Advocacy Training Program
The ASBMB Advocacy Training program is a three-month externship (May–Aug) that provides hands-on science policy and advocacy training and experience. ATP delegates will learn how to advocate and about conducting science policy in the federal government and Congress. With support from ASBMB public affairs staff, delegates then develop and execute an advocacy activity focused on policies affecting their communities.
Participants in the program will gain skills that they need to create change in their region and to become a leader for those seeking to do the same. They will have a built-in cohort of other delegates around the country dedicated to doing the same type of work. They will also learn the importance of policy writing and how to communicate scientific issues to Congressional staff.
Goal of the ATP
While federal policies affecting life scientists are a focus for the ASBMB public affairs team, evidence-based state and local policies are also key to creating a productive, diverse and sustainable scientific enterprise.
The ASBMB public affairs team aims to educate and train interested ASBMB members in effective science advocacy. This program will arm participants with the ability to create sustainable advocacy efforts, improve policies at the institutional and local level and learn fundamental skills for science policy careers. The ATP is also designed in a cohort framework for further advocacy and networking opportunities beyond the duration of the program!
What to expect as an ATP delegate
The program will require about 8–10 hours a month between ATP coursework, discussions and activities.
The program involves weekly one-hour virtual lectures to learn about science policy, applied learning assignments and developing an independent advocacy activity to execute in your local or federal community. Assignments and/or prior reading must be completed before each call. The course syllabus will include the following sessions:
Section One: Science policy, advocacy and the federal government
- Session 1 — What is science policy?
- Session 2 — The executive branch and federal agencies
- Session 3 — Congressional advocacy, agency authorization and the budget process.
- Session 4 — State and local advocacy and engaging community stakeholders
Section Two: Science policy strategy
- Session 5 — Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in advocacy
- Session 6 — Science policy writing & finalize advocacy activity plan (No meeting this week)
- Session 7 — How to shape policy
- Session 8 — Finalize Op-Ed writing piece (No meeting this week)
- Session 9 — Constructing your advocacy message
Section Three: Advocating before, during and after
- Session 10 — One-on-one prep for your meetings with policymakers
- Session 11 — Complete meetings with policymakers (No meeting this week)
- Session 12 — Meeting follow-ups Program summary and evaluation
- Session 13 — Exploring science policy careers
ATP delegates that fulfill all assignments and activities of the program will receive a certificate validating their completion of the program.
Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Kentucky
"I started the program well aware of the numerous challenges scientists face, but the ATP gave me an opportunity to critically think about how to realistically address those challenges."
College of New Jersey
"Participating in the ATP took me to a new level in my involvement in science communication and advocacy."
University of California, San Diego
"Being a part of the ATP opened up the world of science policy to me... Through working with the ATP, I’ve had meaningful interactions with elected officials as well as campaigns."