Posts Tagged ‘NSF’

Research!America Statement on the President’s Budget

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

WASHINGTON—February 16, 2011— Research!America’s board chair, former Congressman John Edward Porter, and president, Mary Woolley, thanked President Obama for prioritizing medical, health and scientific research in his FY2012 budget proposal.

The president’s budget includes $31.829 billion for the National Institutes of Health ($745 million increase over 2010); $7.8 billion for the National Science Foundation ($1.2 billion increase over 2010); and $2.747 billion for the Food and Drug Administration ($382 million increase over 2010). The budget proposes $5.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention core programs, some $580 million below FY2010; however, the president’s budget uses the Prevention and Public Health Fund and other sources to fill the gap, ending with slightly more than $7 billion for CDC’s core programs. The budget proposed for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality calls for a $12 million decrease, to $390 million.

Porter said, “President Obama has made job creation and economic growth top priorities by making research and innovation top priorities in his budget. Smart, strategic expenditures for our nation’s research agencies will help create quality, American jobs in knowledge-driven industries in every state. They will fuel the research pipeline from which private industry develops life-saving medicines, devices and procedures. They will keep Americans healthy longer, controlling health care costs and increasing productivity. And they will sustain the economic and scientific leadership that the U.S. has enjoyed for decades, but which now shows signs of slipping.

“Each dollar invested in research generates a superior return. That is why we now urge Congress to fund the NIH, CDC, FDA, National Science Foundation and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at levels that will allow our American science to continue to lead the world. Our health and economic future depend on it,” Porter added.

Woolley said, “The president has been consistent about placing research and development at the heart of the national agenda, first in his call for making R&D 3% of the GDP, and more recently in the State of the Union address and now with this budget proposal. In a recent Research!America poll, 87% of Americans said it is important for the U.S. to achieve the goal adopted by other countries of spending 3% of GDP on research and development. We urge Congress to heed the public’s call and work in a bipartisan fashion to make research to improve health a priority as they finalize the 2011 budget and begin work on 2012.”

Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans.

Senate Omnibus Spending Bill Contains Boosts for NIH, NSF

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Late Tuesday, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), chair of that body’s Appropriations Committee, released his version of an omnibus bill that would fund the federal government through September. Inouye’s version includes increased money for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, according to a ScienceInsider report.

A PDF of the bill is available on the Appropriations Committee’s website, and language for the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention begins on page 984.

The House’s continuing resolution, passed last week, limited all federal spending to 2010 levels. But Inouye’s bill provides a portion of President Barack Obama’s requested funding increases. ScienceInsider wrote that NIH would get $750 million more for the coming year, while NSF would receive $419 million more – part of $20 billion in domestic discretionary spending. Those increases come close to Obama’s requests: $1 billion for NIH and $498 million for NSF.

But the increases are far from a done deal. If the Senate manages to pass Inouye’s version, the House would also have to pass the same bill, which seems likely. But if fiscal conservatives are able to thwart Inouye, that could push a vote to the next Congress, which will have a far higher number of fiscal conservatives.

NSF, U.S. Census Bureau Survey Finds R&D to be a Force in Domestic, Foreign Employment

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

According to a recent National Science Foundation press release, U.S. R&D companies employed 27.1 million workers worldwide in 2008. This data comes from the new Business R&D and Innovation Survey developed jointly by NSF and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Employment data from the BRDIS can be found in an InfoBrief released July 8 entitled “New Employment Statistics from the 2008 Business R&D Innovation Survey.” The survey also finds that R&D employees, those who perform or directly support R&D activities, accounted for 1.9 million jobs, or 7.1 percent of jobs at U.S. R&D companies worldwide. U.S. Industries concentrated in scientific services, communications equipment and computer systems design relating to R&D had much higher R&D employment intensity.

R&D companies employed 18.5 million workers domestically, 1.5 million of which were R&D employees. Therefore domestic R&D employment accounted for 7.9 percent of companies’ total domestic employment and for 77 percent of their worldwide R&D employment, the press release stated.

Additionally, companies spent a total of about $181,000 on R&D per R&D employee worldwide, whereas the domestic and foreign figures were estimated to be about $194,000 and $140,000, respectively. These investments both create and diffuse knowledge and contribute to innovation and economic growth on a national and international scale.

More detailed data to support and improve these statistics will become available in early 2011.

President Obama Intends to Nominate MIT Engineering Dean to NSF Director Post

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

President Barack Obama announced June 3 his intent to nominate Subra Suresh, PhD, ScD, as Director of the National Science Foundation.

