ASPET’s grassroots congressional education efforts are designed to help inform members to become effective public advocates for biomedical research. As a scientist, you are the most effective advocate for the biomedical science research enterprise - and the most credible too.
Toward this end, ASPET encourages its members visiting Washington, DC/Bethesda for NIH or other business to make Capitol Hill visits to your Congressional delegation. To help facilitate this, ASPET will assume the costs of an extra night hotel stay following the conclusion of your official business. So now ASPET members will be able to conclude their professional business one afternoon, stay an additional night, visit Capitol Hill offices the next day, and fly home later that afternoon or early evening. ASPET will make all Congressional meeting arrangements, provide talking points, etc, and have you well prepared for the day of advocacy.
ASPET has also created the successful Advocacy Outreach Program. This effort is designed to develop awareness in graduate students, postdocs, and faculty of the need for enhanced biomedical research advocacy. The discussion/presentation provide an overview of the political and economic environment impacting NIH funding and the skills needed to allow scientists-advocates to help influence the debate. ASPET has made presentations (typically one-hour duration) at the University of Louisville, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Emory University, Michigan Pharmacology Colloquium at Wayne State, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the Drexel College of Medicine. ASPET’s Advocacy Outreach is often part of the institution’s postdoctoral student association scheduled meetings or talks. There is no financial obligation to your institution or department. ASPET assumes hotel and travel costs.
Also in development is the ASPET Washington Fellows Program that will allow graduate students, postdoctoral trainees and early career scientists an opportunity to become more engaged in public policy issues. Fellows will be brought to Capitol Hill to meet with their Congressional delegation, maintain contact with their local district office, write op-ed pieces in support of biomedical research, etc. In each of these activities, Fellows will be well trained by ASPET on the critical messages we need to constantly make help assure that NIH funding is sustained. Very shortly, ASPET Members will shortly get all the details of the Washington Fellows Program.
For information on any of the above mentioned ASPET member grassroots advocacy efforts please contact Susanna Aguirre, ASPET's Manager of Government and Public Affairs at 301-634-7065; firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit the Grassroots Advocacy Page for additional information: http://www.aspet.org/Advocacy/Grassroots/