Agencies avoid major hit in 2018 draft House appropriations bill

  This week, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee released three draft appropriations bills for fiscal year 2018 for a variety of agencies, including those related to science.  The drafts include reductions in discretionary funds over 2017 levels. While the committee recommends funding most of the National Science Foundation’s programs at fiscal 2017 levels, rejecting proposed…

NIH shelves GSI policy and introduces something new

  This week, Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, declared that the biomedical research funding agency no longer plans to implement the controversial Grant Support Index.  Instead, Collins and Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director of the NIH, announced that the agency will launch the Next Generation of Researchers Initiative to support early…

House Committee on Science, Space, &Technology hearing: examining the overhead cost of research

  This week, the U.S. House Science, Space, & Technology subcommittee on research and technology held a hearing on the overhead cost of research being funded by agencies, including the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. Witnesses included: Dale Bell, division director of institution and award support at NSF; John Neumann, director of…

ASBMB responds to proposed Grant Support Index

  Earlier this month, the National Institutes of Health announced the proposed Grant Support Index.  The proposal seeks to help distribute research dollars in a more equitable manner by imposing limits on the number of NIH awards with which an investigator can be involved.  In response, the ASBMB sent a letter to leadership at the…

House Appropriations Committee hearing: advances in biomedical research

  This week, the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education subcommittee held an oversight hearing on advances in biomedical research at the National institutes of Health.  Witnesses included Francis Collins, director of NIH, as well as directors from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute…

NIH moves to cap the number of active grants a PI can have

  This week, the National Institutes of Health announced a proposed policy change that will limit the number of extramural grants that NIH-funded researchers can be involved in.  This new policy, estimated to affect 6 percent of NIH-funded investigators, will potentially free up funds to support 1,600 new R01 or equivalent awards. Francis Collins, director…

Science policy news weekly update: April 28, 2017

  The ASBMB’s Public Affairs Department encourages all readers of the Policy Blotter to alert the office about interesting and relevant articles. Please send tips to astothert@asbmb.org. The ASBMB’s policy analyst, André Porter, discusses the launch of the ASBMB’s new Grassroots Science Advocacy Network. The March for Science is over. What now? Porter also provides a…

Where Have We Been? Attending the Spring NSF BIO Advisory Committee Meeting

  The biannual Directorate for Biological Sciences Advisory Committee met this week to discuss goings-on in the BIO directorate and to highlight partnerships that align with the National Science Foundation’s new priorities. James Olds, assistant director for the BIO directorate, provided an update on the agency’s budget, its 10 big ideas framework, its relocation, and…