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Civic Science

Research!America seeks to empower early-career researchers to learn how to engage their communities in two-way dialogue about timely science and research issues.

For more information about student civic engagement initiatives, check out our blog post on student advocacy or contact microgrants@researchamerica.org.

The Civic Engagement Microgrant Program

A core component of our civic science work is the Civic Engagement Microgrant Program, supported by the Rita Allen Foundation.  The program provides training and hands-on experience for grantees in the areas of public policy, communications, community outreach, and program planning. At this juncture, having supported 65 microgrants over the past four years, it is beneficial to take a deep dive into the initiative

Read our new report on the impact Research!America’s Microgrant Program on Early Career Scientists. Contact Sophia Kaska, skaska@researchamerica.org, with questions or comments about the report.

Applications are CLOSED for the Research!America 2022–2023 Civic Engagement Microgrant Program. Thank you to everyone who applied!

The Microgrant program provides funding for STEM graduate students, professional students (medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, etc.), and postdocs who want to create projects aimed at building dialogue with public officials, community leaders, and local community members around issues of common interest. Ideas and programs support building policy and communication skills and increase their level of engagement with their communities, community leaders, and elected and non-elected government officials. 

Learn more about the Research!America Civic Engagement Microgrant Program for student and postdoc-led science policy groups and read about previous years’ projects.

2022-2023 Microgrant projects.

2021-2022 Microgrant projects.

2020-2021 Microgrant projects. 

2019-2020 Microgrant projects.

2018-2019 Microgrant projects.

Early Career Scientist Spotlights

To learn more about the work the early-career scientists are doing, check out these spotlights:

Neuroscience saved my life and gave me a vocation

Early Career Spotlight: Engaging the Next Generation of Health Professionals at The Ohio State University

Microgrant Spotlight: The Activist Lab at the University of South Florida College of Public Health

Making the Case for Research on Zoom: Report from a Successful Virtual Hill Day

Early Career Spotlight: Rutgers University Environmental Health Researcher Showcases the Experiences of Young People in a COVID-19 Pandemic Hotspot

Early Career Spotlight: Early Career Scientists at Michigan State University to Host Virtual SciComm Conference


Highlights of the 2022 Early Career Summit

Research!America’s second annual Early Career Summit, “Reaching the Peak,” held virtually on



Early Career Spotlight: Rutgers University Environmental Health Researcher Showcases the Experiences of Young People in a COVID-19 Pandemic Hotspot

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate our way of life, young



Advocacy by Early Career Scientists

Civic engagement is a critical skill set for scientists. It creates an


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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Vote! And Keep Engaging

Election day is less than a week away (please be sure to vote!). To better understand what the election means for federally-funded R&D, register to join us for our Post-Election […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

What Does $10.6 Billion Buy?

Halloween spending is projected to hit a record high of $10.6 billion this year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. It’s great to see people so eager to celebrate! It’s also an opportunity to put research spending into

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

10 Minutes to Impact

Dear Research Advocate, Members of Congress are back in their home states for August recess, with most focused on the midterm elections. Their Congressional staff members, meanwhile, continue to work […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Then. Now. Imagine.

Dear Research Advocate, As monkeypox cases rise across the nation and around the globe, the U.S. response is intensifying. Today, the President declared a public health emergency, and earlier this week […]

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Focus on the Future

Readers of this letter will likely agree Congress should not wait until December before enacting a new budget for FY22. It is not possible to put debilitating health threats on hold, and meanwhile, early career

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

RISE to the Challenge

A new survey commissioned by Research!America affirms Americans’ support for investing in research as a top priority for the new Congress and Administration. Four of five express strong support for the value of both public and private

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Let’s Get To Work

The election is yet another way 2020 is testing us like no other year. Let’s pull through by pulling together and putting science to work as never before.

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Will Science Be the Winner?

Physician and author Dr. Alison Escalante wrote in Forbes this week: “...a strong majority of Americans agree that ‘the Covid-19 pandemic is a disruptive event and requires urgent refocusing of America’s commitment to science.’” 

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Cross sector civic engagement

The 2016 21st Century Cures Act (21stCC) is a prime example of patient groups, government, the private sector, academia and other research stakeholders working together toward a common goal: accelerating medical progress.

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Not a moment too soon

As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s launch of Civics Forward, CEO Thomas Donahue challenged the business community to play a leading role in civic education, for no less a reason than assuring the future

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Don’t wait to advocate

Ten years ago this month, Dr. Francis Collins became the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which Research!America is a member

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Scientists as messengers

We are nearly a year out from the 2020 Presidential election and six months away from the Iowa caucuses. While candidates were meeting voters and sampling local treats at the Iowa State Fair, a new survey commissioned

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Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter

Summer in the Capital City

With the recent nomination of atmospheric scientist Kelvin Droegemeier, PhD, to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), I have been asked about the role of this office and its director.

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