Archive for the ‘National Science Foundation’ Category

i6 Challenge

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Administration announced a $12 million innovation competition, the i6 Challenge, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six winning teams with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in their regions. NIH and NSF will award a total of up to $6 million in supplemental funding to their SBIR grantees that are associated or partnered with the winning teams. We encourage entrepreneurs, investors, universities, foundations, and non-profits to participate in the i6 Challenge.

The deadline for applications is July 15, 2010. For more information, visit

NSF Launches Open Government Web Page

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The National Science Foundation launched a new Web feature on Saturday. The new page encourages participation and collaboration between NSF and the citizens it serves. The dialogue page at is open for ideas and comments through March 19.

From the NSF press release:

In working to achieve the transparency, public participation and collaboration outlined by the Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive, agencies across the government have established Open Government Web pages to collect ideas and suggestions from the public.

NSF’s Open Government Web page will allow members of the public to submit ideas, comment on and vote for ideas proposed, and flag posts that are off-topic. In addition to welcoming general ideas and comments, NSF specifically seeks input regarding access to large data sets and collaborations that aim to facilitate transformative research. The agency will incorporate submitted ideas and suggestions into an official Open Government Plan, to be published on April 7, 2010. This plan will serve as the “road map” for our efforts to improve transparency, better integrate public participation and collaboration into our core mission, and become more innovative and efficient.

Read more about the White House’s Open Government Directive.

President Obama Honors Outstanding Early-Career Science

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

President Obama recently announced the latest recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). These up-and-coming scientists are chosen for their innovative, cutting-edge research and commitment to community service.

The awardees include 12 researchers from the National Institutes of Health researchers and 20 from the National Science Foundation. They will receive up to a five-year grant to continue their research.

President Obama’s 2011 Budget: Research!America Urges White House to Prioritize Medical and Health Research—for Jobs, Economic Growth and Americans’ Health

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Research!America’s board chair, former Illinois Congressman John Edward Porter, and president, Mary Woolley, urge President Obama to make research a priority in his upcoming FY 2011 budget proposal.

Porter said, “The President has a chance to show the American people that investing in health and medical research is one of his strategies for creating jobs now for Americans, as well as for finding life-saving treatments for diseases that currently have none. Investing in research today gives us a stronger economic future for our children and grandchildren-and is the only way we will continue our leadership in science and innovation.”

He added, “Local and state economies throughout the U.S. are still feeling a deep impact from the economic recession. Federal research funding creates jobs at universities, small businesses and research institutes that stimulate local economies. Investing in health and medical research must be a priority in 2011, so we don’t lose the new capacity and momentum gained from stimulus dollars that went to research.”

Continue reading
for Research!America’s budget recommendations for federal research agencies.

National Science Board Releases Science and Engineering Indicators 2010

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The National Science Board, governing body of the National Science Foundation, released a “report card” for science and engineering in the U.S., including data on R&D spending, public attitudes towards science and where the U.S. stands compared to other nations. Kei Koizumi, assistant director for federal research and development with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote a post for the OSTP blog about what the Indicators mean for the Obama administration, which has shown its support for science in the past year.

The latest edition of Indicators tells us that the state of U.S. science and engineering is strong, but that U.S. dominance of world science and engineering has eroded significantly in recent years, primarily because of rapidly increasing capabilities among East Asian nations, particularly China.

[T]he Obama Administration is committed to evidence-based policymaking and making data used for policymaking accessible, relevant, and timely. Indeed, the President himself has on many occasions reiterated his deep appreciation of the importance of science, engineering, and technology to finding solutions to the many challenges that today face the country, including building a prosperous and innovative U.S. economy of the future, reducing dependence on foreign energy sources while mitigating the impacts of harmful climate change, and delivering high-quality health care to every American.

Koizumi’s post is available here and the report is available here.

Speak Out for Research Funding Now

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Recess Offers Ideal Advocacy Opportunity

Urge your members of Congress to support robust funding for NIH, CDC, AHRQ and NSF in FY 2010. This Independence Day recess offers an ideal opportunity to speak with your representative and senators and let them know that investing in research is critical to the health of Americans and the economy.

