Day One Project

Federation of American Scientists

1112 16th Street NW

Washington, DC 20036

info@dayoneproject.org

©2020 by The Day One Project, an initiative of the Federation of American Scientists

POLICY ACCELERATOR

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below we offer further specifics about our policy accelerator. If you require additional information, please reach out to info@dayoneproject.org

Who should apply?

Anyone with an idea! We want the best ideas from people with firsthand experiences solving aimed at solving a problems with solutions rooted in science, technology and innovation. The call is open to anyone including researchers, policy experts, entrepreneurs, academics, technologists, past and current policy makers, scientists, innovators, and any citizen with a good idea for a policy related to science, technology and/or innovation.

Can you share more about the kinds of ideas you are looking for?

We are open to considering ideas that touch any policy area related to the pursuit or use of science, technology and innovation. Within these broad areas, the categories below offer a flavor of our focus areas with a sample of relevant topics. We consider these areas to represent opportunities spaces for creative policy ideas but emphasize the list is not exhaustive!

  • Applied Innovation in the Public Sector - behavioral science, evidence-based policy, federal innovation tools and training, digital services, the use of grand challenges, open federal data, OIRA innovation agenda, increasing the science, technology and innovation capacities of government agencies, personnel reform, the use of prizes and challenges, and new approaches for procurement.

  • Clean Energy and Climate – arctic issues, battery technology, biofuels, clean energy technologies, climate adaptation and resilience, fusion, energy grid modernization, nuclear energy, oceans, and solar.  

  • Emerging Technology Policy and Applications - autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and machine learning, biotechnology, blockchain, cybersecurity, internet of things, data science, data use, data privacy, drones/UAVs, encryption, facial recognition, nanotechnology, quantum computing, regulatory experimentation for emerging technology, and supercomputing.

  • Health and Life Sciences – aging, antibiotic resistant bacteria, biotechnology, brain initiative, cancer moonshot, artificial intelligence for neuroscience, drug discovery, drug development, drug evaluation, emerging diseases, pandemics, health information technology, healthcare costs, platform technology for biomedical research, precision medicine, and regenerative medicine.

  • Innovation and Economic Competitiveness – advanced manufacturing, high-growth entrepreneurship, antitrust and promoting competition, bioeconomy, broadband, economic dynamism, export controls, financial innovation, global development, high-skill immigration, income share agreements, intellectual property, market shaping mechanisms, maker movement, net neutrality, opportunity zone policy agenda, research and experimentation tax credits, regional innovation and clusters, smart cities, revenue based entrepreneurial finance, smart infrastructure, US-China competition, and wireless.

  • National Security – biodefense, biosecurity, countering weapons of mass destruction, existential risks, and lethal autonomous weapons.

  • Research and Development - the federal research and development budget, high risk/high return research, portfolio analysis, advanced research project agency (ARPA) model replication, research commercialization, university-federal partnerships, and research administration.

  • Science and Science Policy - citizen science, entrepreneurial scientists, forensic science, geoengineering, international competitiveness of U.S. science, materials genome, microbiome, national labs, national robotics initiative, national user facilities, open science, peer review, physical sciences, remote sensing, reproducibility, the science of science policy, and synthetic biology fellowships.

  • Space - advancing space technology, astronomical discovery, the future of space exploration, Mars and planetary discovery, space force, and space policy.

We encourage interested participants to review our existing policy papers to get a sense of existing topics in our portfolio for Day One proposals. 

Where will my idea be published if it is accepted?

We host all papers on our website upon completion. Authors retain the rights to share, use, post, and disseminate the paper wherever they choose. The Day One Project will support authors in packaging and disseminating papers after the completion of the accelerator to relevant policy makers on an individual basis.

Can I apply with a co-author?

Yes, we accept co-authors and teams of up to four (4) authors collaborating on a single proposal. We require one submission per team. A single team member is asked to submit the idea on behalf of the team. Our submission form provides an opportunity to include the names and emails of the other team members.

Can I submit more than one idea?

Yes, you are welcome to submit more than one idea, but each idea requires its own submission. 

Can I be based internationally? 

