The Science Network Mentor Program: Information for Mentors

We want to foster the next generation of impactful science advocates—and we need your help. The UCS Science Network Mentor Program aims to leverage your experience and connect you with early career scientists who are passionate about advocacy and fighting for scientific integrity in the policymaking process. With your guidance and support, these scientists will design and implement a nine-month science advocacy project as part of the Mentor Program. These projects could include one or more of the following components:

  • Working with impacted communities (e.g. providing analytical support for environmental justice organizations, setting up and monitoring air and water quality tests, or conducting literature reviews for community groups to strengthen their campaigns)
  • Understanding and addressing local impacts of federal policy (e.g. strengthening regulations of harmful chemicals such as beryllium, silica, or chlorpyrifos that affect people in your town)
  • Shedding a spotlight in local media on your issues (e.g. organizing a letter writing campaign in support of clean energy in your state)
  • Building relationships with policy makers (e.g. providing an educational briefing on science-policy issue to your local city councils or legislative committee)
  • Strengthen public health or environmental regulations through testifying (e.g. at a public comment hearing or town hall meeting)
  • Learning about the process of federal or state advisory committees and nominating qualitied candidates (e.g. the Environmental Protection Agency’s Board of Scientific Counselors)
  • Planning advocacy actions or events that defend science against attacks (e.g. organizing scientists at your institution to provide public comments in support of the Clean Power Plan)

We will pair mentors and mentees carefully, based on the answers you provide in your application about your background, experience, and advocacy interests. We are prioritizing projects with a strong equity analysis and component. Overall, the Mentor Program will require approximately two hours a month, plus the time required to design and implement your mentee’s science advocacy project. 

We are accepting applicants for the second cohort of the Science Network Mentor Program through Sunday, January 20, 2019.

Apply now to be a Science Network Mentor.

Program requirements

  • Attend an online initial launch meeting in February 2019. This an opportunity to meet the other participants of the project and attend a training demystifying the federal rule-making process.
  • Co-design and oversee implementation of your mentee’s science advocacy project.  
  • Commit to monthly hour-long check-ins with your mentee and UCS Science Network staff to report progress on project implementation, talk through any challenges faced, and share lessons learned.
  • Take part in an online video learning summit in early fall 2019. The learning summit will be a wonderful opportunity program participants to share the results of their advocacy projects, as well as any success stories and lessons learned.


Mentors need to be an active Science Network member (apply here) at the time of application and a professional in their field. Mentoring experience is preferred.

Please note that we try to match mentor volunteers with early career scientists based on common interests. If we are unable to make a match or have more volunteers than early career scientists, you may not be selected. Signing up does not guarantee that you will be a mentor.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Together, we can foster the next generation of impactful science advocates. Apply today!