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Background and Introduction:
The ASEAN region boasts strong skills and potential in science and technology and seeks to leverage these capacities to increase regional competitiveness, foster innovation and entrepreneurship, improve resource management, and enhance the lives of its citizens. Currently, few non-governmental scientists are consulted by ASEAN Member State (AMS) governments on policy decisions, and these scientists generally have a limited understanding of the government decision-making processes and how to effectively engage. ASEAN has a role to play in fostering and institutionalizing a culture of science-based policymaking throughout the region, and the Fellowship seeks to provide opportunities for policy-makers and scientists alike to learn from one another.
In early 2014, ASEAN’s Committee on Science and Technology (COST) launched the ASEAN-U.S. Science and Technology Fellowship with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Mission to ASEAN (USASEAN). In its first year, the Fellowship supported seven fellows from five AMS—Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—who contributed their knowledge and analytical skills to national-level Ministries for one year while learning about the process of policy-making and implementation.
Based on the success of the first year of the Fellowship (2014/15), USAID, USASEAN, and ASEAN decided to recruit a new cohort of Fellows on an annual basis beginning in 2015. The second year of the Fellowship (2015/16) saw the number of Fellows grow to 14, coming from seven AMS: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The goals of the ongoing ASEAN-U.S. Science and Technology Fellowship are the following:
- Advance regional cooperation on ASEAN strategic priorities;
- Strengthen science-based policymaking throughout targeted national government ministries and/or bodies; and
- Empower and build the capacity of scientists in ASEAN to take a more prominent role in their respective country’s efforts to integrate into the ASEAN Community.
The Fellowship provides opportunities for early career scientists who are citizens and residents of AMS to contribute their knowledge and analytical skills to their national governments. Fellows will be embedded in sectoral or line ministries or other agencies within their home countries, providing these institutions with increased technical capacity to make informed, science-based decisions. More specially, Fellows will be hosted by entities that support technical work aligned with the following three ASEAN and U.S. science and technology priority areas:
1. Sustainable Energy – Supporting development of strategies or policies to help national governments accelerate using efficient, environmentally friendly, and clean energy; addressing political and other barriers to help ASEAN achieve its goals of significantly increasing use of renewable energy.
2. Climate Change and Climate Variability – Supporting development of national climate change strategies, policies or action plans; supporting government efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change on cities, communities, and ecosystems.
3. Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy – Supporting the development of strategies, policies or frameworks to accelerate scientific activity or technology transfer; address intellectual property rights; foster collaboration between science and industry; catalyze STI investments, and promote entrepreneurship. (Note: Scientists with industry experience are especially encouraged to apply under this theme.)
The Fellowship will continue to build a regional network that bridges the science-to-policy gap by synthesizing relevant scientific information for use in national-level strategies, policies, and policymaking processes, as well as by developing associated policy or implementation recommendations. In addition, Fellows will assist their home countries’ sectoral line ministries to carry out national priority tasks, ideally contributing to regional integration efforts and in support of closer ASEAN connectivity through scientifically-based analysis, and by taking steps to advance the use of science to address national and regional priorities. The Fellowship is not intended to support basic research activities of the chosen scientists, rather it is focused on providing an understanding of policy and government decision making processes—opening doors to a variety of new professional opportunities as well as potential shifts in career trajectories.
Training, Professional Development, and Mentoring
In addition to the work Fellows will carry out in their home countries, the year-long Fellowship includes participation in training workshops as well as opportunities to attend and contribute to relevant regional science and technology events. Through these professional development activities, Fellows will also network with each other and are encouraged to identify collaboration opportunities. Training will include, but may not be limited to, the following events:
Annual S&T Fellows Workshop (Jakarta) – This orientation event will introduce the Fellows to ASEAN and the regional context and detail expectations and responsibilities for their upcoming year. The week-long event will provide Fellows with the following:
- introduction to ASEAN, the ASEAN Secretariat, and ASEAN-U.S. S&T priority areas;
- understanding of expectations for the Fellowship, including roles and responsibilities and expected work outcomes;
- guidance on crafting objectives and activities to be refined into a Plan of Action (POA) for the year (to be drafted in close coordination with the Fellow’s supervisor during the orientation); and
- initial training and capacity building
- ASEAN Committee on Science & Technology (COST) Meeting – Fellows will attend the 71st ASEAN COST Meeting in 2016, giving them an opportunity to observe regional policy processes and a chance to network and consult with COST representatives from AMS.
- Professional Development – During the year, Fellows will have the opportunity to come together for training workshops during the orientation in Jakarta and again in the middle of 5 the year at the 71st COST Meeting. Fellows will learn valuable leadership and communication skills and further strengthen relationships and linkages.
- Other Relevant Science and Technology Events – Fellows may also have the opportunity to attend relevant workshops and events throughout the year, serving as panelists, participants, or representatives of the Fellowship.
- Mentoring – Fellows will be connected with resource people who will provide them with periodic advice on how be more effective in formulating science-based policy recommendations and given the opportunity to connect with U.S. scientists and networks.
Logistics and Financial Support The ASEAN-U.S. Science and Technology Fellowship will begin on June 1, 2016. A stipend of $1,200 per month for the 12 months of the Fellowship period will be granted. The stipend is intended to cover all relevant costs for participating in the Fellowship (e.g. salary, room, board, insurance, etc.). Relocation support will not be provided. Travel costs for Fellows’ participation in the Annual Fellows Workshop in Jakarta—at the start of their Fellowship year and the end— ASEAN COST Meeting, and other pre-approved events will be covered separately. Fellows must be available to participate in the Annual Fellows Workshop preceding the start of the Fellowship and are expected to participate for all 12 months.
For more information, please click the pdf document on the upper right.
Last updated: February 19, 2016