Every year the AAS brings volunteers to Washington, DC, to advocate for federal support of their science with their members of Congress for a Congressional Visits Day (CVD).
A few things to keep in mind while you consider volunteering for this opportunity:
- You must be an AAS member.
- You must be eligible to vote in the United States.
- Business attire is required.
- The AAS will cover the majority of travel expenses for volunteers selected to participate, as our budget allows. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CVD has been moved to a virtual format for 2020 and 2021.
- Submitting the form does not guarantee you a slot in this year's CVD. Selected volunteers were notified by late January 2021.
AAS CVD 2021 Details (Virtual)
- January 2021: Deadline to apply, candidates notified, and final participants chosen.
- February 2021: Virtual seminars on how to communicate effectively with policy makers, including some information on the issues that currently impact astronomy and science in general. Possibly some online forms to fill out for appropriations requests.
- March 2021: More virtual seminars with a chance to practice for the virtual visits. 1-2 days of virtual visits.
- Fall 2021: Possibility to have participants visit DC, depending on the pandemic status.
Volunteer Selection: We aim to select approximately 15 volunteers who balance the program by location, career stage, and experience. We especially encourage graduate students and early-career professionals to volunteer. We generally ask that people who have done training and Congressional visits for astronomy advocacy before — through programs like AAS CVD, AAAS CASE, facility/collaboration programs, etc. — not volunteer for CVD, as we intend this program to increase the number of astronomers empowered to advocate for science.
Travel Support: AAS has sufficient funds to reimburse most travel expenses related to the AAS CVD, including lodging, transportation, and meals. We are not planning to allow travel for CVD until Summer 2021 at the earliest.
How to Sign Up: Sign up for CVD 2021 here. You’ll need to sign in to the website using your AAS username and password to submit the form. The deadline for application to AAS CVD 2021 is Monday, 18 January 2021. Selected volunteers will be notified by Monday, 25 January 2021.