BSA Public Policy Award

Supporting early-career botanical scientists to attend Congressional Visits Day in Washington, DC

Applications due February 15, 2020

The BSA Public Policy Committee invites applications for the annual BSA Public Policy Award.

This award covers all transportation, room, and board expenses for two early-career botanists to attend the Biological Sciences Congressional Visits Day in Washington, D.C., held in March or April 2020. Award winners will also be featured in the Plant Science Bulletin and on the BSA web page.

Congressional Visits Day is a two-day event hosted by the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition. Recipients obtain first-hand experience at the interface of science and public policy. The first day includes a training session on science funding and how to effectively communicate with policymakers. The second day participants meet with their Congressional policymakers to advocate for federal support of scientific research. For more details see: "AIBS public-policy congressional visits day". To read about award recipients’ past experiences, see p. 81 of this issue of the Plant Science Bulletin: "PSB-2017-63-2.pdf"

The award is open to all BSA members, but preference will be given to those who are in the first two years of a permanent position, postdocs, and students (graduate or undergraduate). Applicants must also be U.S. citizens.

For questions about the award, email Kal Tuominen (, or Krissa Skogen (

Application requirements:

  1. State your name, career stage, current affiliation, and email address.
  2. Why are you interested in becoming involved in public policy?
  3. How will attending Congressional Visits Day impact your career?
  4. Give an example of botanically related research in your (current) home state that represents a good investment of federal funding. How do the results of that research benefit your state (e.g., impacts on education, the environment, and the economy, including number of jobs created)?

Awardees’ conversations with elected officials will focus on how federal funding benefits those officials’ constituents. Therefore, successful examples of relevant research may include:

    • How federal research funding supporting your own work and carried out in your home state provides a direct benefit in your home state.
    • How federal research funding supporting your own work benefits education, mentoring, training, job creation, or other broader impacts in your home state – even if the direct benefits of your research will be seen only out of state.
    • How federal research funding supporting a high-profile project in your home state provides a direct and/or indirect benefit in your home state – even if you are not involved with that project personally.
  1. Recipients will write a summary of their experience to be published in the Plant Science Bulletin.

Applications should be submitted as a PDF, no more than two pages single spaced, and emailed to with subject line “2020 BSA Public Policy Award.” Applications are due by February 15, 2020.