During the mid 2010s the biomedical research community faced a flatlined NIH budget, one that saw a ~25% reduction in purchasing power when adjusted for inflation. In addition, sequestration further limited one of our nation's primary grant funding agencies to support innovative and integral research to address fundamental scientific questions and public health issues.
As an early career scientist, I am actively involved in science advocacy and policy, as it has become integral component of practicing science. The primary mechanisms I have pursued to learn how to effectively advocate for federal support for science have been through the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) where I previously was an Early Career Policy Ambassador (ECPA) and Public Education Intern.
SfN Early Career Policy Ambassador
As an 2016 ECPA, one of twelve across the nation and the only undergraduate student, I attended SfN's annual Hill Day, a day where scientists across the country come to the nation's capitol to discuss the importance of federal support for neuroscience research with policymakers. As a part of this one year program, I have continued my efforts at my home institute where I continue to advocate for federal support for biomedical research with my state's elected officials. Additionally, I work with my home institution to empower and encourage members of our research community to partake in science advocacy.
SfN Public Education Intern
In the summer of 2016 I served as a Public Education Intern at SfN in their Washington, DC headquarters. In this role I was responsible for developing a standard operating procedure for mass content review on the public facing site of the Society, Brainfacts.org. Additionally, I was actively engaged in scientific advocacy, as I lead an initiative to discuss Zika funding with senior members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education while also attending congressional briefings and preparing summaries and reports throughout the summer.