by Jennifer Zeitzer, FASEB
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has developed a toolkit designed specifically for scientists to help them become strong advocates for increased funding for federal science agencies. This toolkit arrives in time to provide scientists with information to promote the fiscal year (FY) 2017 omnibus appropriations bill, which will be up for a vote the last week in April.
FASEB also made the toolkit available to the organizers of the April 22 March for Science and is an official partner for that event.
The FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill is critical. Not only will it keep federal agencies operating through September 30, 2017, but it also includes a significant increase for the National Institutes of Health and additional funding for the National Science Foundation and Department of Agriculture research programs.
As the vote for the FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill approaches, scientists can make a difference by calling the offices of their Senators and Representatives, submitting an op-ed, or using social media to reach out to elected officials to urge them to support the forthcoming FY 2017 omnibus.
The advocacy toolkit can help expedite visits with members of Congress, as well as provide information to make scientists’ encounters with them as productive as possible. It includes information like the following:
- Guidance on how to organize a visit with elected officials at home, including a sample letter requesting a meeting.
- Resources to find town hall meetings in your state/district and tips for preparing to participate in a local event (with suggested questions to ask at town hall meetings).
- Updated talking points about the FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill.
- Suggestions for how to submit an op-ed or letter-to-the-editor of a local newspaper
- Links to the newly updated (with 2016 data!) FASEB state and district federal research funding factsheets.
- Sample tweets and other social media posts.
The toolkit is available on FASEB’s website and can be shared with members of other scientific professional societies, research collaborators, and friends and family who are interested in advocating for increased funding for federal science agencies. Those participating in the March for Science are encouraged to utilize FASEB’s tools to engage in ongoing advocacy throughout the year as a way to build lasting relationships with their members of Congress.