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.
Cohort 4 delegates
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
“I am passionate about advocating for diversity in science, highlighting difficulties that international scholars face. As a part of ASBMB ATP, I hope to gain insights into how to be a better advocate for my community and their inclusion in STEM."
M. Cortez Bowlin
University of Alabama at Birmingham
“Coming from a rural community, I have personal experience in dealing with the distrust and doubt in science that results from poor communication, jargon-rich press releases and culturally tone-deaf statements often associated with 'Big Science.' I look forward to honing my advocacy skills and developing successful strategies for communicating between policymakers and stakeholders.”
University of Delaware
“Through the ATP, I hope to improve my legislative, formal writing skills and policy vocabulary.”
“Through the ATP, I hope to learn how to advocate for scientists from diverse backgrounds and promote increasing accessibility to a graduate education.”
Loma Linda University
“I am excited to learn how to better advocate for increased and enhanced support, outreach and funding for the physician-scientist pathway, one which is known for its leakiness and perceived difficulty.”
“I hope to become a scientist that breaks free from the ivory tower stereotype and one day hold a platform contributing to both biomedical research advancement and scientific policy reform.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
“I’m passionate about promoting more equitable healthcare access and improving science education and research in developing countries, including my home country, Vietnam.”
University of Utah
“My passion for advocacy work was realized through involvement in a local and state issue concerning invasive development in Utah’s mountains. I look forward to blending my passions for science and political action in my future career.”
“I am excited to participate in the ATP program because it will allow me to further serve as a role model to my daughter by displaying the importance of advocacy, outreach and service. It’s my goal to also demonstrate that we all have the potential to have an impact on the world.”
U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense
“Throughout my career, I have gained insight into systemic hurdles in making a career out of basic science research. Through the ATP, I wish to learn how to bring about sustainable change in that system by advocating for more diverse perspectives and increased technical expertise at the policy-making level.”