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AACR Early-career Hill Day

The AACR Early-career Hill Day is an annual event that brings a group of AACR Associate members to Washington, D.C., to advocate for robust, sustained and predictable funding for cancer research and biomedical science through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), on behalf of early-career cancer researchers. In 2021, Hill Day will be held virtually, on February 24-25, 2021, to protect the health of all participants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of more than 50 total congressional visits during a single day, participants are able to stress how important it is to invest in the future of cancer research and provide their own personal perspectives as the investigators whose careers may be most impacted by the support of this essential funding. Participants receive support from AACR staff and are accompanied by one or more established investigators with significant advocacy experience. This event is an important opportunity for the AACR’s Associate members to engage in advocacy at the federal level and educate lawmakers on the progress and promise in cancer research.

In addition to receiving advocacy training in advance of the event, all participants will have the opportunity to hear from a NCI/NIH representative and a member of Congress, and/or his/her legislative staff, about the current state of biomedical research funding within the United States. On the day of the Hill meetings, participants will be divided into groups to meet with senators and representatives and/or their key staff member(s). Each group will attend four to six meetings with House and Senate throughout the event. During each meeting, participants will have the opportunity to share firsthand stories about the impact of cancer research funding on their career and how cancer may have personally touched their life or that of a loved one.  #AACRontheHill

Learn more about the 2021 Virtual Early-career Hill Day participants.

National Day of Action

While there is always a limited number of spaces to attend the AACR Early-career Hill Day, there is still an opportunity for people to get involved from anywhere in the United States at the same time that the participants are meeting with Congress. The AACR encourages all early-career investigators and those who support them to join in an all-day movement, the National Day of Action, to reinforce the messages of their colleagues by contacting their congressional representatives and senators to urge their support for robust, sustained and predictable funding increases for the NIH. It only takes a few minutes to send an email and/or call your congressional representative and senators, and your voice can greatly help advance and ensure maximum impact of our message to Congress!  Learn More.

Reflection from Past Participants

“This event was a tremendous occasion as it trained me and my fellow early-career bench scientists in how to take our story and message to Capitol Hill. As a biomedical scientist, I have been trained in the responsibilities in the laboratory. But I also see the great value in being a ‘civic’ scientist. Each and every one of us has a part to play in bridging the gap between science and society.” – Lee D. Gibbs, BS

This year’s AACR Early-career Hill Day was a valuable learning experience for me. I gained unique insight into the legislative environment that directly influences funding for biomedical research, and realized that fostering dialogue between young scientists and policy makers is highly important. Through my meetings with congressional offices, I was encouraged to learn that legislators are aware and concerned about the exceptionally competitive funding situation being faced by researchers, and are working towards alleviating this problem by increasing the NIH budget.” – Jennifer C. Shing, PhD

“My driving passion is in making an impact on cancer and I can now appreciate that science policy and legislation is a powerful avenue to do that.” – Eric C. Woolf, MS

Additional information about the AACR Early-career Hill Day as well as photos can be found on Twitter via #AACRontheHill and #AACRECR.

Any questions or concerns should be directed to [email protected]