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STEM Solutions

Attention UC Graduate Students in STEM Fields: Have you ever thought, "There ought to be a law..."?

STEM Solutions in Public Policy Award Competition

UC Center Sacramento announces the 2019-2020 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Solutions in Public Policy Award Competition. The award will recognize one or more outstanding proposals for new California state legislation from University of California Graduate Students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics). The Winner(s) will receive a $1,000 research stipend and travel reimbursement to Sacramento – should their idea advance through the legislative process – to confer with legislators and/or legislative staff in Sacramento and potentially testify before legislative committees.

Deadline Extended: Submissions will be accepted through Thursday, October 24th, 2019 and should include the following elements:

-An abstract of the proposed law, its purpose, and the underlying science or impact on scientific research (250 words or less)
-"There Ought To Be A Law" application form
-Current CV
Completed applications should be sent to .

To view a recording of the previously recorded informational webinar, click here.

Please see the UCCS STEM Solutions Frequently Asked Questions. Additional questions regarding the competition can be addressed to Cindy Simmons, UCCS Associate Director, at .

Competition winners will be selected based primarily on the importance of the policy problem and on clarity and feasibility. Please note that if a state legislator decides to author a bill based on your proposal, the legislator will retain ownership of the idea for the duration of the legislative cycle.

 Applicants are encouraged to read the application instructions carefully and to participate in the introductory STEM Solutions Webinar.  Applicants are also advised to make liberal use of publicly available state legislative and policy resources, including the California Legislative Information ( and websites operated by State Agencies and Departments.  Technical questions about the application process can be addressed by writing


STEM Solutions Application



2019 STEM Solutions in Public Policy Award Winners

We are proud to announce the winner of the 2019 STEM Solutions in Public Policy Award! The award recognizes an outstanding proposal for new California state legislation from University of California Graduate Students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics). The winner received a $750 research stipend and conferred with legislators and legislative staff in Sacramento. In addition to the winner, we have also awarded Special Commendations to five outstanding applicants who we believe also deserve recognition for their proposals. Please join us in congratulating our Winner and five Special Commendations!

STEM Solutions Update: UC Berkeley’s Eric Lee 

UC Berkeley graduate student Eric Lee won the 2018-19 UCCS STEM Solutions Award on the basis of his proposal for legislation to improve labeling of probiotics. Mr. Lee (now Dr. Lee, following successful completion of his dissertation), writes:

Ultimately, the bill made it through the Assembly Health Committee, Assembly Floor Vote, and Senate Health Committee before it was flagged for the suspense file, where it then died. Along the way, I worked closely with one of Assemblymember Quirk's CCST fellows to help write supplementary documents for the bill and testified as an expert witness in both Health Committee hearings. Throughout the process, both Democrats and Republicans were surprisingly supportive of the bill, so the Assemblymember is considering trying again next cycle. I'm hoping to stay in touch with him about that.

Congratulations, Dr. Lee, for applying your scientific knowledge in the interest of better public policy, and for working closely with elected representatives to improve probiotic safety for all Californians!

Dr. Eric Lee

For information on the 2019-20 cycle of STEM Solutions, go to

For more information, see the press release here.

Special Commendations 
Brenna Briggs
University of California, Irvine
Jessica Jagdeo
University of California, Santa Barbara
Joshua Mueller
University of California, Santa Barbara
William Ota
University of California, Riverside
Hannah Safford
University of California, Davis
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