Advocacy Training Program

Applications Open for ASBMB's Advocacy Training Program

What is the ASBMB Advocacy Training Program?

The ASBMB ATP is a six-month externship that provides hands-on science policy and advocacy training and experience. ATP delegates first complete a digital advocacy training course to introduce them to science policy and advocacy, learning about how federal laws and budgets are passed. With support from ASBMB public affairs staff, delegates develop activities focused on policies facing their regions. The ATP provides the support and tools to understand and effect policy change and presents multiple opportunities for delegates to put their training into use. ATP alumni will support future cohorts. Delegates are the tip of the spear of our grassroots advocacy efforts, leading and mobilizing others around science policy issues affecting the research community.   

Goal of the ATP

The ASBMB aims to develop and support sustainable hubs of regional science advocates throughout the U.S. Delegates become the regional link to ASBMB, building networks and mobilizing local grassroots efforts for national ASBMB advocacy campaigns. Delegates also provide state-level intel about policies relevant to our members. Scientists train advocate for life-science research learn about and advocate for local and regional science policy issues affecting their communities, and build lasting and substantive relationships with their representatives. Alumni remain active participants, guiding the new class of delegates, participating in teleconferences, and helping organize local events.


Basic science research funding is constantly in flux. Stable, long-term funding is needed for scientists to make life-saving discoveries. The advent of “fake news” has ushered in an anti-science and anti-fact era, allowing policymakers to ignore evidence and data while making important policy decisions. Regional advocacy hubs will build relationships with key policymakers throughout the U.S. and increase the society’s attention on vital regional policy decisions. These regional hubs also will amplify national campaigns. 

What to expect as the 2018 ATP Delegate 

  • You are expected to devote about eight hours a month to the ATP. The program will be successful only if you are engaged in the coursework, the discussions, and the activities.
  • Beginning with an informal training phase, you will attend five different one-hour conference calls to learn about science policy. Before each call, you will be given several readings and videos about relevant policy and advocacy topics. A facilitator will spend the first 10 minutes to underscore specific points, and the remaining time will allow the cohort to discuss these topics, listed below: 
    • June 1 – What is advocacy?
    • June 15 – The administrative branch, agency authorization, and budget process
    • June 29 – Local and state government
    • July 13 – Constructing the advocacy message
    • July 27 – Advocacy before, during and after
  • During June and July, you will develop a months-long advocacy plan, practice your elevator pitch, and arrange meeting times with your representative’s regional staff during August recess. After these August recess meetings, you will write about your experience. You will then finalize your advocacy plan, identify allies to build your regional network, and carry out local events. The teleconferences in these months will help delegates craft your message and execute your plans.  
    • August 1-31 – August recess meetings
    • September 14 – The blog post 
    • October 19 – Local advocacy campaign
    • November 16 – Local advocacy campaign
    • December 14 – Program evaluation and celebration of program completion 
  • Be present for all teleconferences on the following dates, at 1p.m. Eastern:
    • June 1, June 15, June 29, July 13, July 27, Sept. 14, Oct. 19, Nov. 16, Dec. 14

Other important dates

  • Sunday, April 22 9a.m. Eastern: Applications open
  • Friday. May 18, 5p.m. Eastern: Applications close
  • Friday. May 25: Selected delegates notified
  • Friday. June 1, 2p.m. ET: First teleconference call

  If you have any questions, contact Daniel Pham at or André Porter at

 View Frequently Asked Questions here

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