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Science Policy and Research Ethics Track

Virginia Tech’s Presidential Postdoctoral Science Policy and Research Ethics Fellowships are intended for postdoctoral researchers who are highly motivated to learn about the science-policy interface while applying their technical knowledge and analytical skills to the science policy and research ethics realms.

It is critically important for scientists to effectively collaborate with policymakers and the media. This fellowship addresses the need for specialized training to prepare postdocs for science advocacy and careers in public policy and research ethics. 

This position will be under the direction of Cristen Jandreau in the Division of Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance (SIRC). It is a field-specific postdoctoral position with a research focus to examine important and emerging concerns in the research integrity and compliance fields. The postdoc will develop their project based on a topic of interest consistent with SIRC’s mission and strategic goals. Strong projects will leverage the postdoc’s technical background, their policy area of interest, and Virginia Tech’s / the Commonwealth of Virginia’s networks and relationships in the government and science community. The goal of the postdoctoral experience will be to expose scientists to practice and research in the science policy and research ethics fields. 


  • To experience the fields of science policy and research ethics in the higher education setting, with a focus on scholarly integrity and research compliance policies
  • To develop and conduct original research related to research integrity, objectivity in research, compliance with federal research regulations, the role of science in policy making, or related topic
  • To develop expertise in science policy and research ethics for future employment opportunities in federal, state, and private agencies, and organizations
  • To explore events that increase awareness of diverse careers and gain networking and mentoring opportunities that foster career transition

Partnership with Commonwealth of Virginia Engineering & Science Fellowship

This position involves participation in the Commonwealth of Virginia Engineering & Science Fellowship (COVES) program. The Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (VASEM) 12-week fellowship program positions fellows as science advisors in a variety of possible placements, including legislative offices, executive agencies, or prominent companies and nonprofits in the state of Virginia.

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. Fellows will gain experience by serving their host office and performing relevant tasks such as researching, drafting, and revising relevant policies. In addition to their work in policy offices, fellows will also be paired with a VASEM member who will serve as an experienced science policy mentor throughout the fellowship. In addition to the requirements below, the incumbent must also meet the eligibility requirements of the COVES Fellowship. 

If a candidate has previously completed the COVES Fellowship, other activities will be substituted for the COVES Fellowship experience.


  • Develop, implement, and submit for peer review/publish two qualitative or quantitative research projects related to research integrity/compliance or science policy that will contribute to the understanding of noted concerns in these fields.
  • Present research results for internal audiences and/or academic conferences, and submit for peer review publication. 
  • Encourage a strong culture of research ethics and integrity amongst Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students.
  • Complete the 12-week COVES Fellowship.

Application Guidelines

The Science Policy and Research Ethics Fellowship will follow the same overall application timeline as the other tracks, although there is no proposal requirement or a requirement to identify a mentor. The applicant will be asked to include their CV and a statement of interest with the application. The statement of interest should include a description of a) the candidate’s interest in the fields of science policy or research ethics and integrity in the higher education setting and b) what they think the fellowship track will do to help them achieve their professional goals. In addition, candidates should describe their experience related to research integrity, compliance, science policy, and/or developing projects to answer research questions in their respective fields.

Prospective postdocs applying to the Science Policy and Research Ethics track should submit their application materials using the button bellow. After postdoctoral fellows are selected, they will be notified by the Science Policy and Research Ethics Fellowship point of contact who will communicate logistics, including state date. 


For candidates who have not yet completed their doctoral degree, please note that applications cannot be considered if the candidate will not complete their degree within 6 months of the application deadline for the fellowship cycle. These applicants are highly encouraged to apply in the next fellowship cycle. 


For questions, contact Chris Smith at 540-231-1951 or