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Author: André Porter

President Trump releases his research and development priorities for FY19 ?>

President Trump releases his research and development priorities for FY19

  This week, President Donald Trump released his first memorandum of research and development priorities that will be used by federal funding agencies to draft budget requests for the next fiscal year.  Trump’s priorities include R&D that increases American military superiority, security, prosperity, energy dominance and health. Trump encouraged agencies to reallocate existing commitments to accommodate his priorities without spending more money. This memo suggests that while the federal government should invest in early stage basic and applied research, the…

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Senate appropriations bills provide a boost to DOE’s office of Science and a cut to NSF in 2018 ?>

Senate appropriations bills provide a boost to DOE’s office of Science and a cut to NSF in 2018

  The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved two draft funding bills for fiscal 2018 that conflict with appropriation bills proposed by the House earlier this month.  The House Appropriations Committee proposed flat funding for the National Science Foundation research programs and Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The Senate, however, is seeking to provide a slight cut and increase, respectively. Under the budgets put forth by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the NSF would receive $7.3 billion and the Department of…

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Agencies avoid major hit in 2018 draft House appropriations bill ?>

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 cuts by the Trump administration, it does, however, propose reducing appropriations for the foundation’s nonresearch activities.  Additionally, the National Institutes of Health would see an…

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Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing: Review of the FY18 NIH budget request ?>

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing: Review of the FY18 NIH budget request

  This week, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee held a budget request hearing for the National institutes of Health for fiscal 2018.  Witnesses included Francis Collins, director of NIH, as well as directors from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Aging, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. U.S. Sen….

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NIH shelves GSI policy and introduces something new ?>

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 and mid-career investigators. The GSI, which was proposed in early May, drew a firestorm of feedback, both positive and negative, from the scientific community.  The…

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Where have we been? Attending the NIGMS advisory council meeting ?>

Where have we been? Attending the NIGMS advisory council meeting

  The second quarterly NIGMS council meeting of 2017 was held May 25-26 with an open session on the 26th.  The council meeting was led by NIGMS Director Jon Lorsch and covered upcoming NIH program/policy changes and events. Highlights from the meeting are below. Lorsch presented an overview of the proposed Grant Support Index, which was announced May 2.  This new policy will effectively cap the number of awards an investigator can be involved in by imposing a scoring system…

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

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 natural resources and environment at the U.S. Government Accountability Office; James Luther, associate vice president of finance and compliance officer at Duke University and chairman…

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ASBMB responds to proposed Grant Support Index ?>

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 NIH voicing concerns and providing recommendations. Specifically, concerns addressed in the letter include: Using “points” as a proxy for grant dollars will create unintended inequities….

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House Appropriations Committee hearing: advances in biomedical research ?>

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 of Mental Health, National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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

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 of the NIH, in a statement released on May. 2, introduced the Grant Support Index.  Modeled after the NIH’s Research Commitment Index, the GIS imposes…

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