In honor of #GivingTuesday, Jayme and Julie talk about their experience working at Research!America to help boost federal support for medical research and innovation.
Jayme Hennenfent , D.V.M., M.S.
I was honored to embark on a science policy fellowship at Research!America because I know firsthand how crucial funding is to the discovery process. My alma mater, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a preeminent research institution, spending over a half a billion dollars on science and technology research annually. However, even powerhouses like this are not immune to the current struggle for project funding support, which I personally observed when I saw world-class researchers dedicating more and more of their time towards the grant application process, and less to scientific discovery. Towards the end of my study there, I became increasingly interested in how policy and science intersect, and in turn, how important a scientific perspective can be in policy development. Research!America brings a wealth of scientific perspective to their fight for progress in medical science, through dedicated leadership and permanent staff, as well as fellows and interns who get the opportunity to learn about the policy process up close. It feels great to work in this environment where they are so passionate about both the policies and the science they support!
Jayme Hennenfent is a Science Policy Fellow at Research!America. She is a 2014 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, holding a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine and a master’s degree in microbiology.
Julie Babyar, R.N., M.P.H
We all have family, friends and acquaintances that depend on a strong medical research infrastructure to make their future better. In order to ensure a promising future, I strive to understand all aspects of health care in various sectors.
I chose to apply for an internship with Research!America because I believe it to be one of the best organizations for medical research advocacy and policy. Increasing constraints alongside multiple agendas in the field of medical research call for opportunities for a unified voice. Research!America historically and presently represents this voice. It is an organization where the mission statement truly matches both employee and member actions, and thus it is an organization shaped in sincerity. The mentorship and education provided to me has been invaluable.
We cannot go through life without being touched by medical research and innovation, just as we cannot help but want to do the best we can for each other. I believe a constant assessment of the medical research arena, as well as comprehensive needs analyses, always spotlight better methods of medical research structure and policy. These ideas, policies and areas of improvement must be brought to the attention of the general public as well as government and industry leadership.
The best advocates do it on behalf of others, from the heart and in a unified voice. There may be some things we don’t all agree on, but we all agree that medical research and progress is critical. Most importantly, we know that others rely on unified efforts to ensure the best possible system is in place for medical progress.
Julie Babyar, R.N., M.P.H., is a science policy intern at Research!America. She grew up in Addison, Ill., and graduated from Elmhurst College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She holds a master’s degree in public health from Northern Illinois University.
Today is #GivingTuesday! Help us expand our work to make research for health the priority that Americans expect and deserve. Research and innovation are the answer to our most pressing health and economic challenges. Please consider a gift to Research!America this holiday season as we ramp up efforts to ensure federal resources and policies keep pace with scientific opportunity.