Rochester Science Policy Initiative talks advocacy through workshops, memo writing, and meeting with representatives

Rochester Science Policy Initiative talks advocacy through workshops, memo writing, and meeting with representatives


Mary Moran, Director of Communications of University of Rochester Science Policy Initiative, gives a brief overview of the chapter and what they have been up to, including the intersectional science policy memo on period poverty.


About UR SPI


UR SPI was founded in 2019 with the goal of creating space for collaboration and discussion among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in science policy. We host events, workshops, career & internship opportunities, and discussion of current science policy issues to help cultivate in our members the breadth and depth of skills and knowledge necessary for careers in science policy.


Current Projects


Our major project is an advocacy initiative where our members write and publish on science policy issues, and meet with elected officials to promote discourse and action on these policies. This initiative has four main avenues: 1) monthly “Hot Topics” meetings in which we discuss relevant science policy issues and potential mechanisms to influence action, 2) workshops on science communication and how to organize meetings with elected officials, 3) formation of memo writing groups to submit for competitions & publications, and 4) meetings with congressional and local representatives. Through this initiative, our members will better understand the policymaking process and how scientists can effectively advocate for policy change and implementation. 


Mentorship will be key to the success of our initiative as a handful of our members have already published memos and op-eds and met with representatives.  Most recently, four of our members submitted a policy memo for the NSPN-JSPG Policy Memo Competition in which they were awarded Honorable Mention. Their memo titled “Period Poverty: A Risk Factor for People Who Menstruate in STEM” was published in the special issue in September.  This team will present their memo in a Hot Topic next month and support newly formed writing groups.


Another initiative we are developing is a climate justice internship in collaboration with a local climate and environmental justice organization, Climate Solutions Accelerator.  A team of UR SPI members will work with Climate Solutions Accelerator to conduct site assessment, case study review, and develop policy options for a local cleanup and revitalization effort in our community. 


Finally, we partnered with Cornell University Advancing Science and Policy to host a virtual science policy career panel on September 30th. Alex Long M.S., Kristin R.W. Matthews Ph.D., and Chris B. Schaffer Ph.D., will discuss their career paths and experiences in science policy.


With the start of a new semester we are excited to welcome new members to UR SPI and continue to organize meaningful panels, workshops, and projects for our fellow policy-interested scientists.


To learn more about UR SPI, feel free to follow them on Twitter @ROCSciPol or Facebook – Rochester Science Policy Initiative.

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