day one project

Changing Policy
from a Noun
to a Verb.

In 2019, we came together with an idea to arm the next presidential administration in January 2020 with 100 implementation-ready policy proposals crowdsourced from the science, technology and innovation community. Not only was our call for ideas met with an overwhelming response, but along the way we honed a vision for policy entrepreneurship: how anyone can convert a merely promising idea into real movement.

Since 2020, we have helped a growing community of contributors develop promising policy ideas — an amazing number of which have already become policy. Together we have inspired over $2.6 billion in federal investment across key science and technology priorities, eight new cross-cutting federal initiatives, four executive actions, and more.

Now we sit on the verge of another Presidential election – and again FAS sees opportunity for meaningful, science-based policy innovations that can appeal to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. That’s why we’re launching “Day One 2025” – and renewing the call for bold policy ideas, grounded in science and evidence, that can tackle the country’s biggest challenges and bring us closer to the prosperous, equitable and safe future that we all hope for. 

200+ ideas
300+ contributors

For this new effort, FAS has identified five priority areas where ideas and action are most sorely needed. Learn more about what we are looking for and submit an idea using the READ MORE buttons.

Energy and Environment

Developing solutions to update the energy system, decarbonize the built environment, and address the risks and cascading impacts of climate change.

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Government Capacity

Helping the federal government expand its capacity to deliver by addressing barriers across talent, spending, and performance and oversight burdens.

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R&D, Innovation, and Competitiveness

Supporting a dynamic and strategic R&D enterprise, emphasizing a geographically diverse approach to innovation, embedding equity within innovation frameworks, and encouraging public participation.

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Global Security

Addressing the risks and mitigating the potential harms posed by nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, biorisks, and safeguarding against planetary threats, enhancing global stability and human safety.

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Emerging Technologies and Artificial Intelligence

Steering technological progress and artificial intelligence to ensure socially positive, equitable outcomes and to mitigate against existing and potential harms to consumers and the public; promoting competition in evolving markets; leveraging policy frameworks, enforcement, R&D and multidisciplinary expertise.

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Have an idea to turn into an actionable policy memo that doesn’t fit into the above categories? We still want to hear it.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Day One memo?

Day One memos are short (2-3 pages and under 1000 words) and targeted documents that explain the challenge and opportunity associated with a particular societal issue, and provide a clear plan of action for the federal government to respond. You can read the latest ones here.

What does the open call process look like?

You will submit an idea within one of the relevant Day One 2025 topical areas via a short application. Submissions will include a description of your idea in 350 words or less, and a few sentences on the challenge, opportunity, and plan of action.

Authors with the most compelling ideas will get to work with our team of experts to develop their idea into a policy memo, present it at a Fall 2024 idea showcase, and be connected to relevant idea customers who can help drive implementation.

How many ideas are you accepting?

There is no limit to proposals we are accepting for this open call.

What is the timeline for reviewing and submitting an idea?

Teams will be internally reviewing all ideas that come in on a bi-weekly cadence and will accept ideas on a rolling basis. The final deadline for submissions will be August 15, 2024.

What will the time commitment for developing an idea be?

We will ask that you engage in written exchanges with our team of experts to further refine the ideas into policy memos; we expect this might add up to ~10-15 hours over a couple of months.

Will I receive any financial benefits for writing a memo?
As part of participation in Day One 2025 and upon the successful publication of a memo on the FAS website, participants will be eligible to receive a $500 stipend for their time and efforts. FAS employees are not eligible to receive a stipend for publishing a policy memo. This includes full time employees, Senior Fellows, and Impact Fellows. This is due to the conflict of interest that may arise in selecting authors and redundancies with existing payment structures.

“I feel I have a much clearer vision of how the government operates and how we can make things happen in the nation. The guidance helps not only to push forward new policy but also how I apply for grants at NSF and how I integrate policy discussions in my research papers (which can help me to ensure i have much better impact)”

“The Day One accelerator took me from 0 to 100 in 9 weeks: Literally from zero knowledge about policy-making to feeling very confident about what I need to do to affect it. The knowledge alone is just one part, and the hard work lies ahead, but Day One was superb at conveying the knowledge, and also in showing how within reach policy influence could be.”

“As a graduate student studying public policy, I found that the Day One Project did a brilliant job of concisely distilling and substantiating in 9 weeks some of the most important lessons I’d learned over the course of a year. More importantly, they took these lessons three steps further by adding practical insights on the reality of policy entrepreneurship, by having us test and refine our ideas with our cohort and seasoned policymakers, and by pushing us to publish and implement our proposals.”

“This was a fantastic experience. I teach graduate students about US information and telecommunications policy and the opportunity to share what I’ve been working on with them and to bring in some of the lessons I’ve learned about writing about policy in a concise and persuasive way was awesome. I appreciate the resources that your team has developed and the time you spent to think with me about developing a coherent proposal. I learned a great deal from the guests, too.”