Tips for Meeting with Members of Congress

Use our tips for meeting with your members of Congress to successfully advocate for biological and biomedical research.

  • Introduce yourself (and meeting participants)
    • Briefly provide your background information and mention that you are a constituent
  • Tell a personal story 
    • Quickly summarize the topic of your research
    • If you receive federal funding, note the agency that supports your research and the specific disease or condition it’s related to
    • Provide examples of new opportunities to expand your area of research and what impact it may have on science and individuals
  • Share what you (or members of your field) hope to accomplish with your research
    • Explain how your area of research improves health, produces new knowledge, creates jobs or supports the local economy
  • Share the impact of federal funding on your state and district
  • Acknowledge the legislator’s previous support of federal funding for research
  • Make the “ask”
  • Close the meeting
    • Repeat your “ask”
    • Thank the person for meeting with you
    • Leave your contact information  (phone, email, mailing address)
    • Encourage your legislator (and/or their aides) to visit your lab

Talking Points for Meetings with Members of Congress

Updated July 2018

  • As a federally-supported researcher working on [briefly describe your research and the agency that funds it], I urge  you to support the $2 billion increase for NIH (recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee) and the $408 million increase for NSF (approved by the House Appropriations Committee) in the proposed FY 2019 spending bills

  • These funding levels are necessary so that researchers such as myself can continue to [describe how your research improves health, produces new knowledge, supports jobs, etc.]

  • Stable, sustained growth is essential for a healthy scientific enterprise

  • Science requires long-term support in order to produce new knowledge, innovations, and cures, and train the next generation of scientists
    • The $3 billion increase NIH received in FY 2018 will go even further including supporting young investigators
  • NSF, despite the key role it plays support both research and training, had not seen a real budget increase in 15 years prior to passage of the FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill
  • I urge Congress to continue voting on the FY 2019 appropriations bills so that they can be approved by October 1
  • Thank you for taking the time to meet with me/us today. I appreciate your support for NIH and NSF
  • Please do not hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions or need additional information about federally funded research taking place in [city or state]
  • I would also love to arrange a time for you and your staff to visit my lab