Why get involved in advocacy?
COSSA works hard every day to communicate the importance of social and behavioral science research to policymakers. But ultimately, the most powerful stories come from people who can speak from experience about what it is like to apply for a federal grant, conduct research, or watch as their findings reach (or fail to reach) a broader audience.
In a survey conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation, 94 percent of Congressional staff said that constituent visits have “some” or “a lot” of influence on an undecided Member of Congress—more than any other strategy for communicating with Congress. And social and behavioral scientists are not just any constituents—they bring invaluable expertise on a wealth of important issues facing our nation.
Educating policymakers about social and behavioral science research—and its contributions to sound public policy—is especially important because these sciences are not always well understood on Capitol Hill or in some federal agencies.
Watch Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) issue a statement on the House floor thanking COSSA advocates for their support of social and behavioral science (March 29, 2017):
Find your Member of Congress.
Once you have identified your delegation, you can do a little background research to aid in your advocacy efforts. You might want to find out what committees and subcommittees they serve on or if they belong to any relevant caucuses (informal groups of Members formed around issues of mutual interest). Each Member of Congress maintains a website where you can find detailed information on their legislative priorities and policy positions.
Subscribe to COSSA’s Advocacy list to be alerted to opportunities to take action in support of social and behavioral science.
Ways to Get Involved
COSSA’S Advocacy Resources
- Advocacy Handbook
This handbook is intended to provide COSSA members with an introduction to the federal policymaking process and offer basics and best practices for advocating for the social and behavioral sciences.
- State-by-State Funding Fact Sheets
These double-sided fact sheets showcase the amount of federal social science research funding goes to each state, and includes information on the leading recipient institutions and sources of funding. They are helpful for articulating to policy makers the local economic impact of social science research funding.
- 2018 Legislative Agenda for Social and Behavioral Science Research
This brief document outlines COSSA’s top 4 policy priorities for 2018.
- FY 2018 One Pagers
These three documents include details on COSSA’s “asks” for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS); Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS); and Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration appropriations bills.
- DID YOU KNOW? Fact Sheet
This one-page fact sheet discusses some timely examples of the contributions research in the social and behavioral sciences have made to improving our lives.
- 2018 Social Science Advocacy Day Talking Points
Sample scripts for a meeting with details on COSSA’s FY 2019 priorities.