Meet with, call or write to your delegation in support of a funding increase of at least 10% for NIH in FY 2010 with the goal of reaching an annual appropriation of $40 billion as soon as possible. Other essential investments for research to improve health are increasing CDC’s core program budget by $2 billion, establishing a base funding level of $405 million for AHRQ and increasing the NSF budget by 8.5% to $7 billion.

Time is of the essence because the House of Representatives will begin consideration of the appropriations bill for NIH, CDC and AHRQ on July 8. Take action now!

NSF Award to Study Science Impacts of Economic Stimulus Package

Friday, June 26th, 2009

The National Science Foundation awarded almost $400,000 for two research projects designed study the economic impacts of science initiatives funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Researchers at the University of Virginia will study the impact of stimulus funding on employment in science and engineering fields, and the University of Michigan will develop a database of the investments in and outcomes of social science projects funded by the ARRA.

The awards are the first of several NSF grants to study aspects of the government’s economic stimulus package. Additional awards will be released shortly. See the NSF press release.

NSF Video Series: Science Nation

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The National Science Foundation has begun a video series, Science Nation. The videos examine discoveries and scientific breakthroughs. The series is created by former CNN senior science producers, and each video is available in 2-minute and 5-minute formats.

The first episode focuses on organisms that can live and thrive in frozen deserts or steaming-hot volcanic vents. New episodes will be released every Monday and can be embedded on other sites.

Upcoming video topics, from the NSF press release:

  • Tornadoes: research into perfecting how to anticipate tornadoes, and save lives in the process
  • Artificial Retina: a totally-blind woman whose sight is partially restored through what is essentially a bionic eye
  • Hydrogen Cars: advances in someday finding the “Holy Grail” of hydrogen-powered vehicles
  • Cleaning up Rural China: coal-based cookstoves rule in rural China–an American grad student has potential solutions
  • Greenland Ice Cores: research into ages-old ice cores from Greenland could preview what climate change may mean for us

President’s FY2010 Budget: Research!America Disappointed in Research Funding Levels

Friday, May 8th, 2009

WASHINGTON—May 8, 2009—Research!America expressed concern over research funding in the FY2010 budget proposal that the President released yesterday. The proposal includes just a 1.4% increase for the National Institutes of Health over FY2009, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are essentially flat-funded. The National Science Foundation fared better, with a nearly 8% proposed increase.

Research!America’s chair, The Honorable John Edward Porter, said, “While we are disappointed in these numbers and had hoped for far better, we will work with Congress to improve them and look forward to stronger budgets in the future.”

Read the rest of the release.

Building a Diverse Scientific Workforce: Collaboration for a Competitive and Healthy Nation

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Building a Diverse Scientific Workforce: Collaboration for a Competitive and Healthy Nation, a Congressional briefing co-sponsored by Research!America and organized by Collaborative for Enhancing Diversity in Science, took place yesterday. The event was very well attended with more than 100 people in the room.

Dr. Raynard Kington spoke about the NIH’s efforts to increase the diversity among grant recipients. He said that despite 30 years of work, the diversity is not increasing, so the agency and institutions need to be more creative about solutions. When looking at 2008 grant recipients, 1.7% are African American, 3.5% are Hispanic and 17% are part of other minority groups (primarily Asian).

Given that the make-up of the U.S. population is changing rapidly, NIH is examining models of the scientific workforce and educational milestones to determine when and where programs need to focus on retaining minorities in science. He said we should be prepared for uncomfortable evidence and ready to discuss it openly.

Wanda Ward of NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate spoke about their 60 programs to broaden participation in STEM by women, minorities and people with disabilities. She said NSF is looking across the agency to see how they can make an even more robust commitment to these programs. She emphasized that we need to think about this as essential to intellectual capacity building in the U.S. by making sure that all Americans are engaged in science and research.

Finally, Art Coleman of EducationCounsel LLC gave the legal perspective about programs to enhance diversity in the sciences. His primary message was that facts rather than ideology need to drive the decisions, because the evidence shows that diversity in educational settings and in the workforce advances thinking and ultimately makes us more competitive.