The Day One Project is open to all citizens of the United States. We will accept proposals from people based internationally.

How many proposals are you accepting for the accelerator?

For the initial round of our accelerator, we will accept up to 25 proposals. We plan to launch a second round of the accelerator later in 2020 and accept more submissions then.

How will my submission be evaluated?

Ideas will be evaluated across two primary dimensions: 1) potential for impact and 2) feasibility to implement. Within these categories, we consider various factors as we evaluate submissions. Your idea does not need to address each and every question. We offer the below categories and questions as a guide to help authors as they consider their proposal:

  • Understanding of the problem – Does the author articulate an understanding and experience working on this particular problem within or outside of government?

  • Novelty of solution – Is the idea new? Does the idea impact a new area of policy, or present an opportunity for an agency or department to apply an idea in a new way? Does the idea have potential to grow and scale as a result of the federal government taking action?

  • Urgency and need – Does the proposal aim to take on a burning issue on a national stage lacking creative ideas for how to solve it? Does the idea draw attention to an issue that is an emerging opportunity or potential threat? Does the idea propose an action that would otherwise not happen if the government failed to act?

  • Potential for implementation – Is the proposal aligned with any ongoing or existing actions? Is there any historical precedent from previous/current administrations taking on the issue, and are there current ongoing efforts to address it? Does the idea have potential to appeal to a bipartisan audience? Does it already have a champion or sponsor within the government working on the issue?

  • Required resources – What financial resources might be required to move the idea forward? Does it require new investment? Is there a way to utilize existing funds in a new way to provide financial support?

  • Target audience/customer – Does the idea have a clear policy platform and audience to act on it? Is it something that can be executed on by the executive branch, or is it better suited for a specific agency or congress to work on?

Using the criteria noted above, a team from the Day One Project, supported by leaders from the science and technology policy community will review submissions. We seek a wide range of ideas covering diverse topics and plan to select the best ideas that are submitted. 

What is the timeline for reviewing proposals and opening the accelerator?

The call for proposals opens on January 23, 2020 following the Day One launch event. The call will remain open until March 1, 2020.

How does the accelerator process work, and what am I committing to if I am accepted?

Interested parties begin by completing our official submission form. Each submission requires prospective authors to submit information on who they are, as well as a summary of their idea to help our team understand and evaluate each submission. We recommend reviewing the form in advance and thinking through each answer to the questions before officially submitting your proposal. We also suggest reviewing existing papers on our website for examples of previous work. 

 

Once an idea is submitted, the Day One Project will review and accept up to 25 ideas. If your idea is accepted, the Day One Project will provide you services and support using a structured design process to help define and refine your initial idea, and shape and convert it into an actionable, six to ten page policy paper over the course of five months. Our team of seasoned policy experts will work with each individual author(s) to curate and craft your idea into an actionable policy. The Day One team will provide writing resources, phone or in-person consultation, editorial support, and connections to domain experts (when applicable) to help authors advance their idea into a full proposal. 

 

Following the completion of the accelerator, each author will be invited to pitch their proposal to existing government officials, policy experts and the broader science and technology community at a live event in the summer of 2020. From there, each idea will be packaged and strategically directed to relevant policymakers to support action in 2021.

Why should you apply?

We believe you are the ones with the best ideas! The toughest problems to solve are best understood by those out in the world wrestling with them every day. Our vision for the Day One Project is to offer a shared platform for people to convert big ideas into a policy change. 

 

We feel that anyone out there could hold the next big idea to shape and influence the policy priorities of the next presidential term. Emerging technologies, scientific discovery, and creative approaches to solving the toughest problems bubble up in pockets around the United States. Leaders championing these ideas lack a direct connection to policymakers, and a platform to assist them in translating their big ideas into action. 

 

By leveraging our network and experience in policy making, the Day One accelerator offers the connection and platform for anyone with a policy idea to receive direct support to develop an actionable policy ready for implementation, and directly influence the policy priorities of the next presidential term. We believe it is critically important to gain a diversity of perspectives to inform these priorities, and bring new voices to the policymaking table to capitalize on the opportunity 2021 presents.