Commonwealth of Virginia Engineering & Science (COVES) Fellowship

The Commonwealth of Virginia Engineering and Science (COVES) Fellowship is a new 12-week fellowship program of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (VASEM). Graduate student fellows will serve as science advisors in a variety of possible placements, including legislative offices, executive agencies, or prominent companies and nonprofits in the state of Virginia. Fellows will gain experience by serving their host office and performing relevant tasks such as researching, drafting, and revising relevant policies. Fellows will also be paired with a VASEM member who will serve as an experienced science policy mentor throughout the fellowship.

The COVES Fellowship is a 12-week program that places graduate student Fellows in a legislative office, executive agency, or policy office in a company or nonprofit in Virginia. COVES Fellows will be current doctoral students from participating universities across the Commonwealth of Virginia, selected based on career interests, desire to learn, and scientific integrity. Fellows will be matched to offices who have agreed to accept a Fellow based on mutual interest and placement availability. During the first week of the Fellowship, Fellows will attend a science policy bootcamp and orientation that will offer training in science policy and communication and will provide an introduction to governance and policy-making in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to their work in policy offices, COVES Fellows will be paired with a mentor from VASEM and will participate in VASEM briefings, committee meetings, and the annual summit. Inaugural fellows will serve June - August 2020 and receive a summer stipend of $8,500.

PhD Plus is sponsoring one UVA student to participate in the inaugural COVES cohort. 


Applicants must be current Ph.D. students in Engineering, Medicine, or Science fields.

Important Dates

   Internal application deadline:  March 6, 2020

   External application deadline:  March 13, 2020

   COVES 2020 Cohort will be announced in April 2020.

   Fellows will be notified of placements in May 2020. 

   May 18-20, 2020:  COVES Fellowship orientation and bootcamp in Richmond, VA

Application Materials

Application Form

Attachments (required)

  1. Resume or CV (3 page maximum)
  2. Recommendations:  Please provide contact information (name, email, phone number) for 2 professional references. These can be from academia, industry, or other professional experiences and may be past or present references
  3. Advisor Letters of Support
    • Written letter of support from academic advisor (In application portal, enter the name and email address of your advisor. Upon saving a draft of your application, the system will email your advisor for this letter.)
    • Signed Advisor Letter of Support form (available here)
  4. Personal Statement: In 1 page or less, please address the following:
    • Why are you interested in state-level science policy? 
    • How do you hope the COVES Fellowship will contribute to your career goals? 
    • What unique skills and experiences would you bring to COVES?
    • Any additional points you would like the selection committee to consider
  5. Science Policy in Virginia: In 1 page or less, please write a summary of a science policy issue of your choice and the implications for the Commonwealth of Virginia. This should be written for a non-technical audience, such as an informed citizen or policy maker
  6. Diversity Statement: In 250 words or less, describe how your identity influences your interest in science policy

More information available here

Link to Application