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Science for Development Fellowships

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has established the Science for Development Fellowships program (SDF), as a new two-year immersive professional development opportunity for American scientists and engineers to apply their technical knowledge and research skills to inform and enhance the U.S. government’s international development activities. The program aims to augment and diversify USAID’s science and technology (S&T) expertise and workforce. It welcomes postdoctoral (or master’s in engineering) applicants across a broad range of STEMM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, math, medicine), including social sciences.

USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people progress beyond assistance. Learn more about USAID at

Read the USAID press release announcing the Science for Development Fellowships program.


Objectives: Expanding and improving capacity for the application of science, technology, and innovation across USAID’s development sectors is vital to achieving the Agency’s broad and ambitious global development objectives. SDF is designed to enhance and diversify USAID’s S&T workforce this through three strategies:

  1. Increasing direct application of S&T knowledge and expertise at USAID by engaging diverse cohorts of Science for Development Fellows across the programming of the Agency each year.
  2. Strengthening the professional capabilities of participating scientists and engineers to inform, develop, and advance evidence-based practices and policies that improve international development activities and results.
  3. Establishing a network of diverse higher education institutions (HEIs), including Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), committed to advancing STEMM education that contributes to solutions for global challenges, and supporting SDF to leverage the experience and skills of their STEMM graduate students, postdocs, alumni, and faculty.

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Start Date: The inaugural cohort of SDF Fellows will begin October 1, 2024

Application Period: January through February 2024

Qualifying Degrees: Eligible scientific and technical disciplines are within the following broad fields:

Eligibility: To apply for a Science for Development Fellowship, applicants must:

Assignments: Fellowship assignments will vary depending on the placements at USAID host offices and include a wide range of projects to harness fellows’ scientific and technical skills. These may include:

Fellows may have an opportunity to engage in a short-term rotation in another USAID division or unit beyond their host office.

Competitive Salary: Career stage dependent (based on years of experience), fellows’ salary compensation will be equivalent to the federal General Schedule (GS), ranging from GS-12 Step 1 at $99,200 annually to GS-13 Step 7 at $141,557 per year.

Employment Status: SDF Fellows will be placed at USAID as Institutional Support Contractors (ISCs), via employment with either USmax Corporation – the SDF managing contractor on behalf of USAID – or employed by Social Solutions International, the SDF USmax Corporation subcontractor.

Comprehensive Benefits: Fellows will receive a supportive benefits package that includes the following:

Career-Expanding Opportunities: Science for Development Fellows will gain a unique avenue to train as practitioners in international development and directly contribute to global development objectives at USAID and beyond. The program’s many offerings include:


USmax Corporation (USmax) manages the SDF program on behalf of USAID. Questions about the fellowship program should be directed to the SDF staff at USmax at:

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