So You Want to Work for Uncle Sam?

Lincoln has a new Wiki to help technology professionals find ways to get involved in government (at least for a year or two)


The state and federal government requires the work of technologists more now than ever. From improving data reporting at the US Census to rebuilding the Federal Election Commission’s website to make the website easier to use for journalists to report on government spending, many technological updates have occurred in various government agencies.

You don’t have to become a government employee forever to get involved in government technology work. In practice, there are quite a few options available for technologists who want to get involved in the government. Below you can find a list of technology fellowships and initiatives from the city to federal level.

Note: This list is oriented around opportunities for early and mid-career technology professionals. There are various other programs available if you’re a current student or recent graduate.

Federal Government


AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

Length: Twelve months

Entity: Congress, judiciary, and federal agencies

Eligibility: Relocation to D.C., a Ph.D. in a STEM field, along with potentially a security clearance if a fellow of certain departments in D.C..

Compensation: $80,000 – $105,000

Link: https://www.aaas.org/programs/science-technology-policy-fellowships

18F

Length: One to two years, with the option to extend up to four years.

Entity: General Services Administration

Eligibility: Be a U.S Citizenship with several years of experience. Application requires a government required resume.

Compensation: $90,000 to $130,000. Depends on federal pay structure.

Link: https://18f.gsa.gov/join/

18F is an office contained within the General Services Administration whose main rule is to work with other government agencies to fix their various technical problems along with improving how the government uses technology to serve the public.

While 18F have offices in DC, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, they are remote-first so one could be based in any part of the country while working for 18F.

US Digital Service

Length: Two years, can be renewed once for a total of four years

Entity: US Digital Service

Eligibility: Be an American citizen with several years of work experience.

Compensation: $100,000 – $160,000

Link: https://usds.gov/apply

Length: Two years, can be renewed once for a total of four years

Launched in 2014 after the failure of Healthcare.gov, the United States Digital Service is a technology unit housed within the Executive Office of the President that provides technology consultation to various government agencies.

The US Digital Service requires those who work for them to relocate to Washington D.C.

Presidential Innovation Fellows

Length: Twelve months

Entity: Federal agencies.

Eligibility: All United States citizens who are not currently Federal employees or GSA contractors are eligible to apply.

Compensation: $142,701

Link: https://presidentialinnovationfellows.gov/

The program pairs technologists with high-ranking civil servants in various federal agencies. These fellows then act as entrepreneurs in residence to solve problems that the assigned federal agency may be having. Projects that fellows have worked on included various Open Data initiatives and code.gov.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows Program requires its fellows to be based in Washington, D.C., for the duration of the fellowship.

TechCongress

Length: Twelve Months

Entity: Congress

Eligibility: Tech Congress a tech policy fellowship that partners technologists with members and committees in the house and senate to help them produce more informed tech policy. Fellows typically do work that a traditional staffer might do, except with a focus on technological issues like AI, data privacy, or cybersecurity.

Compensation:

Link: https://www.techcongress.io/

ARPA-E Fellows

Length: Two Years

Entity: Department of Energy

Eligibility: A STEM Ph.D. along with US Citizenship and the willingness to relocate to the ARPA-E headquarters in D.C.

Compensation: $80,000

Link: https://arpa-e.energy.gov/arpa-e-site-page/job-opportunities#op-383858-fellows-spring-2020

DARPA Program Managers

Length: 3 to 5 years.

Entity: DARPA

Eligibility: Required to be a U.S Citizen, along with a thorough background check.

Compensation: $87,000 – $164,000

Link: https://www.darpa.mil/work-with-us/new-program-managers

Local Government


CCST Science Fellows (California)

Length: 10 months.

Entity: California legislature or executive branch.

Eligibility: Ph.D. in a STEM field (majority of the time), along with the eligibility to work full-time for a employer in the United States. Registered lobbyist can’t apply.

Compensation: $50,000 plus benefits and relocation.

Link: https://ccst.us/ccst-science-fellows-program/

Idaho Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

Length: 12 months.

Entity: U of I, Boise State University and Idaho State University

Eligibility: Hold a Ph.D. level science or social science degree, or a masters in engineering with three years of work experience. Relocation to Idaho. Length: One Year

Compensation: Up to $100,000

Link: https://www.uidaho.edu/president/direct-reports/mcclure-center/istpf

MOST Policy Fellows (Missouri)

Length: One Year, with a encouragement to renew for a additional year

Entity: University of Missouri

Eligibility: Hold a Ph.D in a STEM or a Medical Field by September 2020, and be willing to relocate to the University of Missouri.

Compensation: Up to $100,000.

Link: https://mostpolicyinitiative.org/fellows/

Code for America

Length: Depends. There is a Code for America team that one can join, but they also provide links to other civic technology jobs. They do have a fellowship program in various cities, which change every year, with each fellowship lasting a single year. Additionally, most of the members of Code for America are volunteers.

Entity: Code for America

Eligibility: Be a US Citizen who has several years of work experience.

Compensation: A stipend of $35,000, along with additional pay from the partnering city.

Link: https://www.codeforamerica.org/programs/fellowship/meet-the-fellows

Code for America is a non-profit founded by Jennifer Pahlka after realizing that technologists needed to get involved on the city level as well. The volunteer organization consists of 85 chapters across the country who work with their local governments on various civic technology initiatives.

A list of all the Code for America brigades can be found here.

Beta NYC

Length: NA

Entity: NYC State Government

Eligibility: NA

Compensation: NA

Link: https://beta.nyc/

Beta NYC is a meetup group in the New York City focused on civic technology and open data within the city. They post meetups on the topic along with provide resources to the NYC government on various civic technology issues.

Office of Civic Innovation (San Francisco)

Length: Depends. Companies can partner with the Office of Civic Innovation for a negotiated amount of time, where employees can do volunteer work for the office, in exchange for a way for the company to engage with the government and organize various events via the Office of Civic Innovation.


See more on GitHub. Also please note this list is a work in progress, and suggestions are welcome. It was compiled with lots of help from Lars Schonander.

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