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Research!America Announces Call For Proposals for Science Student Groups Civic Engagement Projects

Research!America Announces Call For Proposals for Science Student Groups Civic Engagement Projects

Research!America is announcing a request for proposals from graduate student- and postdoc-led science policy groups for the alliance’s civic engagement initiative. Started in 2018, the Civic Engagement Microgrant Program supports activities developed by students to connect directly with public officials and community leaders regarding the importance of scientific discovery and research.

Research!America, supported in part by a grant from the Rita Allen Foundation, is funding graduate student groups’ nonpartisan activities of their design focusing on civic engagement and elevating the importance of scientific research, innovation and public health. These programs encourage dialogue between young scientists and local leaders about the roles science and research play in issues important to their communities. Groups are also encouraged to expand their efforts through partnerships with social science and communications students as part of the new Science Meets Science Microgrant Program.

“As Research!America leads the way in connecting scientists, communities, and policy makers, we are pleased to advance this innovative effort to spark young scientists’ civic engagement and draw on insights from the social sciences. With rapid advances in the life sciences and science and technology broadly, the relationships and conversations these groups will build will help inform decisions of great importance to society — and advance a much-needed culture of civic science for the benefit of our communities.” Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rita Allen Foundation

The 2018 microgrant program, in partnership with the National Science Policy Network, provided ten university science policy groups with funding for non-partisan civic engagement.

“Such programs provide vital funding opportunities for our network to expand their outreach and further engage policy makers and the public. We are excited by the Science Meets Science Civic Engagement Initiative as a promising opportunity to foster new collaborations between advocates from the natural and social sciences.” – Avital Percher, Director of Partnerships, the National Science Policy Network.

This year, we are seeking innovative proposals from a diverse group of early career scientists, through collaborations with other science policy groups on activities such as op-ed writing workshops, roundtable discussions, forums, or science fair-style events with elected and non-elected public officials, community leaders or policy experts, local or state officials and members of the public.

A recent survey of U.S. adults commissioned by Research!America shows that a large majority of Americans (81%) say it is important for scientists to inform elected officials about their research and its impact on society. Respondents also agree that scientists should play a role in shaping public policy in medical and health research, education, national defense, infrastructure, job creation and other areas.

Applicants can apply for $1,000 to $3,000 in grants. Proposals are due by Friday, September 20, 2019 and more information can be found here. Research!America leadership and staff will review proposals and those selected for funding will be announced in early October 2019. Click here for the application. Up to 15 groups will be awarded.


The Research!America alliance advocates for science, discovery, and innovation to achieve better health for all. Visit www.ResearchAmerica.org.

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. It enables early-career biomedical scholars to do pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector.