Dear Research Advocate, The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will spend $10.14 billion on Halloween this year; that’s almost double the $5.25 billion NIH will invest this year in research on dental/oral and craniofacial disease, diabetes, eating disorders, food allergies, nutrition, and obesity combined! I’m not suggesting we trade Halloween for medical research — by no means! The point is we can’t afford not to spend money on stopping disease in its tracks. (Our “ Research Takes Cents ” page offers additional eye-opening examples of consumer expenditures contrasted to research investment.) On the Hill: Speaking of the need for increased research funding, Congress has until...
Dear Research Advocate, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has announced the second phase of its The Time is Now: Advancing Equity in Science and Technology initiative. Americans are asked to share ideas in response to White House Science Advisor Dr. Eric Lander’s question: “How can we guarantee all Americans can fully participate in, and contribute to, science and technology?” Per Dr. Lander: “...different experiences and perspectives are the bedrock of new scientific and technological insights, because having everybody on the team is essential to America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century, and because it’s the right thing to do.” We couldn’t agree...
Dear Research Advocate, On the Hill: A number of research-related initiatives are in the mix — including major, multi-year investments in NSF and pandemic preparedness — as negotiations continue on the content and price tag of the reconciliation bill, also known as Build Back Better. The bill is distinct from the annual appropriations process, which has been put on hold until December 3 via a continuing resolution (CR). Readers of this letter will likely agree Congress should not wait until December before enacting a new budget for FY22. It is not possible to put debilitating health threats on hold, and meanwhile, early career researchers are again wondering whether their work will have a...
Featured below is a guest blog from one of our previous micrograntees, Politics Under The Microscope (PUTM). In January 2021, four graduate students from the Tri-Institutional Community of The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, NY joined forces to use their Civic Engagement Microgrant to create a science policy podcast series. These rising scientists with backgrounds ranging from health policy to neuroscience to pharmacology investigate the intersections of science, policy, and legislation. (By the way- Don’t forget to submit your application for Research!America’s Civic Engagement Microgrant Initiative by...
Dear Research Advocate, This is a week to applaud science heroes, very much including Dr. Francis Collins, who announced he will be stepping down as Director of the NIH by year’s end. Although we will no longer have the benefit of Dr. Collins’ extraordinary leadership at the helm of NIH, we have no doubt that his powerful voice ( including the singing part! ) will continue to be heard. As Ellie Dehoney noted in a Bloomberg Law article : “The biggest concern is how any Administration could possibly fill the shoes of such an extraordinarily effective leader and advocate.” Key qualities to be sought in a new NIH leader are set out in Chapter 4 of a report entitled Beyond 2020: A Vision and...

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Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor