The AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows Program strengthens the connections between scientists and journalists by placing advanced undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide. During the ten-week summer program, fellows work with media professionals at radio and television stations, newspapers, and magazines. Student scientists and their host journalists strive to make science news more easily understood among the general public, advancing the program's aim to enhance public knowledge and appreciation for advances in science and technology.
AAAS typically selects between fifteen and twenty fellows each summer. Fellows are provided a weekly stipend of $500 as well as travel expenses to and from AAAS and their host organization sites.
Applicants must be enrolled as college or university upper-level undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students, or have graduated within the past year. Applicants' degree programs must be within the physical, biological, geological, health, engineering, computer, social science, or mathematics fields. (Students enrolled in English, journalism, science journalism, or other non-technical fields are not eligible. Successful applicants must attend an orientation at AAAS headquarters at the beginning of the summer and a wrap-up session at the end of the summer, and must submit periodic progress reports during the summer.
Applicants are evaluated by a selection committee composed of science, education, and media experts. The committee makes recommendations to the AAAS staff, who are responsible for final decisions and for negotiations between the candidates and their media hosts. Telephone interviews are conducted with semi-finalists sometime in March, and final notifications are made in mid-April.