History of Scientific Policy Scholarships
The first political scholarship holder was active in the Federal Palace in 2002; since then, an average of two scholarships have been awarded each year. The political scholarships were made possible primarily through the initiative of Dr. Johannes Kaufmann, then a science attaché for Switzerland in the USA, and Dr. Margrit Leuthold, then General Secretary of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS).
In 2000, Johannes Kaufmann made the academies aware of the Congressional Fellowship Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This program has enabled young researchers to serve on the staff of US Congressmen since 1973.
Under the direction of Margrit Leuthold and with the cooperation of various committed scientists and politicians, the “CASS scholarship” pilot project was implemented within a year, named after the former Conseil des académies scientifiques suisses (today the Swiss Academies of Science). In the first few years, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and above all the GEBERT RÜF STIFTUNG provided the necessary finances. Today the Foundation for Scientific Political Scholarships is responsible for the program. It is supported by organizations from the scientific sector and by the Federal Assembly.