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.

2024 Material Advantage Congressional Visits Day


Registration Deadline: TBA

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!
  • A maximum of 5 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.

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

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 all applications are received. Each grant will be sent after the event upon verification that the student was in attendance. Faculty advisors are not eligible for travel assistance.

The deadline to register for the 2024 Material Advantage CVD event will be announced soon.

The 2023 CVD event is being held in person in Washington, D.C. All travel and hotel reservations must be made on your own.

If you have questions about the event, contact Lori Houghton at, 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.

2023 CVD Schedule

Wednesday, April 5, 20236 PM – 7PM EasternMandatory Training Session (webinar)
Thursday, April 6, 20233 PM – 4PM EasternMandatory Training Session (webinar)
Tuesday, April 18, 20234 PM – 7 PMOpening Reception with guest speakers and group practice sessions
Wednesday, April 19, 2023All DayCongressional Visits
Wednesday, April 19, 20236 PM – 8 PMOptional dinner event hosted by the Washington DC Chapter of ASM

*The 2023 CVD event is being held in person in Washington, D.C. All travel and hotel reservations must be made on your own.

2023 CVD Opening Reception

We are excited to hear from the following speakers at this year’s opening reception!

Alessandra Zimmermann is a Writer/Analyst for the R&D Budget and Policy Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she collects information on federal science spending, both current and past.  

Previously, she was the Executive Director at Proposal Analytics, performing research into making the research funding space more useful to early career researchers. She has also been a program Manager for the Canadian Science Policy Center, an intern at AAAS’s EPI Center, and a researcher for the National Science Policy Network.  

Prior to switching to science policy work, she earned her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Maryland, and a BS in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Jakob Lindaas is a Legislative Assistant in the Office of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico where he advises the Senator on agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, telecommunications, and Indian Affairs issues. He has also served as a Professional Staff Member for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, chaired by Representative Kathy Castor of Tampa, FL, working on climate policy across a range of emissions reduction, adaptation, and resilience goals. Previously he was the 2020-2021 American Geosciences Institute William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow, serving in Senator Heinrich’s office and working primarily on climate, energy, and natural resources issues. Dr. Lindaas is an atmospheric chemist by training, earning a Ph.D. from Colorado State University where his research focused on measurements of reactive nitrogen in wildfire smoke and empirical analysis of the impacts of oil and gas activities and wildfire smoke on local ozone pollution in the Colorado Front Range. Dr. Lindaas has had a long-standing interest in the connections between science and policy, graduating with a B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and is an active advocate for connecting scientists to public decision-making at all levels of government.  

Material Advantage CVD Toolkit

CVD welcome event location and how to get around Washington D.C.:

The welcome event will be held at the Hill Center DC. The Hill Center is located at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003.

The Metro is a very convenient way to get around DC.   

Know where you are going with this handy map of Capitol Hill.

Reference materials