Call for Members – Come to D.C. for Social Science Advocacy Day 2024


SRCD members: we want you to join us and our coalition partner, the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), for the Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on April 8-9, 2024!

This two-day event will enable you and other social scientists to tell Congress why federal funding for research is important. Your presence is important, as only you can provide concrete examples of why social science and research matters. Every year, SRCD and our coalition partners have to show up to ensure that science funding is adequately included in Congress’s annual budget. Your voice and expertise are crucial in these meetings, to help lawmakers see the value of their investment. Join us, and learn how Congressional “hill days” work, how policymakers think about research, and help invest in scientific research.

Your two-day trip will include:

  • Day one: COSSA will host a training and prep session on April 8th, from 9:00am and 5:00pm. Afterwards, there will be a rooftop reception.
  • Day two: You will join other scholars, SRCD staff, and others in meetings with Congressional staff, from 10:00am-5:00pm.

To participate in this event, register here. At this time, scholars must fund their own travel to D.C. for this event. We have provided resources below, to help you request funding from your institutions.

Social Science Advocacy Day Information

Information and Logistics

Location and Date

Monday, April 8 – Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Downtown Washington, DC. 

  • Monday, April 8: 20 F Street NW Conference Center (link)
  • Tuesday, April 9: 20 F Street NW Conference Center AND House and Senate Offices on Capitol Hill
Suggested Travel Dates

Arrive: Sunday, April 7 (anytime)
Depart: Tuesday, April 9 (after 6:00 pm)

Draft Schedule

Monday, April 8, 2024

  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm: Advocacy Training & Prep Seminar (attendance is required)
  • 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Rooftop Reception

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

  • 9:00 am - 10:00 am: Breakfast and Group Meet up
  • 10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Meetings on Capitol Hill
More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important that I come?

It’s simple – you’re the best person to tell Congress why science matters! Congressional staff listen to you, the experts who are directly impacted by their decisions. We need you to help share why science is important and to give examples of why the social sciences matter, from your own work.

What do I get out of this?

  • You’ll learn and develop unique skills in networking, advocacy and talking to lawmakers about your work.
  • You’ll get to connect with and build relationships with Congressional offices. Often, offices will reach out to you with future questions, after they’ve met you.
  • Connect with other researchers from similar and different fields from across the country.
  • Come early or stay late to see D.C.’s famous cherry blossoms, which are often in bloom at this time of year!

Will I be alone in these meetings?

No, you’ll be fully supported by SRCD and COSSA staff (you’ll never be alone with legislative staff!). COSSA is our coalition partner, and SRCD is one of several members. As this activity is hosted by COSSA, you’ll also have the opportunity to engage and share spaces with researchers and staff from other scientific organizations.

What type of scholar are we looking for?

All scholars, regardless of discipline, career stage, or experience are invited to attend. If your work, or your colleague’s work, requires funding to complete, then this day is relevant for you. We want our Congressional offices to hear directly from social and behavioral scientists why federal investment in research is important. There is no one better than you to make this case.

I can’t advocate or lobby. Can I still go?

​​​​​​Yes! Your role in these meetings is to share why you think research is important and to talk about your own work. SRCD staff (and other societies’ staff) can make “the ask” to staffers for specific appropriations requests, so that you don’t have to.

How many scholars can go?

The more the merrier! We have never yet had to turn a scholar way. Your voice matters, and if you can come to D.C., we will gladly welcome you!

Will I be meeting with federal lawmakers from my state/districts?

Maybe and maybe not. There will be an effort to ensure that at least one of the meetings will be matched to your State and/or Congressional District, however, this depends on how many experts each organization brings and if the Congressional office accepts the meeting.

What is the cost to participate in this event?


Estimated Price


Registration Fee

$95 before March 3

$125 after March 3

$50 discount rate for students

If the registration rate is a concern, contact COSSA. Several organizations have sponsored the event, which comes with free registrations. There may be free registrations still available.


See notes

Washington, DC airports serve as hubs for several airlines, providing affordable flight options at area airports:

  • Reagan National (DCA) – closest to meeting venue
  • Dulles (IAD)
  • Baltimore-Washington (BWI)


Area Hotel Rates start at


Participants typically need to reserve 2 nights (suggested dates: 4/7-4/8)

A block of rooms has not been arranged since participants tend to choose a variety of lodging options. However, we provide a list of area hotel rates to assist with your decision-making.

Airbnb, Vrbo, and other rental options are also available in the DC area.



Metro rates (e.g., $2.75 from DCA to meeting venue)

$16-$25 Cab from DCA to meeting venue

Metrorail is user friendly and convenient for the meeting venue.

Cabs and ride share options are available from area hotels and airports.



Meals will be provided by COSSA for the first day of the event (4/8). Participants are responsible for all other meal costs.


Is there a sample email for researchers to get institutional support to attend the Social Science Advocacy Day?

Unfortunately, SRCD cannot provide funding for scholars for this event. However, there are significant benefits to you and your institution, and we want to help you make that case! Here is a sample email that you can use when reaching out to your institution:

Sample Email:

Dear XXX:
I have been invited to participate in an important event in Washington, DC April 8-9, 2024. I am a member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), which is a partner of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), who hosts Social Science Advocacy Day each spring. Social Science Advocacy Day brings together social and behavioral scientists from across the country to engage with policymakers in Congress on issues important to our community, such as federal funding for research at agencies like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Education Science (IES), among others. It is COSSA’s signature annual event focused on putting social and behavioral science front and center before Congress.
As a participant, I would join other scholars from across our state in a day of in-person meetings with our state’s representatives in the House of Representatives and Senate. During the meetings we will have the opportunity to discuss our own research and other research efforts happening at the university, with an overarching goal of with an overarching goal of showing Congress why increased federal funding for social and behavioral science research is important.
According to COSSA and past participants in this event, I can expect to:
 - Learn how federal funding and policy impact social and behavioral science research at the university level.
 - Learn how to communicate with policymakers and discuss research in ways that is helpful to them.
 - Gain visibility for the [institution/organization] and our research activities.
 - Connect with social and behavioral science researchers and professionals from across the country and across fields.
 - Learn a unique set of skills that I can bring to my work (e.g., teaching, research, advocacy, service, etc.).
The costs associated with the trip include a small registration fee, airfare, lodging for two nights, and a few incidentals (meals for one day and ground transportation).
I would be happy to provide additional information, including testimonials from past participants.

For questions, please contact the SRCD Policy Department at