Congressional Visits Day

The Congressional Visits Day is an annual event held in Washington, DC which brings graduate students and scientists to Capitol Hill to raise awareness and support for science and research funding. The Congressional Visits Day exposes constituent scientists to the federal budget and appropriations process, while helping them develop relationships with members of their congressional delegation. Graduate students with an interest in science policy can apply for the SSSA, ASA and CSSA Future Leaders in Science Award to receive a trip to D.C. to participate in the Congressional Visits Day.

What is CVD?

Every spring, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) bring graduate student members from across the nation to Washington, DC to meet with their Congressional delegation and advocate for agricultural and environmental research.

What is the Future Leaders in Science Award?

Scientific expertise is rare on Capitol Hill. Even those Congressional members and staff who are responsible for agricultural and environmental policy, often have little or no scientific background. The 3rd annual Future Leaders in Science award is an opportunity for graduate students to engage with policy-makers in order to raise awareness and support for science, technology and research funding.

Recipients of the Future Leaders in Science award receive a trip to DC to participate in the annual SSSA, ASA and CSSA Congressional Visits Day. The Societies will cover travel, hotel and meal expenses for award winners.

All recipients will receive policy, communication and advocacy training to learn how to effectively work with members of Congress and their staff. While in DC, recipients will also have the opportunity for one-on-one interaction with the SSSA, ASA and CSSA leadership. The student and professional participants in Congressional Visits Day will form an invaluable network to draw from in your future research, advocacy endeavors and career development.

When is the 2015 Congressional Visits Day?

The 2015 Congressional Visits Day will be held on March 16-17.

How many students receive the award?

The SSSA, ASA and CSSA Science Policy Office will select up to 18 Future Leaders in Science award recipients.
How do I apply?
Applications for the 2015 Future Leaders in Science Award are closed. Thank you for all those who applied. Please check back again later in the year, for information about the 2016 award.

Can only the Future Leaders in Science award recipients participate in the 2015 Congressional Visits Day?

Of course not! While there are a limited number of Future Leaders in Science award recipients, anyone is welcome to participate in the Congressional Visits Day if they can cover their own travel and housing arrangements. Note: We will still assist you with hotel reservations and other logistics.

Other questions?

Please contact the Science Policy Office at or 202-408-5558 with any questions.

CVD in Action!

Check out these photos from the 2014 CVD.   


"I wanted to participate in Congressional Visits Day because I wanted to understand how the appropriations committee actually dictates funding. It’s important as a graduate student to learn where the agricultural sciences are going; to have and understanding of the current funding situation and the prospects for future research funding." 

Steven Hystad, 2014 CVD Participant



"As scientists and researchers, we’re a resource. We have a lot of skills and important information that we can share with legislators. So it’s important to learn how to talk about our research in ways that legislators can understand and appreciate and then be able to apply to the issues that they’re facing."

Kristin Fisher, 2013 CVD Participant



"I think agricultural research and agricultural policy are some of the most important areas we have. I hope that my efforts at CVD will help with funding for research that will improve aspects of agronomic production, economic production, and the environmental aspect of production agriculture. For me that was really my main factor when I was looking at the CVD program and that’s really what drew me to it."

Chris Rogers, 2014 CVD Participant


CVD History

rep garamendi
Click image for more information