ASME Foundation Swanson Fellowship (Clean Energy)

The application period for this Fellowship has closed.

ASME placed our first Fellow at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the White House in 1981, giving ASME Members an exceptional opportunity to learn how the federal executive branch works while providing a valuable service to the nation.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is seeking Clean Energy Transition Fellows to join its team in the Biden-Harris Administration.

As laid out in President Biden’s letter to OSTP Director Dr. Eric Lander, science and technology is at the core of so many of the country’s most pressing issues. This is especially relevant for the transition to a clean and equitable energy system, and science and technology are essential to achieving the President’s goal of a net zero greenhouse gases economy no later than 2050.
Achieving net zero emissions no later than 2050 requires massive-scale deployment of clean energy technologies, many of which exist today—but advances in technology are still needed. Reaching net zero emissions requires technologies that are currently in various stages of development. Some are ready or nearly ready and need policies to pull them to market, while some are still in the lab. Developing roadmaps backed by science will accelerate the integration of existing technologies and deliver the remaining solutions needed to get the job done.
OSTP’s Energy Transition Roadmaps will map out the detailed energy pathways to net zero emissions, identify gaps, and make the case for critical support for R&D to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies now; make sure the new technologies are available when they’re needed; and invest in the future to make sure America leads the world in clean energy technologies for the 21st century. OSTP Clean Energy Transition Fellows will play a critical role in developing these roadmaps, as well as help rethink what energy science and technology should look like for the next 75 years, including by creating an energy science and technology ecosystem that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable.

To advance the Administration’s agenda, OSTP Clean Energy Transition Fellows will:

  • Conduct substantive research, modeling, and analysis; prepare reports, briefings, talking points, and correspondences.
  • Maintain awareness of national and international issues and White House positions on energy topics affecting the Fellow’s area of expertise in order to provide timely and informed advice and analysis to OSTP and senior White House officials. The work involves the development of policy plans and approaches, socializing those concepts and incorporating feedback, and working with parties inside and outside the government to advance policy objectives.
  • Synthesize data from a wide variety of sources, including stakeholders outside the U.S. government, and present their analysis of this information and recommendations to members of the Administration.
  • Work both independently and closely as a member or leader of a team in a deadline-oriented environment.
  • Assist in staffing events and perform other duties, as assigned.

Specific Tasks and Objectives
Work closely with OSTP Energy Division senior officials, other OSTP officials, and other federal agencies to develop national science and technology clean energy roadmaps and provide other support to include:

  • Technical modeling, analysis, and support for clean energy transition roadmaps and other activities that OSTP participates in related to the Administration’s clean energy initiatives.
  • Researching, analyzing, and developing written materials (briefings, memos, visuals, etc.) on various policy topics.
  • Coordination, where appropriate, across Executive Office of the President components with responsibilities in science and technology relevant to OSTP’s goals and priorities.
  • Other tasks, as assigned, to support and collaborate with OSTP staff to advance specific policy goals, projects, and initiatives.

Specific Skills Desired
OSTP Clean Energy Innovation Fellows will have a deep understanding of a specific energy sector, critical technology, systems integration, or a combination of these areas. Specific skills desired include some or all of the following, but are not limited to:

  • Modeling, mapping, and visualization of current and potential future energy production, demand, technology deployment, and systems integration.
  • Analysis of energy technology performance targets, technical limits, technoeconomic factors, and innovation and adoption pathways.
  • Assessment of technical systems integration challenges and opportunities for individual or multiple technologies and sectors.
  • An understanding of the public and private clean energy innovation and policy ecosystem.

Recruitment and Training
Fellows may serve from January through December, or September through August, at their option. An ASME selection committee will screen all applications and notify selected candidates in January of their interest in scheduling an interview. Interviews with final candidates will be convened virtually in January or February. After the interviews, the selection subcommittee may tentatively match finalists with available fellowship opportunities. Selected fellows will receive offers in February or March. ASME Congressional Fellows are required to attend a two-week orientation in Washington, D.C., in September. Paid for by ASME but administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (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 15th – December 15th
Fellows Selection Subcommittee:  
  • Reviews Applications and Selects Finalists
  • Interviews Finalists
January – February
  • Fellowships Offered
February – March
OSTP Clean Energy Innovation Fellows:  
  • Terms
1-Year Terms Begin Sept. 1st or Jan. 1st
  • Orientation & Training
2.5 Weeks (Sept. 1st – 15th)

Financial Support of Federal Government Fellows
ASME has a limited number of stipends of $80,000 per congressional/federal government fellow. 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 applicants 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 applicant 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

Program Guidelines

  • 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 for by ASME.
  • Fellows must submit monthly activity reports to the Director of ASME Government Relations.
  • Fellows must comply with ASME Society Policy 15.7 on Ethics and 15.8 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 completing 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.

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