Research!America and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) hosted a public webinar, “Strategies to Maximize your Advocacy Results” on Friday, February 23 in preparation for SfN’s 12th Annual Capitol Hill Day on March 8, 2018.
Pete Kirkham, the president and founder of Red Maple Consulting, a government affairs and political strategy firm, talked about the state of play of federal funding for science agencies. He noted that congressional members of the appropriations committee have been generous to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with significant funding increases, and stressed the importance of having a clear advocacy message. Using Research!America’s Porter’s Principles as a guide, he emphasized that scientists should “avoid nomenclature and be brief” and “to be proud of the research you do.”
Research!America board member Sudip Parikh, Ph.D., senior vice president and managing director, DIA Americas, detailed the appropriations process and provided tips for interacting with the Appropriations Committee such as making “a specific ask.”
Lori McMahon, Ph.D., dean, University of Alabama at Birmingham Graduate School shared insights on grassroots advocacy, including a program called Neuroscience Café, where researchers engage with the general public in a relaxed, informal setting. “Get out there and start talking,” she said. “If we share what we’re doing, how it impacts those in the community, then they can help us.”
SfN and Research!America will be hosting two more webinars in the series, on April 18 and June 1.