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How will MOST Policy Fellows interact with Missouri Legislators?

Published on April 29, 2020

We are excited to launch the MOST Policy Fellows program this fall! Though the Missouri General Assembly only meets from January to May each year, the fellows will work year round. The schedule and duties of the fellows are subject to change, but we anticipate the following schedule as a general outline for our fellows.

September to December 2020: Fellows will complete two weeks of in-depth training on science communication strategies, policy reading and writing, and legislative processes. During the training, fellows will also get the opportunity to travel throughout the state of Missouri to learn more about the different people and places they may be visiting during the fellowship program. We are tentatively planning for both in-person and virtual training, depending upon COVID-19 conditions at that time.

Following the training, fellows will attend events and network with stakeholders of their respective disciplines. Building relationships will be crucial for fellows to be treated as trusted messengers of scientific information during the legislative session. Ideally, these relationships will lead to fellows being called upon to provide scientific input while bills are drafted prior to the legislative session.

January to May 2021: During the legislative session, MOST Policy Fellows will assist in adding scientific information into policy conversations through the following activities:

  • Writing “Science Notes” on pending legislation
  • Answering questions from legislators and staff
  • Validating evidence presented by constituents and interest groups
  • Building capacity for evidence-based policy making

June to August 2021: Outside of the short legislative session, fellows will assist with building evidence-based research capacity and training workshops for legislators and staff, giving them confidence to address issues about which they feel passionate and better address the needs of their constituents.

Fellows will also be assigned to a special project over the summer, such as working for a special committee, governor’s task force, state agency, or municipal department elsewhere in Missouri. The assignment will be determined during the legislative session based on interests of the fellow and state needs.

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