50業子

Advocacy

Advocacy Training Program

The 2024 ATP application will open on March 20.

The 50業子 Advocacy Training program is a three-month externship (May through August) that provides hands-on science policy and advocacy training for 50業子 members. ATP delegates learn about science advocacy, the role of Congress and policymakers in funding science, and how to effectively advocate. With support from 50業子 public affairs staff, delegate will develop and execute their own independent advocacy activity to address an issue affecting the research enterprise and/or their communities.

Participants (called delegates) gain the necessary skills to create change and be a leader for those seeking to do the same. They learn alongside a cohort of their peers who are dedicated to doing the same type of work and access unique networking opportunities. They also learn the importance of policy writing and how to communicate scientific issues to congressional staffers and other diverse audiences.

Goal of the ATP

The ATP aims to (1) provide professional development for our members (2) expand BMB advocacy efforts and (3) increase the connection points between 50業子 members and the public affairs department to spur new advocacy efforts that are relevant to members.

What to expect as an ATP delegate

The program requires about 10 to 12 hours a month for coursework, discussions and activities.

Each delegate attends weekly virtual training sessions (1.5 hours long each), completes applied learning assignments and develops their independent advocacy activity. The syllabus includes the following sessions:

Section One: Science policy, advocacy and the federal government

  • Session 1 — What is science policy?
  • Session 2 — The executive branch and federal agencies.
  • Session 3 — Congressional advocacy, agency authorization and the budget process.
  • Session 4 — State and local advocacy and engaging community stakeholders.

Section Two: Science policy strategy

  • Session 5 — Science policy writing
  • Session 6 — Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in advocacy
  • Session 7 — Constructing your advocacy message: Elevator pitches
  • Session 8 — Elevator pitch practice

Section Three: Advocating before, during and after

  • Session 9 — Exploring science policy careers
  • Session 10 — ATP virtual Hill Day: Preparation
  • Session 11 — ATP virtual Hill Day: Practice
  • Session 12 — ATP virtual Hill Day

What ATP delegates gain

ATP delegates gain not only advocacy skills but also produce their own policy materials and access unique opportunities. Each delegate:

  • Conducts an advocacy activity that matches their interests.
  • Speaks with congressional policymakers about relevant science policy topics
  • Writes a policy op-ed or policy brief.
  • Attends an exclusive career panel of science policy professionals.
  • Gets a chance to be invited to the 50業子 Public Affairs Advisory Committee as a nonvoting member (two-year term).
  • Gets the opportunity to present advocacy activities at the next 50業子 annual meeting, Discover BMB.

Any questions can be directed to publicaffairs@asbmb.org.

Cohort 5 delegates

See past cohorts

Faith Bowman

Ph.D. candidate
University of Utah

“I hope to gain critical skills in initiating and engaging with public policymakers, aligning the community's needs with policymakers' goals and distilling those ideas into actionable plans to improve health equity with policy grounded in evidence-based research.”

Maksim Dolmat

Ph.D. candidate
University of Alabama at Birmingham

“I aim to become well versed in scientific policy, develop a well-placed network that will enable me to obtain the resources to implement changes and understand the intricacies of the federal government.”

Benjamin Duewell

Ph.D. candidate
University of Oregon

“As a child of schoolteachers, I grew up seeing the effect that public policy had on classrooms ... I hope to continue learning about these systems as an ATP delegate, while gaining new knowledge and skills to better advocate for their reform and restructure."

Sydney Haas

Undergraduate
New College of Florida

“I have three main goals: learn what strategies are most effective for fighting for educational freedom and prosperity for both students and professors, learn how to communicate well with legislators and decision-makers and learn how to help others at the New College of Florida.”

Chloe Kirk

Ph.D. candidate
University of Miami

“I plan to learn how I can harness my experience in science research and communication to advocate for increased funding in biomedical research and STEM education resources.”

Mericka McCabe

Ph.D. candidate
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

“Through the ATP, I hope to gain the confidence and skill set to work with policymakers and advocate on behalf of my fellow scientists.”

Kira Mills

Ph.D. candidate
University of Texas at Dallas

“I have seen firsthand the disparities in public school education throughout the U.S., within Texas specifically, and want to work toward bridging the gap and ensuring all students have access to quality science education.”

Katie Scott

Ph.D. candidate
University of Iowa

“I am hoping to build my knowledge on how to create an inclusive and inviting atmosphere to learn about science for my community. I am passionate about accessibility and advocating for inclusive learning spaces.”

