STEPUP @ BU – Science Policy Student Group

Welcome to STEPUP!

STEPUP (Science and Technology in Public Policy) is an interest group at Boston University committed to fostering a community of scientists engaged in public policy.

In the Fall of 2015, a group of graduate students and postdocs came together to explore our shared interest in science policy.

Our stated mission is threefold:

To promote understanding of the role of science in dictating policy both nationally and internationally, to support interested graduate students and post-docs on the path to developing a career in policy, and to communicate the importance of science-led initiatives in legislation to the general public.

To these ends, we have wide-ranging plans that include community outreach (e.g., science cafés), inviting science policy experts to BU for talks, hosting student-led round table policy discussions, and sponsoring career exploration activities.

Whether you’re aiming to make a difference with your career in the future, or are eager to help people in a concrete way during the course of your studies, the STEPUP community can help you transform your curiosity and good intentions into action!

Connect with STEPUP @ BU!

Follow STEPUP@BU on Facebook (@STEPUPBU) & Twitter (@STEPUP_BU)


Please e-mail to:

  1. Join the Science Policy mailing list. You can also sign up here.
  2. Receive more information about how to get involved in STEPUP, including how to join the Executive Board of STEPUP.
    • Those who are considering steering STEP UP may wish to become Full or Affiliate members of the National Science Policy Network (NSPN). Becoming a member opens a national network of collaborations, the Annual Science Policy Symposium, and unique opportunities to practice engagement in science policy and apply for support for policy-related activities. 3 Full Members qualify BU’s STEP UP to become an official NSPN Chapter! 

Science Policy Book Club

STEPUP will be reading and discussing portions of Beyond Sputnik by Tobin Smith – a key text to introduce and better understand the past, present, and future of science policy.

Also, we are excited to invite the author, Tobin Smith, who has agreed to meet with the Science Policy Book Club after the first few meetings to answer any questions about what we are reading, or ways to plug in to participate in science policy alongside your research or academic responsibilities.

Read Beyond Sputnik online here, and please submit your interest here to join the Book Club!

Science Policy Resources


MIT Policy Lab launches EdX course 

More Information

Register to take the online course for free at this link:
The MIT Policy Lab at the Center for International Studies (PL@CIS) launched a new EdX course entitled “Tools for Academic Engagement in Public Policy.” This short course provides a clear, concise, high quality resource for scientists and engineers who are seeking to inform the development of public policy with their research.


Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) Coalition:

National Science Policy Network:

NSPN and the JSPG (Journal of Science Policy and Governance) have a Science Policy Memo Competition (today was the deadline to submit – but you can probably keep tabs on this and their site and social media to work on something together for next year if this is offered again. The memo writing competition, for instance, is for groups of 3+, campus science policy groups.

Check the bottom of the page for a video workshop on Writing a Science Policy Memo


Science Policy Fellowships and Internships–fellowships.html


Social Media

Toby Smith, author of Beyond Sputnik (science policy textbook) and AAU Vice President for Policy

#SciPolJobs and #SciComm are useful hashtags

Communicating Science

Watch the Communicating Science Seminar from the 2019 AAAS Meeting

Get Involved