ADVOCACY

BiomediGirls firmly believes that in order to achieve greater equity and access in the biomedical research field, there needs to be greater engagement of scientists in public policy. Especially in today's political climate, it is our responsibility as scientists to ensure that legislationis passed based on scientific fact and knowledge. Voicing our opinions to policy makers and other influential leaders is the only way that our cause will be heard and transformed into legislative action. Student advocacy is critical in furthering our movement; learn here how you can become a student advocate.

What We Advocate For

Increased Federal Funding for Biomedical Research 

While Congress in 2016 through 2019 implemented $2 billion boosts for NIH, funding levels over the previous decade failed to keep up with the rising costs of medical research.  Despite recent increases in funding through the federal appropriations process and 21st Century Cures legislation, NIH continues to have significantly less purchasing power than it did more than adecade ago.  This lack of funding has resulted in a lower grant application success rate--which means that promising science goes unexplored.

 

-MDA Advocacy- 

Making Biotechnology and Educational Services More Accessible in Low-Income Areas

While there are many programs that expose students to coding and robotics, there are very few that expose students to applied technologies in biological systems. In order to generate greater interest in the biomedical sciences, there must be a deliberate effort to expose high school students to the principle concepts and techniques behind biomedical research. Therefore, funding must be allocated, especially in low-income areas, to incorporate biotechnology education so that all students have the opportunity to explore this emerging field of innovation.

Ending Discrimination Against Women in Scientific Research

Biomedical programs and research labs in particular have long been cited as breeding grounds for toxic gender discrimination and harassment. When lab supervisors have all the power to grant vacation days, choose which projects get funding, and decide which projects will be published, they  can single-handedly make or break a young scientists career. This power dynamic creates a pathway for potential abuse and retaliation to go unchecked. We need to dismantle the power structure and shift the culture of this field

-Equal Rights Advocates- 

How to be an Effective Advocate

Follow Porter's Principles

Meeting with legislators and congressional delegates is a great way to have your voice heard. Follow Porter's Principles on setting up and executing effective meetings.

Write a Letter to a Legislator

Writing letters to legislators is a great first step in bringing attention to your cause. Base your letters upon examples, similar bills, your personal experience, and your audience.

Use BiomediGirls as Your Advocacy Platform

BiomediGirls publicizes a monthly newsletter and podcast; if you have a topic that you are passionate about, please contact us to learn how you can be featured in our content.

Write Opinion Pieces for the Media

Write a letter to newspaper, magazine, and other media outlets expressing your viewpoint on a story about research that you read; base your letter on examples and polls.

Say "Thank You" to Legislators

Thank officials for their actions supporting scientific research. Mention that what you have in common is working in the public's interest.

Volunteer and Join Youth Councils

A great way to get involved in student advocacy is to join your local youth advisory council (YAC); some states have several YACs. Research local YACs in your state to get involved.

Resources

Funding Maps

Research Funding and Economic Impact of Funding by State

Fact Sheets

Series of reports to highlight the benefits of research to improve health by Research!America

Leveraging Public Opinion in Support of Science Webinar

Tips for effectively communicating the importance of science to garner public support

Strategies to Maximize Your Advocacy Results Webinar

Timely information and tailored messages for the current political environment 

Inspiring Others to be Science Advocates Webinar

Insights on how to inspire scientist peers and non-scientists to engage in research advocacy/outreach

BiomediGirls Sample Letter to Congressmen

Founder Abigail Maemoto's letter to Congressman Ted Lieu of the 33rd District

Asian Youth Liberty League

In the early fall, BiomediGirls and AYLL will be co-sponsoring a webinar about the marriage between science and politics

Helpful Guides

Research!America has provided comprehensive presentations to help new advocates learn how to effectively lobby for scientific research support.