Science, Technology, Policy (STeP) Fellowship Program


Step into our community and shape science for society! 



Read the article Bringing Policymakers to Science Through Communication: A Perspective From Latin America published by the magazine Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, which highlights the IAI STeP program. This paper is authored by Marta Pulido who has been involved in Panama's science diplomacy strategy. Many researchers and policymakers in Panama participated in the poll and the results are an interesting attempt to pinpoint communication preferences for researchers and policymakers in Latin America. 


Program overview

The Science, Technology, Policy (STeP) Fellowship Program is an innovative landmark program of the IAI to enhance human and institutional capacities in IAI member countries and to support the provision of expert scientific advice to policy makers for the development of public policy relevant to global change.

Scientist Fellows in the STeP program are placed at host government or private organizations to engage first-hand with policy and decision-makers and facilitate the uptake of scientific knowledge into policy processes.

The STeP program is training future Latin American and Caribbean leaders to participate in the science-policy interface through hands-on learning supported by professional development and mentorship.

STeP Fellows will participate in the IAI Inter-American network of STeP peers and alumni and share best practices and lessons learned. This multinational network creates the means to integrate diverse knowledge and expertise across different sectors and countries in response to critical global change challenges in the Americas. The network allows for sharing resources, disseminating employment and other professional opportunities, and contributing to career development and work collaboration at the completion of the fellowship.

Profile of STeP Fellows:

  • Early-career scientists who have completed the graduate degree in their field of study (e.g., PhD or equivalent) within the last seven years.
  • Postgraduates in relevant global change fields, including biological, physical, social sciences and engineering in key sectors (e.g., health, water, energy, agriculture, emerging technologies).
  • Citizens from IAI member countries.
  • Scientists interested in policy development and how science can contribute to society.

Why be a Fellow?

  • Contribute scientific expertise for the development of more effective policies.
  • Engage first-hand in government and private sector policy and decision-making processes.
  • Increase awareness and sensitivity to societal problems and priorities that require scientific input.
  • Develop skills to communicate science more effectively to broad audiences.
  • Expand and broaden career options with experience in diverse sectors beyond academia.
  • Develop professionally through unique training opportunities on leadership, science diplomacy, communication, and other tailored topics.
  • Participate in an international and influential professional network of IAI Fellows and alumni. 

STeP Fellow Host

The STeP host organization must be located in an IAI member country. The host can be a foundation, a private sector entity, or an agency or ministry at any level of government.

Why host a Fellow?

  • Gain timely scientific advice and access to specialized expertise in-house.
  • Enhance policy-making capacity through a growing network of scientists with unique insights into the role of science in policy and decision-making.
  • Improve the use of complex scientific information by policy makers and diverse audiences.
  • Strengthen host agency personnel skills through training opportunities on leadership, science diplomacy, communication, and other relevant topics.
  • Broaden connections, networks, and collaborations across sectors and countries.
  • Create job opportunities for the repatriation of national scientists living abroad. 

Why fund a Fellow?

  • Support practical training of early-career scientists in leadership, communication, and science-policy.
  • Facilitate the incorporation of scientific information into the design and implementation of policy processes in key sectors of governments and industry.
  • Promote the development of regionally specific training material to better communicate scientific information to support decision making in the public and private sectors.
  • Further the repatriation of national scientists living and working abroad.
  • Sponsor activities of multinational networks of science-policy fellows to exchange expertise and experience to address transboundary issues and regional challenges.

For further information, please visit or contact us at

Become a Fellow!
Host a Fellow!
Fund a Fellow!