Update: We hit our initial goal! Our new stretch goal is $2,500 to support members traveling to science policy conferences and to provide extra support for our state-level advocacy.
Who We Are
Advocacy. Policy literacy. Career development. The Science Policy Group at Berkeley (SPG) immerses and educates STEM graduate students in all of these areas. We are a coalition of primarily Ph.D. students in fields across the scientific spectrum, including Bioengineering, Chemistry, Nuclear Engineering, Physics, and Plant & Microbial Biology, seeking to increase engagement at the intersection of science and policy. We are asking for donations to support our projects on increasing voter turnout among STEM students, advocating for science issues in Sacramento, holding large-scale events for the Berkeley community, and supporting students’ travel to science policy conferences.
When you donate to us, your donation will be used for several projects. The first is our STEMvotes initiative, which aims to increase the number of STEM students voting in local, state, and federal elections. In 2016, only 44% of STEM students voted, far below the national average. SPG sought to change this in 2018. We registered a dozen UC Berkeley students to vote, and we hosted a Voter Information Night, where 100 students learned about the referenda and initiatives on the ballot. Over the next two years, we want to spend time understanding what worked in our 2018 campaign and expand our efforts for the 2020 elections.
Second, you can support our trips to the California State Capitol in Sacramento, where our members advocate for science-based issues that are important to them. We have gone on three trips in September 2018, December 2018, and March 2019, and we plan to continue these trips on a quarterly basis. During our visits, our members have met with legislative offices and advocated for the creation of a Science Advisor to the Governor, biotechnology education in public schools, and research experience as a way for high schoolers to demonstrate proficiency in science. Your support will allow us to continue our trips and engage more science policy students from around the state.
Finally, your donation will support large-scale events that we hold for the Berkeley community. This semester, four of our members are attending the Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering workshop in Washington, D.C. to learn about science budgeting and meet with legislative staffs; when they return, they will host a “Lessons Learned” workshop to educate the community on advocating for science funding. We will also conclude the year with our inaugural Presidential Speaker Series, which will feature a keynote address by a distinguished speaker. Your support is critical to help us continue hosting similar high-quality professional and educational science policy events in the future.
By giving to our group, you will allow us to continue and expand our work in science policy advocacy. Can you support us with a $100 donation today? (Of course, we appreciate any gift, as much as you are able.) Please see our budget below for more details on how the money will be spent, and also see some of the perks you can get for donating at a particular gift level! To learn more, visit our website, follow us on Twitter, and check out the short bios of some of our team members below. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support!
With a donation of $100 or more, you will be invited to our inaugural Presidential Speaker Series event, which will feature a keynote speaker and will be the year's conclusion! We will be honored to recognize you at this event.
For a donation of $250 or more (wow!) we'll invite you to come to one of our meetings--in-person if you're able, or via webchat otherwise--and speak to our members. We can tell you about all the great things we are working on!