The Journey Begins

Wow! We are really going to make this happen! When Hallie, Mike, and I began working on this project in fall 2016, I never imagined we would make it this far. Two years later after countless hours of meetings and brainstorming sessions, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Realistically, we are within 2-3 years of placing pre- and post-doctoral STEM graduates in Jefferson City to help inform evidence-based policy in the State of Missouri.

To date, we’ve spent a lot of time sharing our vision of MOST and seeking advice and guidance. We’ve worked with the Missouri legislature to assure that evidence-based policy resources are needed and will be accepted by our legislators, and we’ve also discussed what a successful program would look like in Jefferson City. We anticipate that fellows will serve one-year terms, starting in August before the General Assembly session begins in January. During that time, fellows will work with legislators to provide scientific guidance while bills are drafted and host workshops to build knowledge-based capacity with legislators. While session is progress, fellows will answer questions regarding legislation and serve as expert witnesses during hearings. We are showcasing legislative support by soliciting signatures on a letter of support during the 2018 session. We are very grateful to the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) for collecting signatures for us!

If you visit our giving page, you will notice that donations will be directed to University of Missouri. After weighing our options, we decided to work with the MU Office of Graduate Studies to manage the fellowship funds. While the funding is housed at MU, fellowship opportunities will be open to any Missouri STEM pre- or post-doctoral scholar and expert advice in Jefferson City will be independent from any bias associated with the University. That being said, we are incredibly thankful that Dr. Jeni Hart and staff in OGS have provided support for MOST and agree to do so moving forward. We hope you will consider making a donation to MOST so that we can continue to pursue our goals and hire a full-time program director in the near future. 

Before I go, I must also provide a shout-out to the University of Missouri Graduate Professional Council. Not only did GPC bring Hallie, Mike, and I together to work on this project, but they have provided financial resources to get us off the ground. We could not have made it this far without their support.

We are so excited to keep working in pursuit of informing evidence-based policy in the State of Missouri and improving the lives of Missourians in the process. Let us know if you’d like to work with us moving forward! 

-R

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. — Mark Twain

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Mike and Rachel at the Missouri Capitol in January, speaking with legislators about MOST.