Advocacy Training Program

The ASBMB Advocacy Training program (ATP) 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.

ATP Byrd 2018 testimonial

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. where ATP delegates become regional links to the ASBMB, building networks and mobilizing local grassroots efforts for national ASBMB advocacy campaigns.

Members of the ATP 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 are expected to devote about six hours a month to the ATP. The program will be successful only if you are engaged in the coursework, discussions and activities.

Beginning with the Training Phase, you will attend five one-hour conference calls to learn about science policy. Assignments will also be due before each call. You will be given several readings and videos about relevant policy and advocacy topics, listed below:

  • June 14 – What is advocacy?
  • June 28 – The administrative branch, agency authorization and budget process
  • July 12 – Local and state government
  • July 26 – Constructing the advocacy message 
  • Aug. 9 – The elevator pitch

During the Action Phase, you will develop your elevator pitch, meet with your representative’s regional staff during August recess, and carry out at least three local advocacy events. Meetings during this phase will guide you through your advocacy activities:

  • Sept. 6 – Review August recess meetings
  • Oct. 4 – Finalize advocacy calendar, carry out advocacy events
  • Nov. 1 – Review advocacy events 
  • Dec. 6 – Review advocacy events, evaluate program and celebrate program completion

Be present for all teleconferences listed above at 1 p.m. ET.

Other important dates

  • Monday, May 20, 5 p.m. EDT: Application deadline
  • Friday, May 31: Selected delegates notified

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

ATP delegates 2019