Skip to main content

Early Career Science Policy Accelerator with the National Science Policy Network (NSPN)

Posted by on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 in Announcements .

SciPol Accelerator 2-2.png

To meet this moment when the country faces critical challenges such as COVID-19, climate change, and intensified competition with U.S. leadership in science, technology, and innovation, we are working together with the National Science Policy Network (NSPN) to identify a cohort of early career researchers — new, diverse voices — to generate a compelling set of actionable new policy proposals, and shape the future of science policy.

By harnessing the creativity and energy of diverse, early-career researchers with the proven track record of a FAS Day One Science Policy Accelerator, we hope to empower new voices to develop compelling policy ideas into actionable policy memos and mobilize decision-makers to make changes that improve people’s well-being.

Specifically, the FAS-NSPN Accelerator aims to:

  • Bring fresh, new ideas from diverse early career researchers into federal science policy.
  • Provide experience with generating a policy idea and translating it into impact.
  • Generate action-ready proposals, led by early career researchers, that are usually about 2,000 – 4,000 words in length.
  • Work toward creating change in policy by increasing the likelihood that policy proposals are implemented.
  • Enable access to mentorship from both policy professional and peer-to-peer networks through the accelerator cohort and FAS network.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our library of proposals to get a better sense of the end-product.

Who should apply?

No prior policy expertise is required. Each of our accelerators aim to build a cohort of “policy entrepreneurs”: those who simply have an idea to accelerate progress and are highly motivated to leverage the tools, skills, and networks we provide to drive this change.

For this particular accelerator, we are looking to develop policy ideas with early career researchers — graduate students, postdocs, and other researchers who identify as being early in their science policy career — in order to lift up new voices and ideas.

Which topics are in scope?

The members of the Early Career Science Policy Accelerator cohort will bring a diverse range of experiences to the policymaking process, and their ideas can come from any area of science. Our goal is for the cohort to include individuals who are motivated to think deeply about both timely and pressing science policy issues, and the issues of tomorrow. Each member of the cohort will work to develop a catalytic proposal for action in various science policy areas, including but not limited to:

  • Clean or renewable energy
  • Biotechnology, genomics, and synthetic biology
  • U.S. leadership in science, technology, and innovation
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, or autonomy
  • High-performance computing, semiconductors, and advanced computer hardware and software
  • Quantum information science
  • Robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing
  • Natural and anthropogenic disaster prevention or mitigation (for example, climate change or Global Health Security / infectious diseases)
  • Communications technology and immersive technology
  • Data storage or data management
  • Materials science, for example, composites or 2D materials
  • Space science

​The Early Career Science Policy Accelerator will kick off on January 24, 2022 and run until late March. Programming will be virtual (with exception of in-person happy hours) and all federal holidays will be observed.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 at 11:59pm PT. Apply here

If you’re not ready to apply just yet, but wish to receive updates about this and future policy accelerator opportunities, click here to indicate your interest and make sure you receive additional communications.

Please reach out to Erica Goldman ( or Mike Fisher ( with any questions.