Navigating the Future: Civic Science Career Roadmap

October 31, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

Working across new and deepening connections, we are hearing compelling shared aspirations and resonance for a future where science is a vibrant part of community life and democratic deliberation. A future where all people can find belonging and fulfillment in the practice of science. A future where discovery makes lives better, communities stronger.

As new generations prepare to lead the way into this future, with much not yet known, what guidance and support can we offer? Remarkable scientific discovery, emerging issues, and rapidly changing ecosystems are accelerating the need for boundary-spanning, bridge-building, inclusive problem solvers.

The Civic Science Career Roadmap grows out of a collaborative endeavor to support these leaders and community: the Civic Science Fellows program. Together, philanthropic and organizational partners are working to share growing bodies of evidence-informed practice and practice-informed research. Together, we are providing “R & D” space for early-career leaders to pilot innovative experiential work along with a deeply supportive community to scaffold and amplify learning and successes.

This Roadmap reflects the diverse voices of the Civic Science Fellows network, with special appreciation to our colleagues at the California Council on Science and Technology, who shared their model of a career roadmap, Science Policy: A Guide to Policy Careers for Scientists. With a remarkable set of insights to draw on, a team of Fellows, contributors, and advisors have drafted this Roadmap as a starting point for reflection, orientation, and action. (Please see Acknowledgments.) We share this resource with an invitation to view this Roadmap as an evolving resource for pioneering leaders and organizations.

As resource partner Alondra Nelson, Harold F. Linder Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, told the Civic Science Fellows, “It is harder work to want to build these bridges, but it is deeply gratifying—and really important.” Funding partner Sam Gill, President of the Doris Duke Foundation, emphasized with Fellows, “The time is now. Science in society is science. Be bold and take risks; you’re never going to have a more willing set of collaborators.”

With appreciation for the generosity of many to invest in talent, partnership, and our shared future,

Elizabeth Good Christopherson 

President and Chief Executive Officer, Rita Allen Foundation
Chair, Science in Society Funder Collaborative

Access and share the Civic Science Career Roadmap here.