Society for Neuroscience’s Early Career Policy Ambassadors
Tuesday, 29 March 2016

University of Illinos at Chicago Assistant Professor Advocates on Capitol Hill

Michael W. Calik, PhD, an Assistant Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and a second year councilor for the Society for Neuroscience Chicago Chapter (CSfN), has been selected as one of 12 ambassadors in the 2016 Society for Neuroscience’s (SfN) Early Career Policy Ambassadors (ECPA) Program. In this program, early career neuroscientists learn how to become effective advocates for science and how to encourage others to do the same. The ambassadorship aims to help younger scientists learn how to advocate and communicate the importance of federal funding for scientific research.

As part of the ambassadorship, Dr. Calik joined 52 other SfN members at the tenth annual Capitol Hill Day on Thursday, March 17, 2016. Neuroscientists visit members of Congress each year during SfN’s Hill Day to express their support for increased federal science funding. Biomedical research funding got a boost in the fiscal year 2016 budget, including a $2 billion increase for NIH. Neuroscientists traveled to Capitol Hill to ask for continued support of the consistent, sustainable upward trajectory of federal funding for biomedical research through NIH, NSF, and the BRAIN Initiative.

During the day, Dr. Calik and his group met with six legislative offices representing Illinois and Ohio to discuss the latest advances in the field of neuroscience and share the economic and public health benefits of investment in scientific and biomedical research. In total, SfN members met with 71 offices representing 23 states and the District of Columbia.

After participating in Hill Day, the ambassadors commit to engaging in at least three additional advocacy-related activities at their home institution over the course of the year. Dr. Calik plans to continue his ambassadorship through activities like planning advocacy seminars at the 2017 CSfN meeting, and providing advocacy information on CSfN’s website.

 

Michael W. Calik, PhD (back row, second from left), an Assistant Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and a second year councilor for the Society for Neuroscience Chicago Chapter, has been selected as one of 12 ambassadors in the 2016 Society for Neuroscience’s (SfN) Early Career Policy Ambassadors Program.

(Photo credit: Society for Neuroscience)