Applications Open for Civic Engagement Microgrants
Research!America is excited to announce that applications are open for the 2022-2023 Civic Engagement Microgrant Initiative. With awards of up to $4,000, early career science-led groups from across the United States will receive funding to support engagement with public officials, local community leaders, and the public around issues of common concern.
Applications are open through August 31 – learn more about the program and apply today!
Now in its fifth year, the Microgrant program provides early career scientists with hands-on opportunities to develop skills in communication and program planning and a working knowledge of policy and government to become articulate spokespersons for science and research to public officials and members of their local communities. This initiative is supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, which invests in collaborative efforts to advance inclusive engagement between science, communities, and civic life to address challenging problems.
“Civic engagement is a critical skill set for every scientist, and it’s not a one-way street. It’s vital for scientists to step into the community and open a dialogue that features active listening,” said Mary Woolley, president CEO of Research!America. “One of the best ways to achieve public appreciation for science and innovation is to support the next generation of scientists in their communications and community engagement efforts.”
“We are especially grateful to the Rita Allen Foundation for its continued support — a recent award from Rita Allen will allow us to extend the Microgrant program through 2024. We’re excited to see the innovative ideas the micrograntees will develop over the next two years.”
Americans think it is important for scientists to inform elected officials (87%) and the public (80%) about their research and its impact on society, according to a 2022 survey commissioned by Research!America. The Microgrant program helps empower early career scientists to live up to these expectations.
“As our communities confront an array of urgent challenges, it is deeply encouraging to see the energy of a new generation of scientists interested in building civic relationships to be part of solutions for a more hopeful future,” said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation. “Our partnership with Research!America is helping to channel that energy into new capacity and innovation to address today’s complex issues in science and society — a mission that is more critical than ever.”
This past year, the Civic Engagement Microgrant Program supported 20 high-impact in-person and virtual projects using methods including roundtable discussions, webinars, podcasting, and data visualization. Some projects included: a two-day hybrid symposium hosted by the science policy groups at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, focusing on issues related to science policy and ethics; a podcast hosted by the Science Policy Outreach Taskforce (SPOT) at Northwestern University, which discusses how science can be used in policymaking; and the creation of a new science policy group in Oklahoma which is working to develop connections between scientists and members of their local community. Learn about all 2021-2022 Microgrant recipients.