As a consumer advocate, my role is to keep the needs of the "consumer" (ie, those of us who have been diagnosed w/ovarian cancer) in the forefront of the scientific discussions about the research that is looking for funding from the government.
The Department of Defense is the second largest funder of ovarian cancer research (the first is the NIH which apparently is too snobbish to have consumer advocates on their panels). Approximately $20 million is allocated by the DoD for OC research. As a consumer, I have full voting privileges on which research projects get funded.
Are you interested in being a consumer to do this very important work? I am including a link to the most frequently asked questions. The ONLY requirement to participant on this panel, is to be a survivor or a person living with ovarian cancer. The second link I'm including, is specific to the OC research.
For ovarian cancer, the panel generally meets in September, although sometimes it's early October. We gather just outside of DC and spend anywhere from 1-2 days depending upon the panel you are on, reviewing each of the research proposals. I am NOT required to have ANY medical background - that is not my role on the panel so don't let that stop you from participation. Remember you are only representing the needs of OC patients. You are required to read each proposals impact statement which is only about a page, but I find that it's helpful for me to read the body of the proposal to get a better understanding.
If you're interested in looking into this, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org