Apply to Summer 2022 Aspen Climate Cohort

We are accepting applications until 11:59pm PT on February 28, 2022 for our Summer 2022 climate cohort of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub Fellowship. The Aspen Climate Cohort is an iteration of the Hub Fellowship, our 10-week, full-time, paid program, that will train technical experts who already understand climate how better to apply their ideas to policy. The cohort is a partnership between the Hub and the Aspen Institute’s Energy & Environment Program.

Please read more about the Hub Fellowship and the Aspen Climate Cohort before filling out the application below. Please also review the below information about your eligibility. For more information about the program, you are invited to attend our upcoming webinars that will review your options and answer your questions on January 27, February 8, and February 22. Register here.

Right now, the Aspen Tech Policy Hub is only recruiting for the climate cohort of its Fellowship program that will run in Summer of 2022. Please see below for application information for the climate cohort. Applications for our tech-specific policy programs are not currently open.

Eligibility


For the climate cohort of our Fellowship program, we are looking for applicants with the following characteristics:

1 – Applicants should have significant professional experience with environmental or climate science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

For instance, applicants might work as an engineer, computer scientist, or business executive at a solar energy company; might be trained as an environmental engineer; might work at a university or at a think tank studying environmental science or energy engineering; or might have professional climate technology experience such as serving as an environmental lawyer. Please note these are just illustrative examples; they are not intended to limit eligibility to these categories.

2 – Applicants should show potential to apply their scientific or technical experience to affecting climate policy and social change.

Applicants should be passionate about solving societal challenges related to climate change, and should be able to articulate creative, innovative ways in which they want to make a difference and how their experience will help them do so.

3 – Applicants have not yet significantly explored their potential to enact change through policy.

This is an introductory program to the policymaking process, and applicants with significant past policy experience are likely to be too advanced for this program. While we welcome all interested individuals to apply, we will prioritize applicants who do not have significant previous policy experience (e.g., a master’s in public policy; past experience working in a policy role).

While all climate STEM experts and executives are welcome to apply to our programs, for our climate program, we are particularly interested in applications who are passionate about problems in these four priority areas:

  • Clean energy and technology
  • Oceans and waters
  • Carbon dioxide removal
  • Social justice and protecting disadvantaged communities from the negative effects of climate change

Applicants need to also meet the following eligibility requirements for the program:

  • Applicant(s) must be at least 21 years of age by the start of the program.
  • Applicant(s) must be fluent in English.
  • Applicant(s) must be able to make a full-time commitment to the 10-week incubator process and be able to reside in person in the Bay Area during at least a portion of that time (pending COVID-19 restrictions).
  • Applicant(s) must have legal status to work and reside in the United States.

FAQ

We will update the following FAQs as we receive additional questions about our program. If your question is not answered here or in the materials above, please contact aspentechpolicyhub@aspeninstitute.org.

General

What is policy?

Great question, and one we will be exploring through much of the program. In general, policy is defined as a “course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual.” It is a set of rules that an organization or individual agrees to follow. Both governments and companies (and many other actors) set policies, and those policies have the potential to affect all of our lives. The goal of this program will be to expose you to the value of policymaking, and to teach you how to use impact policy yourself.

Why are you launching this program?

We think there is tremendous opportunity for new voices to impact the policymaking process and help prevent climate change. We love training people, and are excited to bring all the lessons we’ve learned from training technologists how to impact policy to the environmental and climate space.

Fellowship Logistics

What is the exact timing of the climate cohort of your fellowship program?

Tentatively, the first climate cohort fellowship is scheduled from June 2 to August 12, 2022.

Will this program be full-time or part-time?

The climate cohort of the fellowship program is a full-time program for 10 weeks. Applicants will be expected to spend forty hours a week on fellowship programming. We provide generous stipends to enable you to take time off from work to do this program.

Will this program be run in person or remotely?

The program will be a mixture of in-person and online learning, pending COVID-19 restrictions. The in-person component of the program will take place in the Bay Area, and may last up to four weeks.

How will you keep an in-person fellowship cohort safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?

We plan to carefully track case counts and risk in order to determine whether a fellowship cohort can safely be run in person for any part of the program.If we decide to convene in person, we will follow all state and county-level guidance for COVID-19, such as wearing masks and social distancing. If we determine that we cannot run the program in-person safely, we will move all programming to a remote, online format.

