STPP careers

Preparing to influence science and technology policy

University of Michigan’s STPP Program trains students to pursue a career in science and technology policy inside government, become an advocate on behalf of civil society organizations or industry, and/or influence policymaking as an outside expert based in think tanks or academia. Our courses teach students about:

  • the political and policy landscape for science and technology policy;
  • tools to analyze science and technology policies;
  • methods to develop and govern science, technology, and related policies to be more equitable and just;
  • strategies to communicate technical ideas to a broad audience; and
  • policy writing skills.

Career advising

STPP offers advising to students interested in science and technology policy careers. STPP staff is available to work with each student to develop career plans and job search strategies. The STPP Program has a very successful track record of placing our alumni into the most prestigious science and technology policy fellowship programs, including those administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and California Council for Science and Technology.

Career Development Grant

  • The STPP Student Career Development Grant is designed to provide supplemental support for students who seek to learn about science and technology policy outside of the classroom. Students use this funding to attend science and technology policy-related conferences and professional development events that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive, including conferences (e.g., AAAS Conference), workshops (e.g., Science Outside the Lab), and unpaid or underpaid internships.

Making connections

We help STPP students connect with our alumni and other employers in the world of science and technology policy in a variety of ways. We regularly circulate job openings on our stpp-grad listserv, provide STPP students with access to the FordCareers database, facilitate connections between students and alumni with similar interests, and host discussions with prospective employers. We also organize a regular “Alumni Webinar” series for STPP students, so that they can develop a better understanding of the science and technology policy landscape and their career options.


Job and internship postings are forwarded to the Ford School from a wide range of national and international employers. Students and alumni can access part-time, internship, and full-time job openings via FordCareers, a web-based recruiting system. Search features enable you to view job postings that match your individual qualifications and interests. FordCareers also serves as your online portal to apply for internship or professional development funding and to access policy-relevant career resources. 

Internship and fellowship opportunities

Many STPP students are interested in formal internships and fellowships which are geared towards individuals with PhDs who seek to move into the world of science and technology policy. These positions allow students to explore a science and technology policy career and gain valuable experience while building a professional network. Internships are usually shorter-term and offer hands-on experiences in key areas of policymaking. They may be paid or unpaid, and while many are in the summer, some may be offered year-round. Fellowships generally last a year or more and are paid. STPP has a very strong track record placing our graduates in top policy fellowships, and our program staff can help you navigate the options and prepare your applications. You can view a wide range of opportunities on the National Science Policy Network's up-to-date list. 

Some of the most well known science and technology policy internships are the Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship and the Tisdale Fellowship. One of the most well known fellowship programs in science and technology policy is run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Science Outside the Lab

Jason Albert, Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD Candidate and STPP Certificate Student

"One thing that stood out to me throughout the workshop was the paradoxical size of the D.C. science policy apparatus; it is bigger than I could imagine, but still a small, small world."
Read about Jason's SOTL experience...
Christine Mirzayan Fellowship

Cesar Barraza Botet, Mechanical Engineering Ph.D., STPP Graduate Certificate Program, '18

"Being a Mirzayan fellow has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences I have had outside my technical research. I had the opportunity to put in practice what I learned in the STPP program by connecting the S&T policy theory with the practice, while applying my technical expertise on climate change and energy for transportation."
Read about Cezar's experience with the Mirzayan Fellowship