–Emily Connelly, director of science policy at Research!America

Congress Finalizes FY09 Research Funding

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Yesterday the Senate approved the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (H.R. 1105), finalizing funding levels for the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2008. Increases for research to improve health are as follows:

• National Institutes of Health – $30.3 billion, a 3.2% increase
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – $6.6 billion, a 3.7% increase
• Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – $372 million, an 11.3% increase
• National Science Foundation – $6.5 billion, a 5.9% increase

The FY 2010 budget and appropriations process is already underway. Advocacy and action will be critical to ensuring robust funding for research to improve health in FY 2010.

New York Times Magazine: Letters – The Big Fix

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

A thoughtful letter to the editors of the New York Times magazine about a David Leonhardt essay includes reference to NIH and NSF funding. Leonhardt’s essay, “The Big Fix,” covers ideas to fix the economy.

The letter from Dr. Norman Paradis and Dr. Richard M. Nowak:

David Leonhardt is to be commended for an essay that placed a broad discussion of our current circumstances in the context of potential opportunities.

Sitting at the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation are thousands of research grants deemed meritorious by peer review but unfunded because of budget restrictions. Each project holds the promise of innovation that might improve our health and expand our knowledge and all the while create economic opportunities.

We can no longer compete internationally on natural resources, factory efficiency or use of labor. We can, however, use American ingenuity to create innovation that profits both this country and mankind.

Leonhardt was the moderator for our 2008 Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research Award presentation last October.

The President’s FY2010 Budget Outline: Research!America Encouraged by Focus on Health and Science

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Proposed 2010 Budget, Plus Recovery Funding, Would Boost Research Jobs Nationwide

WASHINGTON—Feb. 27, 2009—Research!America’s President and CEO Mary Woolley responded to the funding for medical and health research in the budget outline for FY2010 released yesterday by the White House:

“Research!America is pleased with the investment in health research and basic science suggested in the president’s initial 2010 budget outline. With this proposal from the administration and the substantial research investment in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress, we are seeing strong, swift action to put science back to work for our economy, our health and our global competitiveness.

Read the entire statement.

NSF Statement on ARRA

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

National Science Foundation Director Arden Bement Jr., PhD, issued a statement about the NSF allocations in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

During the ARRA signing ceremony, President Obama said that “this investment will ignite our imagination once more, spurring new discoveries and breakthroughs that will make our economy stronger, our nation more secure and our planet safer for our children.” NSF will ensure that this eloquent statement translates into reality.

Read the entire statement.

Billions for Research in Recovery Package

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Thank Congress and the President

Yesterday, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. NIH, AHRQ, NSF and a new prevention and wellness fund will see substantial funding increases thanks to strong support from advocates like you and congressional champions. Sen. Arlen Specter, who led the effort to include $10 billion for NIH, acknowledges the critical role that thousands of advocates for research played to help secure this funding. Take the time now to thank your Representative and Senators and President Obama for approving increases for NIH, AHRQ, NSF and prevention and wellness in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The funding in the recovery package is as follows:
• NIH – $10 billion, including $7.4 billion for distribution to the institutes and centers, $1.3 billion for extramural construction and equipment, $800 million for the Office of the Director for trans-NIH initiatives, and $500 million for improvements to the NIH campus
• AHRQ – $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research
• NSF – $3 billion, including $2.5 billion for research, $400 million for construction and equipment, and $100 million for education and human resources
• Prevention and wellness fund – $1 billion, of which some portion will be allocated to CDC

The tremendous surge of support from health and research advocates made these increases possible. Let’s keep the momentum going as we anticipate action on FY09 and FY10 appropriations!

NSF and Prevention Funding Threatened in Economic Recovery

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Contact Your Senators Now

Increased funding for the National Science Foundation and prevention are targets in a bipartisan proposal to cut $77.9 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Contact your Senators immediately to oppose these cuts.

The bill currently includes $1.4 billion for NSF and $5.8 billion for prevention. The proposed amendment would eliminate all of the funding for NSF in the bill and cut the amount for prevention by nearly 90% percent.

Action is expected today, so calling is the best way to reach your Senators. Find their phone number or send an e-mail. It is especially important to call now if your Senator is included in the list below.

