Congressional Visits Day

Please note that the 2020 Material Advantage Congressional Visits Day event has been cancelled.

Dear 2020 Material Advantage CVD Registrants,

Based upon several factors: recent events regarding COVID-19, the Washington DC Mayor’s declaration of both a state of emergency and a public health emergency on March 11, in addition to a growing number of universities ban on travel we have decided to cancel the Material Advantage Congressional Visits Day event scheduled for April 20-21, 2020.

While we know that this is a highly anticipated event, we believe that your health and safety is of the utmost importance.

It is the responsibility of each individual to cancel any travel booked for this event. Additionally, if any meetings have been scheduled with your congressional representatives please be sure to cancel those appointments as well. If at that time you wish to offer the appropriate staffer the one page handout created for this event, you may do so.

You may reach out to me with questions you may have regarding this cancellation. To keep up with the CDC’s information and recommendations, please visit

Thank you,

Yolanda Natividad
The American Ceramic Society’s liaison to the Material Advantage Student Program

The Material Advantage Congressional Visits Day event gives US-based Material Advantage Student Members an exciting opportunity to visit with legislators and congressional staff from their own states. The goal of the event is to educate Congress about the importance of research in materials science, engineering, and manufacturing and the need to increase federal R&D funding.

Don’t miss this vital opportunity to emphasize the long-term importance of science, engineering, and technology through meetings with congressional decision makers.

The Congressional Visits Day event will begin with an opening reception on Monday, April 20, held at the Hill Center. A catered reception will be held with light hors d’ouevres. Speakers will be invited to talk on subjects related to CVD to prepare students for their visits.

Please note:

  • Applications will be accepted only from students who reside in, or are attending schools in the United States.
  • CVD opportunities are best suited for U.S. citizens and permanent residents; however, international students can participate if space is available.
  • Applicants must be a member of the Material Advantage student program to participate. Become a member!
  • A maximum of four (4) students from any one university will be considered for a travel grant and will be eligible to attend the CVD event(s).
  • Registrations will be processed on an individual first come, first served basis based upon the criteria noted above.

The Material Advantage Student Program offers a limited number of travel grants to student registrants to help offset costs to Congressional Visits Day. The amount of travel grant funds will be determined once applications are received, although it is expected to be between $100 – $150 per person. All grants will be sent after the event, upon verification that the student was in attendance. Faculty advisors are not eligible for travel assistance.

If you have questions about the event, contact Yolanda Natividad, the ACerS liaison to the Material Advantage student program. 

Making Congressional Appointments

Students and faculty, participating in CVD will be making appointments with their representatives in Washington DC. This must be done prior to departure for CVD.

There are three ways to make contact for a meeting: phone calls, email, and some members of congress have online request forms on their websites. The “scheduler” is the key point of contact when making Congressional appointments.

Participants should provide information about who they are and why they would like to meet with a staff member. Provided for your reference and to download, is a draft email template (which could also be used as a template for a phone call).

Shown below are some helpful links to find your Senate and Representative contact information:

U.S. House of Representatives – Find Your Representative
United States Senate – List of Senators
Congressional Districts Map

Webinar Training Sessions

Material Advantage organizes webinar training sessions for participants. On the webinar, CVD participants will be given preparation materials that have an emphasis on funding for the materials science and engineering field. The training will also include general tips on organizing your visits, rules for congressional meetings, and how Congress works. In addition to the prep materials, participants will be required to let the facilitators know who they have contacted and gotten a response from, what their congressional schedule is so far, and who is still pending.


All travel and lodging details must be coordinated by attendees.