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Society for Science Advocate Program

Society for Science - Advocate Program

The Advocate Program, a program of Society for Science, provides a stipend and year-round support to an individual (teacher, counselor, mentor), who agrees to serve as an advocate for 3-5 additional students from traditionally underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, from low-income households, or from another group traditionally underrepresented and transition them from conducting a scientific or engineering research project to completing applications to scientific competition(s). Application Deadline: March 3, 2024.

Please review the information on the "Eligibility and Selection Criteria" tab before applying.

Advocates support the students in:

  • Finding potential research competitions
  • Being aware of deadlines
  • Navigating the overall science competition process
  • Gathering information about competition rules and application processes

Advocates receive a stipend of $3,000, opportunities to meet and interact with their cohort both in-person and throughout the program duration, and ongoing training and support from the Society.

Why should students participate in scientific competition?

  • Learn the true nature of science and experience the thrill of discovery
  • Gain additional skills such as learning how to write a scientific journal article and how to present their work to peers, scientists and the public
  • Inspire confidence in their scientific abilities
  • Lead them to consider a STEM career
  • Provide monetary awards for post-secondary education
  • Boost a student's chance of acceptance into the college or university of their choice

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Eligibility of Advocate:

Individuals must be 21 years or older and be employed by a school, university, organization or corporation that has established a relationship with students in a manner appropriately sanctioned and approved by legal guardians. Applicants must live and work in the U.S. or U.S. Territories.

Eligibility of Students:

Students must be from a population traditionally underserved in STEM education and careers (American Indian or Alaskan Native, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latinx, or low-income), and enrolled in a pre-collegiate program, who will be in grades 6 - 12 as of August 1, 2024. They must have conducted a research project within the last six months or be actively engaged in a project with the intent and interest to apply for a competition in the coming school year. The competition(s) entered should be relevant to the research conducted.

Selection Criteria:

Preference will be given to applicants who: 

  • Submit cogent plans that will facilitate consistent and effective contact with the student through the project submission process
  • Have been vetted by an existing organization, school or government entity and are cleared to work with students
  • Have demonstrated success working with youth at their organizations 


The stipend will be provided to the advocate in three installments of $1,000 each:

  • One during recruitment of participants and preparation for competition throughout the research experience (Fall – Exact timelines will vary by individual and their specific circumstances) 
  • One after the research experience is concluded and advocates are guiding students through the application process and training them on how to write up their research (Winter - Exact timelines will vary by individual and their specific circumstances) 
  • One after a minimum of three additional students have entered competitions (Spring - Exact timelines will vary by individual and their specific circumstances)

Advocate Types:

Since Advocates support students in diverse settings and have varying levels of experiences, all applicants are asked to choose one Advocate type for which they would like to apply. There are no quotas for Advocate types - all applications of any type are considered equally. Please read the descriptions below and then choose the Advocate type that best fits your experience level and goals combined. This does not limit you to only working in these areas, but informs the Society of your ambitions for your students, especially in cases of applicants who have some experience with science research competitions.

Introductory Advocates
Introductory Advocates are already in contact with students who complete science research projects, but have little to no experience in helping them to enter science research competitions. Recruiting students to take this extra step and working with them to cross the finish line of competition participation may not be an easy task. These Advocates are ready to learn the in's and out's of science research competitions, help students gather the pieces and parts necessary for the competitions, make sure they adhere to deadlines, and find a way to provide anything the students may need to make participation possible. These Advocates will support at least 3 additional underserved students in entering science research competitions.

Amplification Advocates
Amplification Advocates have some experience guiding students in entering science research competitions, but want to do more. They are likely familiar with one type of science research competition, but are ready to add more competitions to their repertoire. They want their students to benefit from multiple opportunities and higher levels of competition, helping them to forge new pathways for students at their school. They will be supporting at least 3 additional underserved students in entering a higher level competition than they have previously attempted.

Culture-Shift Advocates
Culture-shift Advocates are on a mission to transform their community into a bustling STEM-focused center. They are experienced in leading students in science research competitions, though not necessarily experts or veterans. They may want to mentor other STEM teachers at their school or within their district, add new grade levels to their efforts, gain administrative and district support, shine a light on the importance of student research through their local media, and/or secure funding for research programs for years to come. They are ready to become known as a student research leader in their area and want counselors and parents to point students towards their programs without hesitation. These Advocates will have many of these unique, far-reaching goals for the year in addition to supporting at least 3 additional underserved students in entering science research competitions.

Expansion Advocates
Expansion Advocates are going to need a wider pipeline for their flow of students this year. They have an established research program or long-time experience supporting students in entering science research competitions, but they aren't satisfied with the level of diversity and number of students who make it through to the end. They are ready to learn what it really takes to recruit and retain a larger volume of students who reflect the diversity of their community. These Advocates will support at least 5 additional or 30% more underserved students in entering science research competitions, whichever is larger. This means a research program with 9 students will add 5 underserved students, one with 25 students last year will add 8 underserved students, and one with 50 students previously will add 15 underserved students this year.


1. Register

Click on the "Register" link, complete the requirement information, and submit the registration form.

2. Login

Login to the Advocate Program with your email and password.

3. Create

Create your online Application. 

4. Save

During the Applications Period, your Application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed. As each section is complete, you will see a appear in the category tab when the Application is saved. Please ensure that all attachments are in Acrobat PDF format. At any time, you can download and print your Application by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section.

5. Submit

On completion, save your Application as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your Application for your records by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section in the right column. Note: If an update is required prior to the end of the Applications Period, you can make the update and resave as FINAL.

If you require assistance or additional information, please contact

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Contact Us

Society for Science
1719 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: 202.785.2255
Advocate Grant Program - Society for Science