Student Science Policy Groups Receive Microgrants to Engage Public and Candidates for Midterm Elections

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Research!America, in partnership with the National Science Policy Network (NSPN), 15 scientific societies and the Rita Allen Foundation today announced microgrants of $1,000 to $5,000 to ten graduate student and post-doc led science policy groups for a range of activities in their communities, leading up to the midterm elections in November, highlighting the societal benefits of scientific research. Research!America’s Bipartisan Civic Engagement Initiative is intended to support early career scientists in their efforts to engage the public and candidates running for national office to elevate scientific research as a strategic local and national priority.

“Scientific research is the cornerstone of a thriving society and should be part of the national conversation during an election year,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America. “This initiative will help enable scientists call attention to how scientific research, particularly studies conducted at their local institutions, has contributed to better health, a stronger economy and strengthened our competitive edge in the development of new technologies. We are proud to work with the National Science Policy Network and partner organizations to support students from universities across the country who are facilitating meaningful conversations with non-scientists.”

Student science policy groups from the following academic institutions have been selected for Research!America microgrants: University of California San Diego; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Johns Hopkins University; University of California-San Francisco; University of Missouri; Vanderbilt University; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin; University of Virginia and Medical University of South Carolina.

The groups will invite the public and candidates to events such as town halls, science cafes, lab tours, science debates, workshops, block parties, community festivals, and launch social media campaigns to reach a broader audience. A strong majority of Americans (86%) say it is important for scientists to inform the public about their research and its impact on society, according to a national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America.

Partners for the Bipartisan Civic Engagement Initiative include: American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Astronomical Society; American Chemical Society; American Institute of Physics; American Physical Society; American Psychiatric Association; American Society for Microbiology; Association for Psychological Science; Coalition for Life Sciences; Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences; International Association for Dental Research; OSA-The Optical Society; Sigma Xi; Society for Neuroscience; Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation (SoAR); and The Rita Allen Foundation.

The Bipartisan Civic Engagement Initiative is part of the NSPN microgrant program which is supporting early career scientists advocating for science policy and diplomacy. For more information about the civic engagement initiative, visit


About Research!America

Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations representing 125 million Americans. Visit

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Terri Schwartzbeck
Director of Communications 

Without research, there is no hope.
The Honorable Paul G. Rogers