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Policy Prereqs

Over at the PostDocsForum, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Meghan Mott says that when it comes to working in science policy, "there are plenty of ways to get your foot in the door, but it takes considerable time and effort." Fellowships are one way to break into the field, but far from the only, she says. Internships are also desirable entry-points. "If fellowships and internships don't work out, volunteering for science policy committees is a great way to get involved in your free time," Mott says. Another idea is to become involved in advocacy or policy interest groups sponsored by professional societies, like the Society for Neuroscience's committee on Government and Public Affairs or the National Postdoctoral Association's advocacy committee, for example. Still, "no matter how you enter science policy, the job requirements are the same," Mott says. "You must have a broad knowledge of science and science policy, excellent verbal and written communication skills, analytical abilities, and experience in project management."