TMS/MRS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship

This fellowship program, sponsored jointly by TMS and the Materials Research Society (MRS), offers a unique career opportunity for recent Ph.D. graduates and early career professionals. Participants can expect to build a network of high-level professional contacts and add valuable policy experience to their resumes.

About the Program

The fellow spends one year working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Activities may involve conducting legislative or oversight work, assisting in congressional hearings and debates and preparing briefs and writing speeches. The fellow also attends an orientation program administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on congressional and executive branch operations, which includes guidance in the congressional placement process, and a year-long seminar series on science and public policy issues. The AAAS also administers many other aspects of the program for the TMS/MRS fellow, as well as other fellows sponsored by nearly two dozen other scientific societies.


To provide TMS and MRS members with an invaluable public policy learning experience, to contribute to the more effective use of materials knowledge in government, and to broaden awareness about the value of scientist and engineer-government interaction among Society members and within the federal government.


A prospective fellow must have a record of success in research or scholarship in a field relevant to materials science and technology, familiarity with the discipline and a working understanding of the scientific communities. The fellow must also demonstrate sensitivity toward policy issues and have a strong interest in applying scientific and technical knowledge to United States public policy issues. The fellow must be able to work quickly and communicate effectively to both scientific and non-scientific audiences on a wide variety of topics and work cooperatively with individuals having diverse viewpoints. An applicant is expected to be a member of MRS or TMS (or an applicant for membership) and have a Ph.D. before the start of the fellowship, or a master’s degree with at least three years professional experience. U.S. citizenship is not required; however, applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following categories:

  • Scientific/technical background and professional accomplishments—weighted in consideration of the applicant’s career stage.
  • Communication skills—to scientific and nonscientific audiences—including writing ability, community involvement, and outreach activities.
  • Demonstrated public policy interest, such as through participation in policy or advocacy activities; service to professional societies and/or the broader scientific community; student government or other campus involvement (if applicable).
  • Fellowship skills and abilities, including (but not limited to): capacity to work quickly, flexibly, and cooperatively; experience working with individuals with diverse viewpoints; ability to work in a public environment and strong interpersonal skills.


The fellow will have a one-year appointment beginning September 1. A stipend of $78,750 is available, plus additional funds for health insurance, travel, and relocation expenses to the Washington, D.C. area.

Meet the TMS/MRS Congressional Fellows

View previous TMS/MRS Congressional Fellows and read about their experiences.

Submission Information

Please note that TMS and MRS divide duties for managing this fellowship. MRS manages the application process, so all applications should be sent to MRS. (Contact information is listed below.) Application materials can be submitted in one of three ways: by mail, by e-mail, or through the MRS Awards Nomination Submission Portal. All application materials must be received by 11:59 (ET) on the first Friday in January.

Applicants must submit the following required documents.

  1. A resume, no longer than two pages, providing information about educational background, professional employment, community and professional activities, public policy and legislative experience, and committee and advisory group appointments. For electronic submissions, resumes must be submitted in PDF format. Resumes should be tailored to address the qualifications described in the "Criteria" section above. One additional page (for a total of up to three pages) should list: 
  2. A statement of up to 1,000 words addressing the applicant's interest in the fellowship, career goals, contributions the applicant believes he or she can make as a TMS/MRS Fellow to the legislative process and what the applicant wants to learn from the experience. For electronic submissions, this statement must be submitted in PDF format.
  3. Three signed letters of reference specifically addressing the applicant’s qualifications for the fellowship as described in the “Criteria” section above. Letters of reference should be mailed or e-mailed directly by the reference to the address below. Documents sent by e-mail must be in PDF format, on official letterhead, and include an electronic or scanned signature. Letters of reference should not be sent by the candidate themselves. However, candidates are responsible for ensuring the letters are received by the deadline.

Submit application materials by mail to:

MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow Program
c/o Donna Gillespie, Materials Research Society
506 Keystone Drive
Warrendale, PA 15086

Submit application materials by e-mail to:

Donna Gillespie, Materials Research Society

Submit applications online:

MRS Awards Nomination Submission Portal
Applicants will be asked to log in using their MRS customer ID and password to access the system. TMS members will need to create an account with MRS in order to use the online application system.

Please contact Donna Gillespie at MRS with technical difficulties or other submission concerns.

For More Information

For additional information, contact Mary Samsa, TMS Foundation and Public Affairs Manager, 1-724-814-3130.