Dear Research Advocate,
Decision-making is about setting priorities; critical decision-making will take place soon, and we must all weigh in. Next week, the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to make funding recommendations for NIH, CDC and AHRQ, as well as other functions in their purview. As Research!America Chair and former Congressman John Porter has said, “Priorities will be chosen, and money will be spent. We have to be sure that our priorities are included in the discussion.” Let’s make sure health research is a top priority. Now is the time. Take 30 seconds to send an email to your representatives and share this ALERT with your networks TODAY.
As I’ve mentioned in past letters, across-the-board budget cuts (sequestration) are scheduled to take effect this January. We’re seeing increasing awareness of the impact of sequestration, which is critical for motivating action among the public and policy makers alike. Today, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) issued a press release citing our recent sequester report and calling on Secretary Sebelius to report on how these cuts would impact NIH and medical research. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News also highlighted our report, as did an article today in The Hill. With attention heating up, it is time to take a stand and join Research!America by signing your organization on to a letter developed by a broad coalition of non-defense discretionary funding stakeholders, formed to prevent further cuts to research and other key federal programs.
It’s graduation season. Coming as a welcome bit of news is that the number of Americans pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering has rapidly increased over the past 10 years and is now at an all-time high! This is just one of the findings from a new report from the National Science Foundation. While great news for our nation — since we need a healthy stream of well-qualified graduates if we are to improve our competitiveness and keep our research enterprise thriving — what will become of these newly minted researchers, entrepreneurs and scientists if our commitment to R&D falters? This is a point you can drive home in messaging this month.
Finally, if you have taken a stand — if you have become an advocate — you know about Research!America’s long-standing awards program that salutes advocates for research. The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN), a Research!America member, is now offering prizes for researchers who have excelled in biomedical research advocacy and community outreach. If you know a Parkinson’s researcher who deserves to be honored, be sure to nominate them. See our press statement applauding this wonderful new program.