Nelson – FL – 202-224-5274
Bayh – IN – 202-224-5623
Bennet – CO – 202-224-5852
Begich – AK – 202-224-3004
Conrad – ND – 202-224-2043
Landrieu – LA – 202-224-5824
Lincoln – AR – 202-224-4843
Lieberman – CT – 202-224-4041
Shaheen – NH – 202-224-2841
Tester – MT – 202-224-2644
Udall – NM – 202-224-6621
Udall – CO – 202-224-5941
Warner – VA – 202-224-2023
Webb – VA – 202-224-4024
Carper – DE – 202-224-2441
Klobuchar – MN – 202-224-3244
McCaskill – MO – 202-224-6154
Specter – PA – 202-224-4254

Push for $17.6 B for Research—$10 B for NIH—in the Recovery Bill Contact Congress Now

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Urge your congressional delegation to support $17.6 billion for research to improve health in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Science and health are clearly important to the 111th Congress. Your voice is needed to support their efforts. Senator Arlen Specter is urging the Senate to include $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health over the next two years in the economic recovery legislation. Other priorities for research to improve health include $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, $3.5 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $1.1 billion for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

President Barack Obama has called for “investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries.” Seize this opportunity to advocate for increased funding for research to improve health. Take action now!

Put Health Research on the 111th Congress’ Agenda

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Investing in Science and Research Essential to Economic Recovery

A new Congress means new opportunities to increase funding for research to improve health. Contact your representative and senators on this first day of the 111th Congress, and let them know that health research must be a priority this session.

The new Congress will get right to work on the economic recovery package. Urge your representative and senators to support $11.1 billion for research in the legislation. Research!America recommended the following levels to the Obama-Biden Transition Team and congressional leaders:

• NIH – $8.6 billion (FY08 budget = $29.2 billion)
• NSF – $1.4 billion (FY08 budget = $6.1 billon)
• CDC – $1.0 billion (FY08 budget = $6.4 billion)
• AHRQ – $97 million (FY08 budget = $335 million)

An infusion of $11.1 billion for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ in the economic recovery legislation will produce immediate and long term dividends that protect good jobs, stimulate local economies across the nation, provide data to help make health care reform evidence-based and expand the research that is the foundation for innovation and global competitiveness. Take action now!

Speak Out for Research in Economic Recovery Package

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Increase Funding for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ

President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders are working on economic recovery legislation that will hopefully be ready by Inauguration Day. Some health measures are expected in the bill, and now is the time to make sure that research is part of the package.

Today, Research!America sent letters to the Obama-Biden transition team and congressional leaders urging them to include $11.1 billion for research in the economic recovery package. The recommendations for each agency are as follows:

• NIH – $8.6 billion (FY08 budget = $29.2 billion)
• NSF – $1.4 billion (FY08 budget = $6.1 billon)
• CDC – $1.0 billion (FY08 budget = $6.4 billion)
• AHRQ – $97 million (FY08 budget = $335 million)

Let the Obama-Biden transition team know that your vision for the country includes expanding the U.S. investment in research to improve health. An infusion of $11.1 billion for NIH, NSF, CDC and AHRQ in the economic recovery legislation will produce immediate and long term dividends that protect good jobs, stimulate local economies across the nation, provide data to help make health care reform evidence-based and expand the research that is the foundation for innovation and global competitiveness.

The Web site provides many ways to offer input to the Obama-Biden transition team and is constantly changing. We have suggested using the “Share Your Vision” function, which is currently accessible, but make your voice heard about the importance of research in the economic recovery package using the best method available.

National Science Board Nominees Sent to the U.S. Senate

Friday, September 19th, 2008

From the National Science Foundation:

The names of seven distinguished scientists nominated by the President to serve on the National Science Board (NSB) were sent to the Senate for confirmation on September 16, 2008. Drawn from industry and universities, and representing a variety of science and engineering disciplines and geographic areas, these four new and three incumbent NSB members were selected for their preeminence in research, education or public service. When confirmed by the Senate, they will serve six-year terms to expire in May of 2014.

The NSB is an independent body of advisors to both the President and Congress on broad national policy issues related to science and engineering research and education; and an oversight body for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Read about the nominees.