Below are the challenges that have been put forward as part of the NeuroAdvocate Challenge to date. Many of these challenges can be carried out after the recommended month, unless noted otherwise.
*Indicates challenges that do not need to be reported back to SfN, as there is already a record of your completion.
- Connect with your local or national neuroscience society.
- Ask your Representative to join the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus and Senators to join the NIH Caucus if they have not already done so.*
- These neuroscience-related caucuses provide an opportunity for congresspeople to discuss and pursue common legislative objectives, as well as fight for more funding in the biomedical sciences. Ask your legislators to join these caucuses today!
- Watch clips of floor speeches from former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) to familiarize yourself with how the US Congress talks about brain research.
- House and Senate floor speeches are formal addresses delivered by Members of Congress to their entire chamber. Former Rep. Ros-Lehtinen speaks on brain research in her district, while Rep. McNerney speaks on support for federal investments in brain research.
- Learn what advocacy activities are most effective when engaging with your lawmakers.
- Understand how to engage your lawmakers by checking out this video from SfN’s Neuroscientist’s Guide to Advocacy series. The video covers options available for engagement, their impact, and how to choose activities that fit your comfort level.
- Connect with an international colleague and learn how other countries fund and prioritize basic biomedical research.
- Funding basic biomedical research in the U.S. looks a lot different than in nations SfN partners with. Speak with an international colleague and learn how other nations prioritize spending for basic biomedical research.
- Learn about the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives’ Brain Awareness Campaign, which hosts the annual Brain Awareness Week.
- Find out how to get involved and inform your policymakers and elected officials on the importance of brain research. This year’s Brain Awareness Week will be March 16–22.
- Email your Representative and Senators to introduce yourself as a constituent, a researcher, and someone interested in talking to them about brain research.*
- Connect with your elected officials as a constituent to have your name familiarized with their office and to serve as a resource for neuroscience and scientific research.
- Encourage a colleague or friend to sign up for SfN’s Advocacy Network Newsletter & Alerts.
- Sign up to receive the latest science policy developments, advocacy engagement opportunities, and advance advocacy resources right to your inbox.
- Post a video of yourself on social media challenging other NeuroAdvocates to participate in the challenge.
- When posting, make sure to use the hashtag #NeuroAdvocate.
- Sign up to participate in SfN's NeuroAdvocate Challenge.*
- Sign up to stay in the loop, receive recognition for your efforts throughout the challenge, and be considered for SfN’s 2021 Capitol Hill Day
- Learn about global neuroscience initiatives and their geographical reach.
- Discover SfN's global partners.
- SfN partners with the International Brain Research Organization, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, and other North American programs. Partnering with like-minded organizations around the world helps to appropriately support neuroscience priorities as a community.
- Apply to be an Early Career Policy Ambassador (ECPA) or recruited someone from your department or chapter to apply. Applications close January 10, 2020.
- Hear from a past ECPA about this one-year program, and apply today to interact with leading NeuroAdvocates, meet with policymakers, and bolster your advocacy and outreach efforts at home.
- Identify who your U.S. elected officials are, what committees they sit on, and what their legislative positions are.
- Your U.S. legislator may serve on one of several committees relevant to neuroscience research.
- Follow your elected officials on social media and learn about them.
- Using SfN's Find Your Legislator tool, follow your elected official on social media or go to their website and subscribe to their newsletters.
- Use SfN’s Neuroscientist’s Guide to Advocacy and other advocacy training materials to learn about how Congress allocates federal research dollars.
- Remember Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill?” The classic 1975 video quickly and easily explains the process of making a U.S. bill into law for people of all ages. However, there is more to the process that you can leverage to maximize your advocacy efforts.
- Download SfN’s Advocacy App to effectively advocate for neuroscience year-round.
- SfN's advocacy app features the latest advocacy news, available actions, key topics and resources, a congressional directory, and many more. Download the app today on your Apple or Android device.
- Speak with SfN’s advocacy team at SfN’s Advocacy Booth at Neuroscience 2019.*
- Attend the Animals in Research Panel at Neuroscience 2019.*
- Attend the Public Advocacy Forum at Neuroscience 2019.*
- Attend the Advocacy Reception at Neuroscience 2019.*