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Science and Public Policy


The AACR actively participates in efforts to promote federal investment in biomedical research. The decisions made in Washington, D.C., have a profound impact on the rate of progress in the fight against cancer.

Issues regarding health and science are becoming increasingly complex, and competition for limited resources is steadily on the rise because of funding cuts to the research budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

We encourage cancer researchers and those who advocate for cancer research to become more actively involved in the policy-making process. It is important for them to educate the public about the lifesaving progress in the field and persuade legislators of the need to make investments that will ensure the progress.

The AACR's principal means for devising and implementing strategies to influence funding and important biomedical research-related public policy issues are through the following committees and advocacy tools:

AACR Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee

This committee of prominent cancer researchers and clinicians appointed by the AACR President provides guidance on public issues of concern to cancer researchers and focuses on mechanisms for speeding up cancer research.

Additional Cancer Policy Resources

Advocacy Tools

AACR Cancer Action Alliance
Sign-up to receive breaking news alerts and learn about opportunities to join other scientists, patients, survivors, and concerned citizens in calling on Congress to provide critical funding increases for the lifesaving cancer and biomedical research supported by the NIH and NCI.

Communicating With Congress
Tips to facilitate communication with your Member of Congress and his or her staff.

Communicating Through the Media
Suggestions for writing opinion pieces and getting them published.

Advocacy FAQ
Answers to frequently asked questions about advocating for cancer research.

Federal Agencies and Cancer Programs
Links and information to agencies that carry out vital cancer research programs.

Take Action Now!
Timely legislative topics and letters that AACR members can use to reach out any time to build and maintain strong relationships with legislators and their staffs.

The Rally for Medical Research

Initiated by the AACR, more than 200 national organizations came together to support the Rally for Medical Research on April 8, 2013, in Washington, D.C., on the steps of the Carnegie Library.

More than ​10,000 advocates gathered to call on our nation's policy makers to make funding for the NIH a national priority and raise awareness about the importance of continued investment in scientific research that ultimately leads to more progress, more hope, and more lives saved.

Energized by the rally, efforts have redoubled to encourage Congress to increase funding for medical research and biomedical science, to raise public awareness of the importance of continued investment in medical research and biomedical science.

Over the past two years, a broad coalition of groups from the medical research advocacy community, led by the AACR, have met with leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to invest in NIH for the health and economic security of our nation.

The AACR Cancer Action Alliance

Launched in January 2012, the alliance leverages the strength of AACR members and interested nonmembers to build nationwide public and congressional support for cancer research and scientific progress.

Alliance members are kept regularly informed about the news and events that affect cancer research and are alerted to opportunities to contact Congress or participate in other forms of outreach. Alliance members receive action alerts, timely legislative updates and other resources to facilitate their efforts.

Senators and representatives need to hear directly from residents in their district and/or state to understand what is at stake for their constituency, in terms of economics, health and competitiveness, if cancer research is not made a priority.

It is free and simple to join and your contact information will be used only to contact you about the AACR's advocacy efforts and opportunities to take action.

For more information or to join up, please contact us.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300