I use twitter primarily to keep up with what’s new and newsworthy in science and science communication. It’s a great tool to quickly catch up on new discoveries or controversies. It also can expose opportunities you had no idea existed. The other day I saw a tweet about small grants to fund science outreach projects. So cool! I didn’t realize these small scale funding mechanisms existed to help encourage scientific outreach.
The program is the COMPASS outreach award through the American Society of Cell Biology. Society members can apply for grants for up to $1000 to fund outreach projects. For example, bring a bus load of kids into your lab and show them what scientists look like, sponsor a prize at a local science fair, or plan another event in your community (like walking into a bar!). Priority is given to students and post-docs, so this is a great opportunity to build your resume. The soonest deadline is only days away, but there is another in July so you have time to craft a plan for your science outreach event. One interesting aspect of the application is you must talk about how you will document your outreach event so ASCB can show it off. Educating other scientists and educators about the outreach going on across the country could inspire many more to get involved.
It would be exciting if more of the major scientific societies instituted competitive small grant programs like these. Here’s looking at you Society for Neuroscience!