Suresh currently serves as Dean of the School of Engineering and as Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at which he has held many positions. Before he joined MIT in 1993, Suresh taught in the Division of Engineering at Brown University. He has been recognized internationally through his election to numerous academies, including the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World, and the German National Academy of Sciences.

In 2007, the Federation of European Materials Societies awarded Suresh with its highest honor, the European Materials Medal. Suresh earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, a Masters of Science from Iowa State University, and a Doctor of Science degree from MIT, along with honorary doctorate degrees from the Technical University of Madrid and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Programs Bring College-Level Research to High School Students

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Increasingly, high schools are turning to interactive science education programs over the textbook science class. An article from The Scientist’s news blog tells the stories of several programs, their receptions and the ideas behind them.

“We are trying to get students to do hands-on, problem-based, student-led investigations, rather than cookbook labs,” said pre-college science education program officer Debra Felix at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She added, “Students just don’t get much out of cookie cutter labs since they don’t understand the point of it.”

The Wolbachia Project, for example, tries to think outside the box. Founded through a National Science Foundation grant and currently funded by HHMI, geneticist and University of Rochester entymologist Jack Werren, PhD, created this project to combine learning of the principles of biology and offer opportunities for students to make discoveries through research. The project uses texts, journal articles and labs to help students develop critical learning skills and help high school students develop research experience that can lead to a greater interest in science, said Vanderbilt Univeristy’s Wolbachia scientist, Seth Bordenstein, PhD.

Another project, West Virginia’s Health Sciences and Technology Academy, hosts summer programs at the West Virginia University’s Morgantown campus. The program teaches high school students laboratory skills and exposes them to medical clinics among other activities, then sends them back to continue a dialogue with their local health care providers. This program also helps students obtain scholarships to their state university.

These programs and more are making researchers like Bordenstein “excited about young adults becoming involved in the scientific process.”

Kalil Advocates Expansion of CCC Research Agenda-Setting Model

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy wrote a blog post last week praising the Computing Community Consortium’s role in identifying and promoting Information Technology research innovation.

The CCC, a group founded in 2007 with National Science Foundation funding which spans across many research institutions and universities, was successful in influencing the 2008 administration’s budget and recruiting decisions. Kalil detailed this success along with the organization’s accomplishments in increasing collaboration among government, industry and academia. He attributed these successes the CCC’s short explanatory papers and roadmap workshopping techniques, and advocated expanding the CCC strategy for IT research to other areas of research as well.

Kalil said he believes applying CCC models to new disciplines such as clean energy, nanoscale science and engineering, and physical sciences and engineering will help reduce the time gap between high-impact research idea identification and embracing these ideas at the federal level.

Of the CCC models, Kalil said “They would undoubtedly strengthen the ability of the United States to identify and support transformative research.”

Multi-agency venture to quantify medical funding outcomes

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will lead an initiative to establish and monitor the effects of federal science investment on society.

This two-phase program, known as Science and Technology for America’s Reinvestment: Measuring the Effect of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science, or STAR METRICS, will utilize research institutions among other resources to calculate and monitor the effects of science spending on employment and four key areas of society: economic growth, workforce outcomes, scientific knowledge and the social sphere.

NSF Director Arden L. Bement Jr., PhD, said the role of universities in the STAR METRICS program will greatly enhance collaboration between science agencies and the research community in describing and assessing the impacts of federal investments in science and engineering research and education.

The NSF and NIH have committed a combined $1 million to the program’s first year. NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, told NIH News he sees great potential for the findings of this initiative, both in the short-term impact on jobs and the long-term impact of patents, publications, citations and business start-ups.

John P. Holdren, PhD, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House OSTP, emphasized the importance of hard data in the assessment of the value of medical spending.

“It is essential to document with solid evidence the returns our nation is obtaining from its investment in research and development,” Holdren said. “STAR METRICS is an important element of doing just that.”

Read the original NIH News article here.

America COMPETES Bill Passed on Third Try

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The House passed America COMPETES reauthorization legislation on Friday after two previous attempts were blocked. The bill passed 262-150 and now heads to the Senate.

The version passed by the House gives $85.6 billion to fund science research and education. The National Science Foundation would likely see just under half of the bill, though the Associated Press points out that yearly spending levels would be covered by annual spending bills.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Institute of Standards and Technology labs, among others, would receive money from the bill.

“If we are to reverse the trend of the last 20 years, where our country’s technology edge in the world has diminished, we must make the investments necessary today,” said Rep. Bart Gordon, D-TN, Science and Technology Committee Chairman, said.

The legislation, Gordon said, would double approved funding levels over the next decade.

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.

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

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