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Support the Science Policy Leaders of Tomorrow!

Raised toward our $1,500 Goal
39 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 30, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

Support the Science Policy Leaders of Tomorrow!

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.

SPG was formed in 2017 in order to fill an unmet campus need of tailored educational and professional development for students who wish to apply their advanced STEM degree to a career in science policy. Since then, we have grown rapidly. We regularly host anywhere from 20 to 50 students at our meetings and monthly speaker series, and we have over 200 students signed up for our newsletter. We have hosted dozens of speakers with careers in science policy, planned public events for the Berkeley community, and run multiple initiatives to engage policymakers with scientific issues. Our members have traveled to Washington, D.C. to learn about science funding, proposed bills that have been taken up the state legislature, and been recognized for student advocacy at the national level. But we want to do more, and we need your support!

Our Projects


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.


STEMVotes Voter Information Night, October 18, 2018. Left: SPG Co-Founder Kathy Shield explaining California Proposition 2 to STEM graduate students. Middle: The audience; we had 100 attendees total. Right: A sample "ballot" that attendees used to mark their thoughts on the ballot measures.


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.


SPG Members advocating for science-based policies in the State Capitol. Left: Members with Senator Nancy Skinner. Right: Members with Senator Richard Pan, advocating for biotechnology education in public schools.


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.


SPG meetings. Left: We hosted Professor George Lakoff, who spoke to us about framing issues for scientific communication. We had an attendance of over 50 students. Right: We hosted Professor Claudia Polsky, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Berkeley Law School, who spoke to us about her work testifying before Congress and advocating legislation to protect California scientists from harassment.


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 Thank you for your support!






Our way
of Thanking You


Social Media Shoutout

All donors will be recognized with a shoutout on our Twitter page

12 of 100 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2019


Website Recognition

With a donation of $50 or more, we will recognize you on our website

3 of 100 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2019


Year-End Invitation

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.

5 of 100 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2019


Meeting Members

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!

1 of 100 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2019
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