How much funding do accepted fellows receive?

All fellows receive a $18,000 stipend for ten weeks of full-time participation.

Do you provide health insurance during the fellowship?

We intend to make health care stipends available to participants for the fellowship. These stipends will vary depending on whether the fellow has existing employer-based insurance or needs to purchase health care during the fellowship.

Do you cover travel to the Bay Area?

We provide a small travel stipend to fellows living outside the Bay Area to cover the cost of traveling to our program. We expect fellows to use their $18,000 stipend to cover other living costs.

Can I continue to work in my job as a Hub Fellow?

The Hub incubator program is full time and intensive, and the programming is similar to that required for a full time student, with classes 4 days a week. We expect your full attention and attendance in our facility during the 10 weeks. 

Because of the intensity of the program, accepted fellows should plan to take a leave of absence from full-time work during the length of the program. Many employers offer ‘social service’ or ‘civic service leave’ to facilitate participation in this type of program. Please contact us if you have specific questions about this process. We are also willing to help accepted applicants talk about their participation with their employers after the application process is complete. We provide generous stipends to enable you to take time off from work to do this program.

Fellows may continue part-time activities so long as the fellowship remains their first priority, and so long as there is no conflict of interest with their fellowship project.

Application Process

I am on a visa. Am I eligible to apply to the Fellowship?

It depends. Legal Permanent Residents are definitely eligible for the fellowship, as are those on visas that have no restrictions on where they can work. H-1Bs and other visas tied to employers may be more complex. Please contact us to discuss your situation (with the caveat that we are unable to give you immigration advice.) Please note that we are unable to sponsor visas for the fellowship.

I am a student/recently graduated. Am I eligible to apply to this programs?

You are able to apply to the Fellowship program so long as you are 21 and meet all the other criteria listed in the eligibility section.

I would like to join your program to learn more about policy, but I don’t have experience in climate science or technology. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept applications from candidates without STEM experience. We suggest looking at degrees and certificates from universities in public policy as an alternative to our program.

I did not do a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) degree. Am I still eligible to apply to this program?

Yes; we hope to accept a diversity of applicants in our programs, including those without formal university degrees in STEM fields. However, please make sure that you meet all the other criteria for the programs, including significant experience working in climate-related science or technology.

I already have significant policy experience. Am I eligible to apply to this programs?

These are introductory programs to the policymaking process. In the normal case, applicants who have significant previous policy experience (e.g., past experience working in a government policy role) will be too advanced for this program. However, we would still love to hear from you; we may have opportunities to engage you as a policy mentor or on future in-house projects. Please email aspentechpolicyhub@aspeninstitute.org or sign up for our listserv.

How do I write a policy memo?

While we will review ways to write a policy memo in our program, there is no one way to write such a memo. The appropriate structure depends on the problem you are trying to solve. In general, a few tips:

  • Your memo needs to define the problem, using evidence as appropriate to support your position, lay out your proposed solution, and identify major obstacles to the implementation of your solution.
  • To be effective, your memo also needs to be written extremely clearly. For some advice on clear writing, see this blog post from Y Combinator. We also recommend this post by Paul Graham.
  • While not required, many strong applications will tie the applicant’s experience in STEM to the problem they identified or to the solution they are attempting to apply.

We will go over more tips in our Q&A sessions, so please sign up for those for more info!

What is the application timeline?

Applications are due on Monday, February 28th at 11:59PM PT.  We tentatively plan to notify finalists in mid-April, and make decisions by early May following Zoom interviews.

Do I need to propose a project in one of your priority areas?

No. We also will accept applicants who propose projects related to other areas of climate tech policy! Please note that applications in the priority areas will be reviewed by experts with specific knowledge of those areas; as a result, applicants who stretch their application to fit it into a priority area may be disadvantaged by doing so. If you are not sure whether your project qualifies for a priority area, please either contact us or submit it without indicating a priority area.

How do I submit myself for consideration for the Savilla Pitt Memorial Fellowship?

All applicants to Hub programs are automatically considered for the Savilla Pitt Memorial Fellowship; there are no additional materials required.

Application

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