2023 COVES Science Policy Fellowship Application Deadline

The COVES Fellowship is a 12-week fellowship program of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (VASEM). The goal of the COVES Fellowship program is to strengthen ties between the scientific community and state government in the Commonwealth of Virginia, while encouraging and equipping early career scientists and engineers to enter public service. Graduate student and postdoctoral Fellows will serve as science advisors in legislative offices, executive agencies, or prominent companies and nonprofits in the state of Virginia where they will gain experience in the creation and translation of state policies related to science and engineering. 

COVES Fellows will be current graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from universities across the Commonwealth of Virginia, selected based on career interests, desire to learn, and scientific integrity. Fellows will be matched to host offices based on mutual interest and placement availability. Prior to the Fellowship, Fellows will attend science communication training and orientation that will provide an introduction to governance and policy-making in the Commonwealth. 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. 

2023 COVES Fellows will serve from May 22 - August 11 and receive an $9,000 stipend and $2,000 in professional development funds. 

VASEM is hosting two informational sessions with past fellows. Register below if you're interested in attending:


  1. COVES Information Session #1: Q&A with former fellows - February 8, 2023 at 1 PM EST; Registration link 
  2. COVES Information Session #2: Q&A with former fellows - February 24, 2023 at 1 PM EST; Registration link


PhD Plus is sponsoring two UVA representatives to serve as a 2023 COVES Fellows. The University will advance up to five nominees to VASEM for consideration; the COVES Advisory Board will choose two Fellows from UVA's nominees and oversee the orientation, training, and host office placement process. Eligible applicants are current graduate students or postdoctoral researchers from Engineering, Medicine, or Science fields. 

The internal application deadline is Wednesday, March 1st at 11:59 PM. See below for submission instructions.


  1. Application Form and signed Advisor Letter of Support (available HERE)
  2. Resume or CV (3-page maximum) 
  3. 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 
  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 fewer, describe how your identity influences your interest in science policy. 
  7. External-funding consideration (optional): If you consider yourself a part of historically excluded communities, please briefly list your status.  
    • The working definition of historically excluded communities created by VASEM for the COVES Policy Fellowship Program include 
      • Individuals whose racial or ethnic makeup is from one of the following: Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous People or Native American or First Nation, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and two or more races, when one or more are from the preceding racial and ethnic categories in this list. 
      • Individuals with disabilities as defined by the American Disability Act of 1990. 
      • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as first-generation students or those from a rural area, the foster care system, a low socioeconomic background, or who are/have been homeless.  
      • Individuals from marginalized gender or sexual identities, such as women, nonbinary people, or those in the LGBTQ+ community.