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.

"When I found out about the AIBS Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits, I thought that this would be a perfect way to share not only my passion about my work but also my concerns and interests with a local government representative that might be able to influence policy and share advice about how to become even more involved. I had not had any previous experience with this type of meeting, but AIBS did a fantastic job connecting me with my State Representative and preparing me for the lab tour and conversation. My meeting with Representative Terese Berceau was incredibly rewarding as she shared our enthusiasm for scientific research and our passion for promoting science policy for elected officials and the general public alike, along with giving our group insight in how best to make our voices and opinions known and heard. It was a thought-provoking discussion for me and hopefully everyone else involved. The Biological Sciences Congressional District Visit is one of the most rewarding outreach experiences in which I have had the privilege to participate, and I would highly recommend it to graduate students and postdocs interested in advocating for science policy."

Khailee Marischuk
2018 participant
Ph.D. candidate
University of Wisconsin-Madison

"I had a great experience with the AIBS Congressional District Visits. The AIBS staff was extremely helpful in setting up our meeting, and gave us so many resources to get ready. As a graduate student this training is vital to the development of civically engaged scientists. We had our meeting with Rep. Walorski's office in Indiana's Second District. It is often very difficult for wet lab Biologists to be away from the lab for the few days it would take to go to Washington. Being in our home district for the meeting was ideal. The district director seemed pleasantly surprised to hear how much NSF funding the state of Indiana receives. Myself and the other members of my group really enjoyed the chance to get some hands-on advocacy training, and would love to continue our participation next year!"

Alexandra Chirakos
2018 participant
Ph.D. student
University of Notre Dame

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 2018 event

How to Participate

Registration for the 2019 event is now closed.

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 11th 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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