Original proposal submitted in October 2006
An intensive five-day seminar takes place during IAP to introduce graduate students in science and engineering to the “nuts and bolts” of science policy. The seminar includes a series of lectures by the Director of the MIT Washington Office, Dr. William Bonvillian, on the mechanics of science policy and federal research budgeting. This grant was well-run in is first year, and received a funding renewal. It is one of several successful grants that are marked by an intensive structure, substantial content, and a focus on a smaller group of people.
Students emerge with a sharper understanding of science policy and a cohort of peers at MIT. Through the intensive structure of the event, lasting connections are formed between individuals.
Projects like these enjoy a well-developed program of events, a strong moderator/lecturer, and a team of organizers. There should be a way for individuals to keep in touch an continue the conversation.
The goal is to get people with this common interest together to learn and promote thoughtful discussion, and create long-lasting relationships. The success of the program is determined by participant numbers and other “vital stats,” as well as the degree to which participants interact and keep in touch.