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Tips for Meeting with Members of Congress

Use our tips for meeting with your members of Congress to successfully advocate for biological and biomedical research.
 

  • Introduce yourself (and meeting participants)
    • Briefly provide your background information and mention that you are a constituent
  • Tell a personal story 
    • Quickly summarize the topic of your research
    • If you receive federal funding, note the agency that supports your research and the specific disease or condition it’s related to
    • Provide examples of new opportunities to expand your area of research and what impact it may have on science and individuals
  • Share what you (or members of your field) hope to accomplish with your research
    • Explain how your area of research improves health, produces new knowledge, creates jobs or supports the local economy
  • Share the impact of federal funding on your state and district
    • Click on the number for your district under “District Funding Data”
  • Acknowledge the legislator’s previous support of federal funding for research
    • Before the meeting, visit his/her website or research the lawmaker’s voting history
  • Make the “ask”
  • Close the meeting
    • Repeat your “ask”
    • Thank the person for meeting with you
    • Leave your contact information  (phone, email, mailing address)
    • Encourage your legislator (and/or their aides) to visit your lab

Five Talking Points for Meetings with Members of Congress

  •  Introduce yourself (and meeting participants)
    • Briefly provide background information about yourself and mention that you are a constituent
  • Share what you (or members of your field) hope to accomplish with your research
    • Explain how your area of research improves health, produces new knowledge, creates jobs or supports the local economy
  • Acknowledge the legislator’s previous support of federal funding for research
    • Before the meeting, visit his/her website or research their voting history
  • Ask the Member of Congress to support federal funding for research
    • Request a specific funding amount for each agency—use FASEB’s recommendations
    • Stable, sustained growth is essential for a healthy research enterprise 
    • A five-year commitment to increasing federal research and development investment by 5 percent annually would maintain the country’s leadership in science and technology. This goal is similar to recommendations made by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and in the America COMPETES Act reauthorization of 2010. It would restore the constant dollar losses in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding that have reduced the agency’s purchasing power by 25 percent since 2003
    • Spending caps and sequestration are major obstacles. While the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 provides some relief from caps for fiscal years 2016-17, spending on non-defense discretionary programs is still well below 2010 levels and historical levels as a share of the economy
  • Closing
    • Repeat your funding “asks”
    • Thank the person for meeting with you and leave your contact information
    • Encourage the legislator (and/or their aides) to visit your lab