Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award (EPPLA). This award recognizes graduate students in the biological sciences who have demonstrated initiative and leadership in science policy. EPPLA recipients receive first-hand experience at the interface of science and public policy.

EPPLA Winners Receive:

  • A trip to Washington, DC, to participate in the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) Congressional Visits Day, an annual event that brings scientists to the nation’s capital to advocate for federal investments in the biological sciences, with a primary focus on the National Science Foundation. The 2012 event will last for two days and may be held between March and May. The official dates will be announced in 2012. Domestic travel and hotel expenses will be paid for the winners.
  • Policy and communications training, and information on federal science budgets and the legislative process.
  • Meetings with Congressional policymakers to discuss the importance of federal investments in the biological sciences.
  • A 1-year AIBS membership, including a subscription to the journal BioScience and a copy of “Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media.”
  • A certificate and membership in the EPPLA alumni network.

Application Process and Requirements:

The 2012 award is open to U.S. citizens enrolled in a graduate degree program in the biological sciences, science education, or closely allied field. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to science policy and/or science education policy. Prior EPPLA winners and AIBS science policy interns/fellows are not eligible.

To apply:

Send a cover letter, statement, resume, and letter of reference to no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Friday, 20 January 2012. The subject line of the e-mail must include “EPPLA 2012” and the applicant’s name. All documents should be included as attachments, with each file named as name-document (e.g., Sarah-Smith-Resume). A single PDF document is recommended.

  • Cover letter: Describe your interest in science policy and how participation in the Congressional Visits Day will further your career goals. Confirm your ability to travel to Washington, DC, to participate in meetings.
  • Statement: In 500 words or less, articulate the importance of federal investments in fundamental biological sciences research, such as that supported by the National Science Foundation. A successful statement will communicate to a non-scientist the benefits of biological research to the United States and draw upon the applicant’s experiences and research. The statement may reference local issues and concerns that may be of interest to your Congressional delegation.
  • Resume (1 page limit): The resume should emphasize leadership, policy, and communication experience — this may include graduate, undergraduate, or non-academic activities, relevant education, work experience, honors and awards, and scientific society memberships. Conference presentations and scientific manuscripts will not be considered in the evaluation of the application.
  • Letter of reference: A reference letter should be provided by an individual who can attest to your leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills, and who is familiar with your interest in or experience with science policy. The reference should send the letter to by no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on 20 January 2012.

Applicants will be notified by the end of February of the decision of the selection panel. Information about past EPPLA recipients is available at Download a copy of 2012 EPPLA announcement flyer at Please direct questions to


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