Science to Policy Certificate Course

The Science to Policy Certificate Course is a 10-week intensive course designed to introduce STEM PhD Students to Public Policy. 

Through this training, natural and social scientists and eningeers: 

  • Become outstanding communicators 
  • Learn how to translate science into policy
  • Participate in science policy workshops, seminars, curricula and networking. 
  • Meet with local, state, and federal policymakers on their turf
  • Launch a career in science-driven policymaking
  • Become a preferred candidate for science policy fellowships

During the course, students will prepare a number of deliverables in order to develop their skills as a science communicator and science policy expert. Students will also hear from a wide range of expert speakers and have the opportunity to learn about different careers in science policy. 

Below are some examples of assignments students may work on during the Certificate Course. Click to learn more about each type of assignment and see examples from past students. 

  • Bookmarks - A Catchy Tagline for Your Research Project

    Creating a catchy tagline that summarizes student's PhD work is a fun exercise to help get students out of their traditional academic writing styles and to practice communicating science to a non-expert audience. Student put their tagline on a bookmark for distribution and promotion at policy events. 

  • Policy Memo

    Students will analyze a bill introduced in the California State Legislature. The memo will recommend a course of action to an elected official, whether to support or oppose the bill. 

  • Policy Brief

    Students will use their dissertation research, or other science topics of interest, as the basis for a policy proposal. They will prepare a policy brief where they describe the issue, any current legislation, and propose a new policy to address the issue. 

  • Op-Ed

    Students will write an opinion editorial on a science-related topic of the student’s choice. Op-Eds should be concise, have a clear focus, argue pro/con of a policy, be supported by evidence.

  • Policy Resume and Mock Interviews

    Students will be transforming their CV into a resume for a science policy position and will present it to an interviewer during their mock interviews.

  • Policy Pitch Presentation

    Using the skills that students gained throughout the course, they will present a policy idea to local lawmakers and policy experts and receive feedback on the policy proposal.

  • Mock Legislative Hearing

    Following training on effective public speaking, students will act out a legislative hearing. Each student will be assigned a different role, allowing students to gain insight onto how a bill is passed.