Home » Columns, Data for Good, Stats4Good

UCS’s Science for Public Good Fund Targets Projects with Local Impact

1 November 2023 243 views No Comment
This column is written for those interested in learning about the world of Data for Good, where statistical analysis is dedicated to good causes that benefit our lives, our communities, and our world. If you would like to know more or have ideas for articles, contact David Corliss.

David Corliss David Corliss is the principal data scientist at Grafham Analytics. He serves on the steering committee for the Conference on Statistical Practice and is the founder of Peace-Work.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is accepting applications for a program that should attract considerable interest from the #DataForGood community. Its Science for Public Good Fund offers grants up to $1,500 to support science in service to the public, making it ideal for a wide range of D4G advocates and projects.The Union of Concerned Scientists has a long history of science advocacy. Founded in 1969 by a group at MIT, the union applies rigorous scientific expertise, research, and discipline to a range of societal issues. It has played a leading role in advocacy concerning climate change, sustainable energy and food production, transportation, and the danger of nuclear war. With a membership including both trained scientists and the public, it advocates for the use of science in policy and greater public funding for scientific research. Organized as a 501c3 nonprofit, the union consistently receives high ratings from charity assessment organizations such as Charity Navigator.

Getting Involved
In addition to the Union of Concerned Scientists Science for Public Good Fund, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies is accepting nominations for its 2024 awards, which will be celebrated at JSM in Portland, Oregon. Honors include the Presidents’ Award for outstanding contributions to the statistics profession, Distinguished Achievement Award and Lectureship for outstanding contributions to statistical methods that have had significant impact on scientific investigations, Elizabeth L. Scott Award and Lectureship for fostering opportunities in statistics for women, and Emerging Leader Award.

The goals of the funding program are the same as the union’s: advocacy with science and for science to benefit the public. With funding of up to $1,500, projects are mostly small and highly focused. Possibilities include inviting a guest speaker to an event, printing materials or developing a website for the public, advertising, and hosting a hackathon. As with most grant programs, collaborating with others will tend to make your proposal stand out.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is actively seeking projects focusing on justice, equity, and diversity and looks for these qualities in the teams doing the work. Other priorities include projects from early-career scientists, financial need, and projects that help the participants develop skills needed for science advocacy. The program does not support applications for people who have received Science for Public Good grants more than once in the past.

The union requires grant recipients to be part of their Science Network, so grantees who are not already members will need to join and remain active for two years. The Science Network is something everyone in Data for Good should be part of, whether you are seeking a grant or not. I’ve been a member since 2016, and it has been rewarding, helping me make contacts and learn about important new science for the public good.

Grant projects are to be completed and a report sent to the union within six months. This offers an opportunity to create materials showcasing your project and sharing through social media, blogs, and conference presentations. You can also share it with colleagues and possibly local news media.

Grant applications are due by January 5, 2024. You can find the application and detailed information for preparing a submission on the program website.

A good way to move forward is to visit the website to learn the particulars about applying. Then, research projects that have received support in the past (this is always good practice when developing a proposal for any grant). Projects receiving a grant share information through a variety of channels, especially online, so it’s easy to find out about past projects that received union support. Use these examples to help refine your ideas. Over the next month, look for collaborators and other resources you will want to mention in your proposal. Over the holiday break, put your ideas into words and share them with your collaborators. Make sure to get the final proposal submitted by the January 5 deadline.

Consider how your work can make an even greater impact with support from the Union of Concerned Scientists Science for Public Good Fund and get involved with their Science Network to continue growing in 2024.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.