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Idaho universities join forces to launch policy fellowship program

April 18, 2019

MOSCOW, Idaho — April 17, 2019 — Idaho’s three universities are teaming up to provide Idaho scientists and engineers the opportunity to learn firsthand about policymaking through a yearlong fellowship.

The Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (ISTPF) is a nonpartisan professional development program led by the James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Idaho. The ISTPF is committed to connecting doctoral-level scientists and engineers to the development and implementation of relevant state policies. Graduate and professional students, postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors at U of I, Boise State University and Idaho State University will be invited to participate in various aspects of the fellowship. Including future leaders will help Idaho develop a trained workforce in science and technology policy.

“This program reflects a strong commitment from Idaho’s three universities to partner,” said Katherine Himes, McClure Center director. “We are thrilled to cultivate opportunities for scientists and engineers to connect their knowledge and skills to address pressing challenges facing Idaho and support state government.” 

Boise State, ISU and U of I formalized the program today, April 17, 2019, with the official signing of the memorandum of understanding. The first ISTPF cohort will begin the fellowship in August 2020. The fellows are expected to work on challenges such as water, energy, public health and economic development.

“We know experiences in state government often lead to careers dedicated to public service,” said Corey Cook, dean of the School of Public Service at Boise State. “As our state continues to grow, we want to retain the top talent that we're cultivating in our universities. We also want to ensure that scientists, engineers and other professionals whose work profoundly impacts the public good have a solid understanding in how to help create smart policy for the benefit of all Idahoans. This fellowship program helps us accomplish both."

Startup funding for the ISTPF is from the California Council on Science and Technology in partnership with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation. Additional funding will be sought prior to launching the first cohort.

The fellowship program in Idaho is similar to a federal program started 45 years ago by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which places scientists and engineers in fellowships to support Congress, executive branch agencies and the judiciary. 

“The ISTPF focuses on growing talent in Idaho,” said Laura Woodworth-Ney, ISU executive vice president and provost. "It is all about collaboratively investing in leaders who will engage with the most pressing scientific and policy challenges of our time.”

Media Contact:

Katherine Himes

Director, James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research

University of Idaho




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