Nidhi Shukla

Postdoctoral fellow
Case Western Reserve University

“I am excited to participate in the Advocacy Training Program and hope to gain a deeper understanding of the policy-making process and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to advocate for policies that align with my values and priorities.”

Isha Verma

Postdoctoral fellow
University of Michigan

“I am excited to learn about the opportunities to interact with congressional members and advocate for research funding.”

Joselyn Landazuri Vinueza

Ph.D. candidate
University of Washington

“I am looking forward to learning how to advocate for federal funding to increase minority representation in STEM fields.”

Justin Wang

Ph.D. candidate
Scripps Research

“I hope to gain the skills and know-how to improve research culture through policy and translate scientific findings into impactful policy changes.”

 

FAQ

Do I have to be an 50業子 member?
Acceptance into the ATP requires an active 50業子 membership. If you’re not already a member, join here.
Which career-stages are eligible to apply?
All career stages between undergraduate students and faculty members are eligible to apply. Though the ATP is tailored to be most impactful for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, faculty members are also welcome to apply. Due to programmatic limitations, no more than two undergraduate students per ATP cohort will be accepted.
Can green card holders and non-citizens apply?
Yes, you can apply.
What kind and how much homework will there be?
Homework will vary depending on the week. During the first half of the ATP, you’ll read articles, watch videos and complete targeted activities to help you develop your understanding of an issue area of your choice. Examples of each homework assignment will be provided. The second half of the ATP will be spent on larger projects, e.g., elevator pitch and written op-ed or policy memo. Be prepared to dedicate 10–12 hours a month to the program. If you cannot make such a commitment, skip this application period and apply in the following cycle.
What if I miss a session?
Delegates are expected to attend each session to develop the tools needed to become an effective advocate. Because the sessions are virtual, you should be able to attend from any location. Sessions will be scheduled on Wednesday afternoons from 4–5 p.m. Eastern. If you foresee more than three date conflicts, we ask that you do not apply. Note: We will not be meeting the week of the July 4.
Do I have to tell my research adviser/principal investigator that I am applying?
We encourage you to discuss your application and participation in this program with your adviser. If you believe that there will be a conflict between you and your adviser (or other institutional officials), we ask that you not apply. 
Do I get to participate in the 50業子s Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C.?
We're not sure! Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual 50業子 Capitol Hill Day has been conducted virtually with our Public Affairs Committee. As the situation evolves and Congress becomes accessible in-person again, this may change. 
What do I get out of becoming a delegate?
Our goal is to produce self-motivated, knowledgeable delegates dedicated to advocating for life science research. You will gain skills that you need to create change in your region and to become a leader for those seeking to do the same. You will have a built-in network of at least 10 other delegates around the country dedicated to doing the same type of work, meet and network with expert guest speakers, and learn about career opportunities in science policy. 
What happens after its over?
Alumni have the opportunity to become teaching assistants for the next cohort, participate in an ATP alumni working group and join 50業子 Public Affairs Advisory Committee working groups. The 50業子 policy team will use alumni feedback to improve the program for the next cohort of delegates. The policy team also will call upon alumni to mobilize their local networks to coordinate national advocacy campaign efforts.
If I dont become a delegate this year, can I apply the next year?
Yes. Applications are expected to cycle annually. Reach out to publicaffairs@asbmb.org for the latest information.
Id like to participate in advocacy, but cant commit that much time to this program. What can I do?
The 50業子 provides a variety of advocacy activities throughout the year. Email publicaffairs@asbmb.org to learn what opportunities might be available, such as writing an article for the 50業子 Today magazine.

Additional resources

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Magazine

Meet the 2023 50業子 Advocacy Training Program delegates

50業子 announces a new cohort of 12 50業子 Advocacy Training Program delegates who will learn about science policy and advocacy through this summer externship

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50業子 delegates leave their mark on policymaking

Advocacy Training Program participants use their new skills to improve their institutional environments, create new programs, draft policy recommendations, perform targeted outreach and more.

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What we learned in the ATP

Seven members of the first group to complete the 50業子s Advocacy Training Program describe their experiences and share what they learned.

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Advocacy toolkit

Best practices for sharing your stories with the policymakers whose decisions affect your work.

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Magazine

Your voice does matter

Even in these deeply partisan times, grassroots advocacy is effective. As a subject matter expert, you can educate your legislator about the value of science.