Government Relations

Welcome to the USLUA Government Relations Subcommittee page. Please read below to learn more about our mission, federal funding, and advocacy activities.

Mission Statement

The USLUA Government Relations Subcommittee aims to forge a stronger connection between the US LHC scientific community and policymakers. The group seeks to advocate for the interests and priorities of the US particle physics community, such as those set forth in the latest P5 plan; to make information on science policy issues and the federal funding process more transparent and easily accessible to the community; and to help enable the community to actively shape policies supporting the advancement of particle physics research and science more broadly in the United States, at CERN, and around the world.

Federal Funding for High Energy Physics

High energy physics (HEP) research in the United States receives federal funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science and the National Science Foundation (NSF) via the congressional appropriations process. This process begins with the President’s budget request, followed by the review and development of appropriations bills by the appropriations committees in the House and Senate. These bills undergo negotiation and amendments, resulting in a final appropriations bill. 

Once approved by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the President, the appropriations bill determines the funding levels and priorities for agencies and programs, including those related to scientific research such as HEP. Funding levels for a given year can depend on the interplay of a variety of evolving factors — including political leadership, public sentiment, technological advancement, and the economic climate — reflecting the dynamic nature of the government budgeting processes. 

For more information on the congressional appropriations process related to scientific research and researchers, please see here.

Science Advocacy for HEP – The DC Trip

To ensure the continued robust funding of HEP research, it is critical that we (scientists) actively engage with the congressional appropriations process. Therefore, every year, a delegation of high energy physicists organized by USLUA, the Fermilab Users Executive Committee, and the SLAC Users Organization meets with congressional offices in Washington, D.C., in an effort usually called the “D.C. Trip.”

The purpose of the D.C. Trip is to communicate directly with elected representatives and their staff to: 

  • Explain and contextualize the fundamental questions of HEP
  • (Re)affirm the impact our research and its applications have on the United States and the world
  • Report on the progress of our specific projects and programs
  • Demonstrate that we are reliable stewards of taxpayer funds
  • Show our gratitude for the (continued) support

For more information on HEP activities in the United States, please visit

The D.C. Trip can be a deeply rewarding (and fun!) experience. If you are interested in getting involved, especially if you are an early-career scientist (Ph.D. student/postdoc), we encourage you to reach out! Please fill out this google form or email kileykennedy / at / princeton / dot / edu.

Government Relations Subcommittee

Kiley Kennedy (Chair), Joe Haley, Harvey Newman, David Saltzberg, John Stupak, Caterina Vernieri