Advocacy Training Program
The ASBMB Advocacy Training program is a six-month externship that provides hands-on science policy and advocacy training and experience. ATP delegates spend the first two months learning about science policy and advocacy and about how federal laws and budgets are passed. With support from ASBMB public affairs staff, delegates then develop advocacy activities focused on policies affecting their local 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 network of other delegates around the country dedicated to doing the same type of work. They also will have the chance to author several publications.
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 aims to develop and support sustainable hubs of regional science advocates throughout the U.S. so that ATP delegates become regional links to the ASBMB, building networks and mobilizing local grassroots efforts for national ASBMB advocacy campaigns.
ATP members will be able to help the ASBMB develop a better understanding of regional issues and direct the society’s attention to important regional policy debates.
What to expect as an ATP delegate
You will devote about six hours a month to ATP coursework, discussions and activities.
Beginning with the training phase, you will attend five one-hour conference calls to learn about science policy. Assignments will be due before each call. You will read and watch videos according to the following schedule:
- Session 1 — What is advocacy?
- Session 2 — The administrative branch, agency authorization and budget process.
- Session 3 — Local and state government.
- Session 4 — Constructing the advocacy message.
- Session 5 — Advocacy before, during and after.
During the action phase, you will develop your elevator pitch, meet with your congressional representative’s regional staff during the Easter recess and carry out at least three local advocacy events. The ATP meetings during this phase, listed below, will guide you through your advocacy activities.
- Review Easter recess meetings.
- Finalize advocacy calendar, carry out advocacy events.
- Review advocacy events.
- Review advocacy events, evaluate program and celebrate program completion.
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."
What we learned in the ATP
Seven members of the first group to complete the ASBMB’s Advocacy Training Program describe their experiences and share what they learned.
Best practices for sharing your stories with the policymakers whose decisions affect your work.
Your voice does matter
Even in these deeply partisan times, grassroots advocacy is effective. As a subject matter expert, you can educate your legislator about the value of science.