It can be flattering or terrifying but it's always important. It's that rare opportunity when a non-scientist is genuinely curious about what you do. It's your chance to talk about the puzzling result that keeps you up at night, the critical piece of data you finally got, or the little pieces of a microscopic mystery that you're working to solve.
Explaining your research can be challenging. ASCB's Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) wants to help you show your science, instead of just telling it. We are offering award grants of $100 to $1,000 to support ASCB members with outreach projects to engage the public. ASCB and COMPASS want to generate excitement about science (especially NIH-funded research) and to show the public how cool (and normal) scientists are.
Show kids what it's like to do science for a day by bringing a busload to your lab. Bring your labmates, a few microscopes, and some C. elegans to your local community center for a "Cell Biology Day." Rent a booth at your local science festival and help the public extract DNA from strawberries. Serve as a science fair judge and give a special cash prize to the best cell biology project (and watch as cell biology projects become the norm the following year!). If you're an ASCB member (any level) and you have a great outreach idea, we have funds for up to 50 projects.
The first deadline for Outreach Grant Award applications is April 15. However, there will be two more application cycles this year (with deadlines of July 15 and October 15) to allow for year-round outreach activities. Each application can include up to four ASCB member organizers. The application must include a description of the proposed event with who, what, when, where, why, and how of the event. Organizers must also include their CV highlighting previous outreach experience (if any), a proposed budget justifying the costs, and a description of how ASCB will be acknowledged during the event. Finally, applications must also explain how the event will be documented so that COMPASS can showcase your outreach effort with pictures, videos, drawings, and/or text on the ASCB website.