Botanical Society of AmericaBSA Public Policy Award

Supporting early-career botanical scientists to attend a Congressional Visits Day in Washington, DC

Applications deadline is February 1, 2024

The BSA Public Policy Committee invites applications annually for the BSA Public Policy Award.

This award covers registration expenses for two early-career botanists to attend the Congressional Advocacy Event, held April 15-17, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Award winners will also be featured in the Plant Science Bulletin and on the BSA web page.

Congressional Visits Day is an annual event hosted by the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition. Recipients obtain first-hand experience at the interface of science and public policy.

The first day includes policy and communications training provided by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), focusing on the legislative process and trends in federal funding for science, and how to effectively communicate with policymakers. Participants will meet with their Congressional policymakers, during which they will advocate for federal support of scientific research.

To read about award recipients’ past experiences, see pgs. 80-83 of the Summer 2023 issue of the Plant Science Bulletin: "Congressional Visits Day Remarks"

The award is open to all BSA members, but preference will be given to those who are in the first two years of a permanent position, postdocs, and students (graduate or undergraduate).

Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

For questions about the award, email Andrew Pais (

This award is now open for applications. 

Deadline is February 1, 2024 (Midnight Pacific Time)

Application requirements:

  1. State your name, career stage, current affiliation, and email address.
  2. Why are you interested in becoming involved in public policy?
  3. How will attending the Congressional Visits Day impact your career?
  4. Give an example of botanically related research in your (current) home state that represents a good investment of federal funding. How do the results of that research benefit your state (e.g., impacts on education, the environment, and the economy, including the number of jobs created)?

    Awardees’ conversations with elected officials will focus on how federal funding benefits those officials’ constituents. Therefore, successful examples of relevant research may include:
    • How federal research funding that supports your own work and is carried out in your home state provides a direct benefit in your home state.
    • How federal research funding supporting your own work benefits education, mentoring, training, job creation, or other broader impacts in your home state – even if the direct benefits of your research will be seen only out of state.
    • How federal research funding supporting a high-profile project in your home state provides a direct and/or indirect benefit in your home state – even if you are not involved with that project personally. 
  1. Recipients will write a summary of their experience to be published in the Plant Science Bulletin.

Current BSA members can access the awards portal by clicking here and logging in with your BotanyID/Password. Once signed in, click on the "2024 - BSA Public Policy Award" link and you should see a blue button that says "+ Create New Nomination" at the bottom if your login was successful.

Please feel free to email with any questions about the award and application process.