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Jenna Bone Honeycutt, PhD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases, has been awarded a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (STPF) with a placement at the Department of Energy in the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Jenna Honeycutt, PhD.
Jenna Honeycutt, PhD.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jenna Bone Honeycutt, PhD, of the UNC School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, was awarded a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship (STPF) with a placement at the Department of Energy in the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Earlier this year, Honeycutt was one of three postdoctoral researchers awarded The Joseph S. Pagano Award. She worked in the lab of UNC Lineberger’s J. Victor Garcia, PhD, a professor in the UNC School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases.

“I am very honored to be a part of this prestigious fellowship program, and am looking forward to learning about the process of policymaking in the real world. I think it is critically important for scientists to understand what goes into making and implementing policy, especially as it relates to issues like energy, agriculture, health services and STEM education,” Honeycutt said.

Honeycutt is among 275 scientists and engineers who will spend a year serving professionally in federal agencies and congressional offices. As highly trained scientists and engineers, the U.S. government benefits from the contributions of STPF fellows, while they learn first-hand about federal policymaking and implementation.

Honeycutt said her fellowship will include a good bit of analytical evaluation of current programs within the NNSA, possibly sitting in on some congressional meetings regarding the DOE, and perhaps working with some of the National Laboratories. In addition, she will complete the AAAS professional development program which focuses on training scientists in policy, leadership and effective communication.

The fellowships are operated as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) mandate to advance science and serve society. The program aims to support evidence-based policymaking by engaging the knowledge and analytical mindset of science and engineering experts, and foster leaders for a strong U.S. science and technology enterprise. Fellows represent a broad range of disciplines, backgrounds and career stages.

The 2018-19 class is comprised of 275 fellows sponsored by AAAS and partner societies. Of these, one fellow will serve in the Federal Judicial Center, 33 will serve in Congress, and 241 in the executive branch among 19 agencies or departments.

“We are excited to usher in the 46th class of Science & Technology Policy Fellows,” said Jennifer Pearl, director of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships program. “After their fellowship, STPF fellows are prepared to lead and leverage new skills in service to society.”

Since the program’s inception in 1973, more than 3,000 fellows have supported the executive, judicial and legislative branches of federal government seeding every corner of Washington and beyond with a high caliber of scientific know-how. After the fellowship, many fellows remain in the policy arena working at the federal, state, regional or international level. Others pursue careers in industry or the nonprofit sector. Those who choose academia often include in their work teaching or mentoring students to understand the policy context for research and the importance of science communication.

Visit to learn about the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For additional information about AAAS, see