American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program

Update on the Paul E. Tsongas Fellowship Act (12-10-97)

Most Recent Action:
On October 28, Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced companion legislation in the House ( H.R.2749) and Senate (S.1322) to establish "The Senator Paul E. Tsongas Fellowship." The legislation would establish a three-year doctoral fellowship, modeled after the Office of Naval Research Graduate Fellowship, for "research in the fie lds of science or engineering that relate to energy or the environment such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, materials science, environmental science, behavioral science, and social sciences." The legislation authorizes $5 million for FY98 and "such sums as may be necessary for the succeeding fiscal years."

In his introductory remarks, Sen. Kennedy commented that Senator Paul Tsongas "worked skillfully to guarantee that technology and environmental concerns are at the forefront of our country's priorities. Today we honor his commitment to these important pr iorities by proposing a national fellowship to support graduate students in science and engineering."

The selected individuals will be awarded a stipend of $15,000, $16,500, and $18,000 in the first, second, and third years of study, respectively. In addition, the fellowship will cover tuition, fees, and health insurance and includes an administrative an d travel allowance. In return, the fellow is required to participate in a 3 month internship related to his/her dissertation topic at a national lab or equivalent industrial laboratory.

The bill also establishes a Fellowship Board, which will consist of 5 members appointed for three-year terms by the Secretary of Energy in consultation with the National Science Foundation. The Board shall establish general policies for the fellowship an d oversee its operation; establish criteria for awarding fellowships; award fellowships; and submit to Congress a report on the program every three years. The bills have been referred to committee to be taken up after Congress returns in 1998.

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.

Contributed by Kasey Shewey, AGI Government Affairs.

Last updated December 10, 1997

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