Advocacy is organized action in support of an idea or cause, with constituents educating elected officials and their staff on important issues as well as establishing ongoing relationships that can be leveraged to create meaningful change.

For CUR, advocacy primarily means bringing the CUR message to legislators, staffers, and agency representatives in Washington, DC. CUR engages in advocacy through many avenues. Examples include the following:

  • Scholars Transforming Through Research (STR) Program is a central focus of CUR’s advocacy efforts at the federal level. STR is a six-month professional development opportunity for undergraduate students and faculty/mentors interested in garnering communication and advocacy skills to leverage the impact of their undergraduate research experience by conveying their story to stakeholder groups such as funding agencies, association partners, elected officials, future employers, community, and beyond. In addition to the advocacy training, the teams will have scheduled meetings with US government representatives.
  • Targeted outreach to Congress and the White House is conducted on an ongoing basis by CUR staff, members of the CUR Executive Board Advocacy Committee, and other CUR members from key congressional districts. This outreach is done throughout the year, such as in advance or on the eve of important legislative action, when CUR members come to the area for events such as CUR Dialogues, and during the August congressional recess when U.S. legislative staff members may have more time to focus on the subject of undergraduate research.
  • Correspondence addressed to Congress and the White House is another example of how CUR’s advocacy efforts related to U.S. federal policy. CUR submits formal letters in support of programming that is critical to undergraduate research across all disciplines and weighs in formally on relevant legislation. These letters are aimed at both Congress and the White House, affecting both authorizations and appropriations.
  • CUR joins in coalitions with colleague organizations to advance specific initiatives concerning undergraduate research support. The voice of many is always stronger than the voice of one. Whether the topic is broad, such as nondefense discretionary spending, or narrow, such as funding for the National Science Foundation or the National Endowment for the Arts, CUR lends its name to collective causes that seek to advance undergraduate research through larger funding efforts.
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CUR worked together with the CUR Advocacy committee and Bose Public Affairs Group to provide CUR members with important information to encourage advocating for undergraduate research. There are elected lawmakers in US congress, the White House, state capitols, and city halls that are making decisions that affect undergraduate research. Download the updated CUR Advocacy Toolkit today to gain a collection of materials, resources, and advice to help you tell the story of your undergraduate research to leaders and stakeholders in your community. 

CUR has contracted with Bose Public Affairs Group to provide research and services to CUR members on education and advocacy. Bose Public Affairs Group provides CUR and its members with important action alerts, legislative summaries, event summaries, and an electronic newsletter This Week in Washington.

General Advocacy Information