Pictured left to right: Kimberly Topp, Amir Zeki, Scott Simon, Hud Freeze, and James Bowie prepare to meet with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) during FASEB’s Capital Hill day, April 15, 2015.
Request a Meeting with Elected Officials
A meeting with your federal lawmakers is an effective way to advocate for biological and biomedical research. Instructions and a sample email message requesting a meeting are provided below.
- Go to the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate website and search for your elected officials using your ZIP code or zip+4
- Look under the “Contact” tab/section of the Representative’s/Senator’s website to obtain the address and phone number of their state/district office(s)
- Compose an email (see sample below) requesting a meeting and send it to the appropriate contact (you may have to call the office to get the name of the correct staff person) or use the form on the Senator/Representative’s website
Sample Email Requesting a Meeting
[Name of Staffer, if applicable]
The Honorable [first name, last name]
U.S. House of Representatives [or U.S. Senate]
Dear Representative/Senator ______________:
I am writing to request an appointment with you and/or members of your staff on [date and time] in your [Washington, D.C. or district office]. I wish to discuss how funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal science agencies supports researchers in [your state or district].
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. Please contact me at [your email address] or [phone number] to schedule a meeting time. I apologize in advance if I am contacting the wrong person in your office and would appreciate it if you could refer me to the appropriate staff person so that I may reach out to him or her directly.
[Your name, institutional affiliation, and contact information with mailing address and email]
Tips for Following Up on Meeting Requests
After you submit the meeting request, you will most likely need to follow-up at least once with the congressional office. Here are some tips for what you can do to follow-up:
- If you have not received a response within 3 business days of submitting a request for a meeting, forward the original email to the office along with a polite note reminding them that you are still waiting for a reply
- Indicate that you understand the office receives a lot of requests but would appreciate receiving a reply email or phone call at their earliest convenience
- Let the office know that you would accept a meeting with a staff person if your Representative/Senator is not available on your preferred date/time
- You can also call the office and ask to speak with the scheduler. If the scheduler is not available, ask for his/her email address and then send a follow-up email reminding them of the request (forwarding the original request is also acceptable)
- Be patient! You may have to contact the congressional office two or three times to get a response. Allow at least one business day in between follow-up contacts