Microgrants Awarded to Graduate Student Groups for Local Science Policy Initiatives
Research!America is excited to announce the participants of the 2022-2023 Civic Engagement Microgrant Initiative. With awards of up to $4,000, 20 graduate student- and post doc-led science groups from across the United States will engage with public officials, local community leaders, and the public around issues of common concern. The initiative is supported by the Rita Allen Foundation.
Since 2018, this program has enabled STEM graduate students, professional students in medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacy, and postdocs to create innovative projects aimed at building dialogue with their local communities while developing skills in communication and program planning and a working knowledge of policy and government.
“Civic engagement is a critical skill set for every scientist. The microgrant program is a way to build bridges with non-scientists while also building communications and other public engagement skills,” said Mary Woolley, CEO of Research!America. “We are grateful for support from the Rita Allen Foundation and are excited to see the innovative ideas brought forth by this year’s micrograntees come to life.”
Americans think it is important for scientists to inform elected officials (87%) and the public (80%) about their research and its impact on society, according to a 2022 survey commissioned by Research!America. The Microgrant program helps empower early career scientists to live up to these expectations.
“We are deeply encouraged to see early-career scientists spearhead opportunities building civic science connections within their communities through Research!America’s Civic Engagement Microgrant Initiative,” said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation. “Early-career scientists are working to build key skills in order to cultivate relationships needed to address today’s complex issues in science and society.”
2022 – 2023 Microgrant Recipients:
Research!America microgrants were awarded to the following graduate student groups:
- Advisory Group Urban Climate Research Center (Arizona State University): New Group
- Math and Computer Science Research Engagement (UC Merced): K-12 Education
- Science Policy Group (UC Los Angeles): Data Visualization
- Science Policy and Advocacy Network (UC Irvine): Public Forum
- Yale Student Science Diplomats (Yale University): Workshops
- Project Bridge Colorado (University of Colorado Medical Campus): Workshops
- HealthE Lifestyles (University of Miami): Community Outreach and Education
- Neuroscience Outreach and Volunteer Association (University of Maryland, Baltimore): Public Forum
- Science Policy Detroit (Wayne State University): Workshop
- Grand Rapids Science Outreach Group (Van Andel Institute): Podcast
- ProSPER and GPC (Washington University in St. Louis): Community Outreach and Engagement
- Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (Touro College of Pharmacy Chapter): Community Outreach and Engagement
- Politics Under the Microscope (Rockefeller University): Podcast
- Brain Awareness Council (Wake Forrest University): Community Outreach and Engagement
- Oklahoma Policy Engagement Network (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center): Community Outreach and Engagement
- Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Student Interest Group (University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center): New Group
- Science Policy Group at UT Health San Antonio (The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio): New Group
- Taking Our Best Shot (University of Texas Medical Branch): Community Outreach and Education
- Utah Science Policy Initiative (Weber State University): New Group
- Science Policy Advocacy and Education Club (Virginia Tech): Public Forum, Community Outreach and Engagement
Example of Projects
- Students at Arizona State University will host roundtable discussions with local policymakers, as well as create materials for community members and scientists alike, to highlight the importance of addressing climate change.
- The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio students will host workshops that empower the scientific workforce at UTHSA and connect the local community with scientists.
- University of California Merced students will mentor and provide supplemental instruction to grade school children to help foster a love of math and coding.
Visit the Microgrant website to learn more about the Civic Engagement Microgrant Initiative and get inspired by the projects of past and present micrograntees. You can also read our recently released Microgrant Report, which looks at the impact of the program on early career scientists through 65 microgrants over the past four years.
Contact Tim Haynes, Senior Director of Communications, at 571-482-2737 or firstname.lastname@example.org with press inquiries.