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Fellowships to USA K-12 Educators to Enhance STEM Education on a National Scale

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - Office of Science
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/17/22 8:00 PM EST Save

Grant Description
Fellowships to USA K-12 educators specializing in STEM disciplines to improve the quality of education on a national scale. Awardees will apply their classroom experience and knowledge to national education policy efforts and programming during the length of their fellowship while working in Federal agencies or in U.S. Congressional offices. The goal of the program is to equip Fellows with access to a national network of education leaders and programs, improve understanding of the challenges and possibilities in STEM education, create a renewed passion for teaching, and promote significant contributions to the educational community.

Some outstanding contributions of past AEF Program Fellows include:

  • Designing new elements of national STEM education programs;
  • Implementing major components of national STEM education programs;
  • Initiating collaborations and partnerships among Federal agencies;
  • Drafting legislation and advising on policies that seek to improve K-12 education in the United States;
  • Creating web-based science education tools; 
  • Collaborate with agencies to further advance policies in diversity, equity and inclusion within the Federal Government; and
  • Establishing and evaluating national and regional programs centered on school reform and teacher preparation in STEM.

Each participating Fellow must adhere to the following program obligations:

  • Provide proof of U.S. citizenship upon accepting a Fellowship offer.
  • Secure a leave of absence from teaching during the Fellowship year.
  • Complete the eleven-month full-time appointment (mid-August through mid-July) in Washington, DC.
  • Meet the Terms and Conditions spelled out in the offer letter of appointment provided by the AEF Program, including requirements for ethical conduct, and financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest.
  • Participate in the official professional development meetings, conferences, field trips, and etc., organized for Fellows by the AEF Program.
  • Have health care coverage during the Fellowship appointment. Fellows are eligible to participate in the ORISE health insurance plan if they do not have other health insurance coverage.
  • Establish an individual Professional Development Plan for the year.
  • Submit the requested written reports, presentations, and surveys related to the Fellowship experience before the published deadlines.
  • Represent themselves as educators in a responsible and professional manner.
  • Only use the AEF Program name or the Fellow's affiliation with the AEF Program in an authorized manner.
  • Must, in managing their responsibilities throughout the Fellowship, give priority to the duties assigned to them by their host office. 

AEF Program Fellows must also comply with all legal and ethical requirements subject to their individual appointments.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligibility for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program requires that all applicants:
- Be a U.S. citizen at the time of applying (by the application deadline).
- Have a minimum of five complete years of full-time classroom teaching experience prior to submitting the application. Student teaching does not count toward this minimum full-time teaching requirement.
- Have been teaching full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline. Current employment may be as an educator or district official.
- Be currently employed full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school or school district in the U.S.
- Be able to provide a letter of recommendation from a school district official as one of their three required letters of recommendation.
- Be able to obtain a leave of absence from teaching in order to participate in the program for the full eleven months.

In addition:
- Current and former AEF Program Fellows are not eligible to apply for a second fellowship.
- Eligible individuals may apply a maximum of three times within a six year period.

Pre-Application Information
Key Dates for the 2023-2024 AEF Program Application process:
- On-line Application Opens: August 15, 2022
- Application Deadline: 8:00pm EST November 17, 2022
- Notification to Semi-Finalists [Travel Arrangements made for Interviews in Washington, DC]: February 24, 2023
- Interviews in Washington, DC: March 5 – 7, 2023*
- Finalists Notifications: March 23, 2023
- Congressional Fellows Placement Interviews: Mid-June, 2023**
- Fellows Arrive in Washington, DC: Mid-August, 2023
- Orientation meeting for the 2022 – 2023 AEF Program Fellows: August 21 – 24, 2023

*Semi-finalists will travel to Washington, DC, on Saturday, March 4, 2023. Orientation will be on Sunday, March 5, followed by interviews on Monday, March 6 and possibly Tuesday, March 7.

**Applicants selected for a Congressional office placement will return for one week in June to interview with Congressional offices.

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation with their application to be considered, one of which must be from a school district official.
- A school district official may be, for example, a school principal, district superintendent, deputy or assistant superintendent, or district board of education member, or the equivalent as the titles of these officials may vary from one district to another.
- School district officials do NOT include department chairs, assistant principals, associate principals, or vice-principals.
- All letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application system by the application deadline. WDTS will not accept mailed or emailed recommendation letters.

How to Apply:


Review and Selection Process:

Eligibility Information:



Key Dates:

Number of Grants
In recent years the program has awarded between ten and twenty Fellowships a year.

Estimated Size of Grant
Benefits - Each AEF Program Fellow:
- Spends eleven months in a Federal agency or U.S. Congressional office engaged in education policy and/or program related activities, bringing their experience as an educator to the offices in which they serve.
- Receives a monthly living stipend of $7,500.
- Has a travel allowance of up to $5,000 for approved travel requested by their host agency. Limitations on foreign travel will vary by agency.
- Develops professional development plans to guide individual professional development objectives outside their host office responsibilities with ongoing mentoring provided by the AEF Program.
- Has an education allowance of up to $1,000 for approved expenses aligned with the Fellow's individual professional development plan, including courses, conferences, and professional books.
- Receives professional development opportunities throughout the year, including opportunities for Fellows to interact with various organizations, associations and experts who focus on STEM education.
- Is reimbursed for moving/relocations expenses up to $3,500 for Fellows relocating from outside of the Washington, DC area.
- Is eligible to receive a stipend of up to $550 per month (individual plan) or $1,300 per month (family plan) to offset the cost of health insurance.
- Receives designated office space and agency/office-specific orientation and training.

Term of Contract
The Einstein Fellowship is for eleven months, from the third Monday in August with the initial program Orientation and continues for an eleven month period.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

U.S. Department of Energy
SC-27/ Forrestal Building
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
Contact form:

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