Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science



  • Applicant must be an individual scientist or engineer. Groups or institutions will not be considered for this program. AAAS employees are ineligible. Fifteen scientists or engineers will be chosen to participate in the program each year.
  • Applicant must be an active researcher who investigates artificial intelligence or an aspect of artificial intelligence. Researchers may be in academia, government, non-governmental organizations or industry.
  • Applicant must be mid-career, defined as at least seven years past receipt of their terminal degree, and have demonstrated significant professional accomplishment in their field of study.
  • Applicant will have demonstrated an interest or excellence in contributing to public engagement with science activities, with a focus on interactive dialogue with a non-scientific, public audience(s).
    • Public engagement activities are defined as the individual’s active participation in efforts to engage with the public on science- and technology-related issues and promote meaningful dialogue between science and society. Types of public engagement activities might include: public outreach, public policy, informal science education or science communication activities such as mass media, public dialogue, science cafés, stakeholder dialogues and social media.
  • Applicant must be committed to participating in a year-long fellowship, including one week of orientation and training at the AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC and continued public engagement and institutional change activities while at their home institution during the following year. AAAS suggests Fellows find ways to integrate these activities into their scientific work to make them more sustainable. 
  • AAAS may provide some materials in advance of the official start of the Fellowship so that Fellows may prepare for the year. During the orientation and training week, Fellows will develop a plan for the public engagement and institutional change activities they will lead and participate in during the Fellowship year. During the fellowship year, Fellows are expected to continue their public engagement and institutional change activities as outlined in their plan. Applicant must be committed to participating in periodic group calls and documenting their activities.
  • Applicant must be a member of AAAS or become a member upon acceptance.



  • Prior application does not exclude a candidate from consideration in subsequent years.
  • Along with AAAS staff, a committee of experts from the natural, physical and social sciences and from the field of public engagement will review applications and select the cohort. Committee decisions are final.


Inquiries may be directed to the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology via email.