The Science for Public Good Fund

The UCS Science Network is excited to announce another round of the Science for Public Good Fund for science advocates. Science Network members can apply to the Fund for financial support of up to $1000, to be used for advocacy actions or related events to defend the role of science in public policy, with an emphasis on understanding and addressing local impacts.

If you are an early career scientist looking for ways to get involved with advocacy or a faculty member who wants to engage your students in the role of science in democracy, this fund is for you. We want to support the next generation of science advocacy leaders today. 

What is science advocacy?

Science advocacy plays a key role in advancing public protections and evidence-based decisions—and the Union of Concerned Scientists has been helping scientists contribute to those advances for almost 50 years. Learn more about science advocacy.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must be active UCS Science Network members (or must be willing to become members) at time of application. Join the UCS Science Network.

What kind of projects are eligible?

All funded projects will be related to defending federal science against attacks, or to state work with clear connections to federal policy. For example, a project might be focused on protecting science-based federal regulations and their local benefits, such as your state’s access to clean drinking water, unpolluted streams, air quality monitoring, public data on health risks, or endangered species protection. Awarded proposals will receive a maximum of $1000. Learn about the grant recipients.

Priority will be given to proposals that:

  • are led by earlier career scientists (graduate students, post-docs or those within 3 years of graduation)
  • reach new audiences
  • work with impacted communities
  • feature opportunities for project organizers to grow their advocacy skills and leadership
  • come from applicants with a demonstrated financial need

You can review the Science Network statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion here.

Examples of appropriate proposals:

  • Hosting a public forum with a decisionmaker on a topic such as legislation or recent attacks on science
  • A letter writing, call-in, or teach-in campaign
  • Attending a national event with a clear plan for local action as followup
  • Holding meetings with decisionmakers and/or local community groups, especially with affected communities to build relationships
  • Scientific support for grassroots engagement (e.g. setting up a team to support a community group’s review and participation in public comment periods)
  • Holding a training for conducting meetings with legislators in-district
  • Covering travel costs to a local policymaker meeting or to DC to meet with policymakers (with a clear local followup plan)
  • Training and logistical support for hosting or participating in a local public forum or town halls with policymakers
  • Holding an educational forum in community or on campus that has a direct action or follow-on engagement
  • Learn about the first-round grant recipients.

Commitments of grant recipients

  • All actions and events need to be completed and reported on within 2-3 months of receiving the grant
  • Recipients will report back on the use of the funds and will share lessons learned with fellow scientists through avenues such as guest blog posts, online trainings, or other platforms
  • All recipients will remain an active member of the UCS Science Network for 2 years (An active member is one who has taken an action online or offline within the last year or attended a training or event, and has not opted out from UCS Science Network emails.)

How to apply:

Eligible applications will include two parts:

  1. An application form submitted through the UCS online submission site.
  2. A PDF of your project proposal submitted through DropBox. Use this template and answer all six questions. Additional materials will not be considered.

Through the application process, you will share a detailed project description and proposed budget.

Applications for this round of the Science for Public Good Fund has now closed. Please click here to read about grants we awarded.