from January through December, or September through August, at their option. An ASME Fellows Selection Subcommittee will screen all applications and notify selected candidates in February of their interest in scheduling an interview. Interviews with final candidates will be convened virtually in February or March. After the interviews, the selection subcommittee may tentatively match finalists with available fellowship opportunities. Selected fellows will receive offers in March or April. ASME Congressional Fellows are required to attend a two-week orientation course in Washington, D.C., in September. Paid for by ASME but administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the course provides useful training and a foundation for a fellow's network that serves as both a formal and informal resource for participants throughout the fellowship year.
|Application Period:||September 1st – January 31st|
|Fellows Selection Subcommittee:|
||February – March|
||March – April|
|ASME Congressional Fellows: Begin 1 Year Term||September 1st or January 1st|
|ASME Congressional Fellows: Orientation & Training Program (2.5 Weeks)||September 1st – 15th|
Financial Support of Federal Government Fellows
ASME has a limited number of stipends of $80,000 per congressional/federal government fellows. Because the stipend is not intended to be the fellow's entire financial support, the remaining salary and other costs, including benefits, must be negotiated between the fellow and his or her employer. Society members selected for congressional fellowships typically take a one-year leave of absence from their employer.
Who Should Apply
Fellowship applications must possess a:
- Ph.D.; or
- Master's degree
Applicants who are in the final stage of obtaining a Ph.D. may apply and interview for the Fellowship. However, the application must provide official transcripts confirming possession of a Ph.D. prior to the start of the Fellowship on September 1st.
All Fellowship applicants must be:
- A U.S. citizen; and
- An ASME member at the time of application
The following credentials are encouraged:
- At least five years of professional experience;
- Advanced engineering degree; and
- Public policy experience
- Sex, creed, race, ethnic background, and political affiliation are expressly excluded as selection criteria for fellows.
- The fellowship does not create an employer-employee relationship with the government nor with ASME.
- During the entire selection process, applicants shall only contact a prospective government host office with the knowledge and consent of the Director of ASME Government Relations.
- Except for the congressional fellows, final selection of the federal government fellows is conditional upon consent of the host government office where the fellow will be working during the fellowship year and successful completion of any necessary agreements between the host office and ASME.
- The federal government fellow may receive a stipend of $80,000. The remaining salary, moving expenses, and all other costs (including fringe benefits) must be negotiated between the fellow and his or her current employer (if applicable).
- ASME's financial liability to the federal government fellow does not exceed the amount of any expenses approved by the Director of ASME Government Relations. No person or entity shall have any claim against ASME for any other expenses, nor for the actions of the fellows.
- Federal government fellows shall be willing to make oral presentations and appearances at a reasonable number of ASME functions during their fellowship year. Travel expenses for such activities will be paid by ASME. Any travel must be approved in advance.
- Fellows are responsible for all out-of-pocket costs once they begin work in Washington; any costs they anticipate for which they wish ASME reimbursement must be approved by the Director of ASME Government Relations.
- Fellows must attend an orientation program in Washington, D.C., preceding the fellowship; his or her employer must be prepared to give the fellow this time off. The orientation program is paid by ASME.
- Fellows must submit monthly activity reports to the Director of ASME Government Relations.
- Fellows must comply with ASME policy on conflict of interest. In addition, fellows must comply with executive and legislative branch policies regarding conflict of interest and financial disclosure.
- Fellows shall not discredit the integrity of the assistance rendered to the Congress, White House, or other government office by permitting improper influence by any organization nor by action that would suggest such influence. Fellows must not engage in any partisan political activities during the term of appointment, including any campaign activities.
- In the event of malfeasance on the part of a fellow, as determined by the Director of ASME Government Relations, the fellowship may be suspended immediately.
- After they have completed their term, fellows will be asked to participate in ASME Government Relations and may be encouraged to participate in the Society’s public affairs activities.
- Federal employees may apply for an ASME Federal Government Fellowship.
- ASME Federal Fellows are required to relocate to Washington D.C. for one year for their fellowship.
- ASME Federal Fellows are required to research Members of Congress to determine which office they wish to interview with and consider serving in.
A brochure on the ASME Federal Fellows Program is available here.
For information on Fellowship opportunities, as well as webinars highlighting current and future Fellowships, subscribe to our free e-newsletter “ASME Capitol Update!” Previous issues are available here.
By completed the application, I consent to ASME collecting, processing, reviewing, and transferring my personal data (including first and last name, company name, mailing address, email address, and phone number) for the purpose of evaluation my application to the ASME Federal Government Fellowship. I understand this information will be used solely for this evaluation.