Congressional Visits Day

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 for you, the next generation of materials science and technology leaders, to emphasize the long-term importance of science, engineering, and technology through meetings with congressional decision makers.

2022 Material Advantage Virtual Congressional Visits Day

May 17-19, 2022

Registration Deadline: April 19, 2022

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 who are attending schools in the United States can participate if space is available.
  • Applicants must be a member of the Material Advantage student program to participate. Become a member!
  • Registrations will be processed on an individual first come, first served basis based upon the criteria noted above.

Groups, whether affiliated by school or location, have been found to be the most successful in working together to schedule meetings and support each others efforts towards meeting with representatives.

The deadline to register for the 2022 Material Advantage Virtual CVD event is Tuesday, April 19, 2022. This deadline will not be extended.

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

What to expect

  • Set aside the dates noted below to be able to fully participate in this year’s event. You will also need to devote additional time to scheduling and preparing for your virtual visits.
  • Review all items in the “Material Advantage CVD Toolkit”. These documents will help to guide you through the details of this process.
  • Be prepared to start the process of requesting Congressional appointments. Identify the individuals within your group (university and/or locale) who will begin requesting appointments. If there are no others within your university/locale, you will need to work on requesting appointments.
  • Attend mandatory webinar training session(s). 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.
  • Update the Meeting Scheduling and Inter-state Collaboration worksheet. Make sure to note: your home state “State of Constituent”, your District, and your university’s tab with any scheduled appointments/current status of appointment setting.

2022 Virtual CVD Schedule

April 20, 2022Training Session
April 26, 2022Training Session
May 17, 2022, 2 PM – 5 PM EasternWelcome Event with guest speakers and group practice sessions
May 18 and 19, 2022Virtual Congressional Visits

*The 2022 CVD event is entirely virtual and there will be no travel needed.

2022 Virtual CVD Welcome Event

We are excited to hear from the following speakers at this year’s welcome event!

Sean Gallagher joined AAAS as a Senior Government Relations Officer in March 2015. He handles a wide range of policy issues and focuses on engaging and encouraging scientists to demonstrate their value to their peers, the media and policy makers. He spearheads grassroots efforts and serves as a liaison to congress and the executive branch. 

Prior to joining AAAS Sean spent over 7 years on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to five Members of Congress, helping represent districts in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, California, and most recently was a policy advisor to Representative Rush Holt from central New Jersey. Sean specialized in science and technology issues, and also has experience in military and veterans affairs as well health care reform. Sean has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and received his Bachelor’s in Political Science from Villanova University.

Meg Thompson leverages more than 20 years of Capitol Hill experience in support of her clients, helping them advance and achieve their funding priorities. Prior to working as a consultant, Ms. Thompson was professional staff on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, where she had oversight for the Department of Justice. Previously, Ms. Thompson was staff to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, where she had primary responsibility for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Preparedness Directorate. Earlier, Ms. Thompson served on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and oversaw the budget for the Department of Labor. Ms. Thompson began her career on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, and Related Agencies.

In addition to her time on the Hill, Ms. Thompson was Director of Communications for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, managing congressional and corporate communications, and interfacing with the chief communications officers of corporate sponsors including ExxonMobil and Shell Oil. Ms. Thompson was previously a lobbyist for health and medical research clients, including the National Coalition for Cancer Research and the Schering-Plough Corporation. Ms. Thompson represented the Campaign for Medical Research, which was dedicated to the successful doubling of the NIH budget between 1997-2002.

A native Washingtonian, Ms. Thompson is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross. Ms. Thompson lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband, three daughters, and two Brittany Spaniels.

Material Advantage CVD Toolkit

Find your Senators and Representatives:

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

Reference materials


Supplemental documents