We are excited to announce that the first annual SPOT SciPol Symposium will take place on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at the Pancoe Building on the Northwestern University Evanston campus from 10am-2pm!



Attendance is limited, so apply as soon as possible! Application period closes at 11:59pm on April 22, 2019.


Mission: The SPOT Symposium is a conference designed to enable grad students or postdocs (in any field!) to explore the interface of science and policy through a series of interactive workshops and engaging expert panels. As shown in the schedule below, programming at the meeting will provide opportunities for attendees to network with scientists, policymakers, science communicators, and other students interested in science policy. Attendees will learn how to apply their STEM training toward non-academic activities and career paths.


Questions? Email



Program Schedule (all events will take place in Pancoe)


9:15-10am: Check-in and breakfast (1st floor lobby)


10-10:15am: Opening Remarks (1st floor auditorium)

  • SPOT Organizing Team


10:15–11am: Keynote Address: “Why Scientists Should Care About Policy” (1st floor auditorium)

  • Diane Schanzenbach

Director of the Institute of Policy Research at Northwestern University


11:10am-12pm: Panel: “Navigating the Interface of Science and Policy” (1st floor auditorium)

  • Daniel Biss

Executive Director of Rust Belt Rising, Former Illinois State Senator, Former Assistant Professor of Mathematics at University of Chicago

  • Michael Fortner

Former Illinois State Representative, Emeritus Associate Professor of Physics at Northern Illinois University

  • Carole Labonne

Science Policy Committee Member at FASEB (Federation American Societies for Experimental Biology), Professor of Life Sciences and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University

  • Adria Wilson

Entrepreneurial Program Lead of Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Lab, former AAAS Fellow for Sen. Bernie Sanders

  • Moderator: Laura Farr

Director of State and Local Relations, Government Relations at Northwestern University


12:10–1pm: Lunch/Networking (2nd floor café)


1:10-2pm: Breakout Workshops (Conference rooms)

  • Inside Science Lobbying (1st floor- 1401)

Meghan Hassett, Midwest Outreach Coordinator, Union of Concerned Scientists

  • Outreach for Voting Age Populations (3rd floor- 3103)

Executive Team from Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST)

Krisztina Elecki, Executive Director

Alexandra Prokuda, Director of Programs and Engagement

Mary Madden, Program and Grant Coordinator

Cody Eskew, Manager of Operations

Katie Ahmed, Communications and Special Events Manager

  • Policy for Scientists 101 (2nd floor- 2401)

Niki Woitowich, Associate Director, NU Women’s Health Research Institute


2-2:10pm: Closing Remarks (1st floor auditorium)

  • SPOT Organizing Team