Columbia, MO – The Missouri Science and Technology Policy Fellows (MOST) program, housed within the Graduate School at the University of Missouri, is excited to announce an award of $558,000 from the James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF) of St. Louis, Missouri. Funds will contribute to completing the development stage of the policy fellowship program and help to launch the initial fellowship class in Jefferson City. JSMF has offered these funds as a challenge grant – two of the five initial fellows will be funded by JSMF pending funding is raised for the three additional fellows, thus, MOST is actively seeking partners to fully launch the fellowship class in the Fall of 2020.
MOST Policy Initiative seeks to establish a post-doctoral Science and Technology Policy Fellowship to assist with evidence-based policy decisions in the State of Missouri. Scientifically-trained fellows will inform legislators and the general public of potential outcomes associated with proposed policy, in order to promote long-term health, sustainability, and economic growth for Missouri communities. Forty-one members of the Missouri General Assembly have signed a letter supporting the establishment of this fellowship program. The complete list can be found at https://mostpolicyfellows.org/supporters.
With support from the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the University of Missouri Graduate School, Rachel Owen has been named the director of MOST Policy Initiative. Owen co-founded MOST alongside Hallie Thompson and Mike Hendricks in 2016 and has served as a co-director with Hendricks for the past two years while completing a doctoral degree in Natural Resources. As MOST Policy Initiative Director, Owen will play a vital role in the long-term success and sustainability of the fellows program. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of the fellows and facilitating the application process and training, she will be responsible for fundraising, partnership building, and public outreach. Owen looks forward to maintaining both the long-term vision and day-to-day operations of MOST Policy Initiative, and allowing Missouri to serve as a nationwide bellwether at the intersection of science and policy-making. The MOST Policy Fellowship program will form a public-private partnership between the Missouri General Assembly, higher education institutions in our state, private foundations, the citizens of Missouri, and other interested groups seeking to advance science and technology. The benefits of this fellowship program are numerous, including, but not limited to advancing Missouri’s standing as a leading state in research and development, agricultural and environmental management, and health care; as well as stewarding an informed citizenry. For more information, please visit http://mostpolicyfellows.org.