Each year, the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) organizes an opportunity for scientists to inform the nation's science policy. The Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event enables scientists to meet with their federal or state elected officials in their home state--not in Washington, DC--and allows policymakers to learn first-hand about the science and research facilities in their district.

The Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event is held during the summer and early fall each year. Participating scientists either meet with their elected officials at the local district office or may invite them to visit their research facility. Tours of research facilities are especially encouraged, as such visits provide lawmakers with a personal connection to the scientific activities taking place in their district.

AIBS will schedule the meetings with lawmakers and will prepare participants through online training and one-on-one support.

"Participating in the Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event was an invaluable experience to have as a graduate student. The training provided by AIBS made me feel confident and ready to go have a conversation with Representative Reed's District Director about federal funding, especially how it's benefitted me during my Ph.D. I was struck during our meeting by how meaningful it is to 'show up' and participate in the political process, especially as it relates to federal funding for the biological sciences. We scientists take the importance of federal funding to do our research to be a given, but it's important for us to be able to communicate that effectively, especially with policymakers, to ensure that federal funding is maintained in the future."

Erin Larson
2016 participant
Ph.D. candidate
Cornell University

"When I met with Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner to discuss the current state of biological research, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never met with an elected representative before, let alone to advocate for something I care about as much as science. Together, the preparation for the meeting and the meeting itself served as an excellent introduction to working on science policy. I experienced how meetings with elected officials work and got lots of ideas for how to advance the cause of scientists in the future. I'm glad I had the chance to work with AIBS in reaching out to my representative on behalf of my fellow scientists."

Jo Downes
2013 participant
Research Associate
University of California, Berkeley

Need more information? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional resources from the American Institute of Biological Sciences can be accessed here.

Read a summary of the 2017 event

How to Participate

Registration for the 2018 event closed on August 1.

Note: Participants are responsible for checking their employer's policies regarding involvement in public policy.

Have questions? Contact Dr. Jyotsna Pandey at 202-628-1500 x225.

Help to Support This Important Initiative

AIBS is seeking organizational Sponsors and Supporters to help ensure the success of this event and to defray the costs of the training program and the preparation of materials. For a $750 contribution an organization will be listed as an event Sponsor on all promotional materials. For a $500 contribution an organization will be listed as an event Supporter. Please help advance biology by becoming a Sponsor of the 10th Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event.

Click here to join us as a sponsor.

For additional information or to Sponsor this important initiative, please contact AIBS Public Policy Manager Dr. Jyotsna Pandey at 202-628-1500 x 250 or here.

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