Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter: Evidence, Advocacy, Impact
Dear Research Advocate,
Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy.
Gun violence is a fact of our lives, a relentless public health and safety threat punctuated by two horrific mass murders over the past seven days. The current appropriations process provides an opportunity to address one of the challenges impeding efforts to address this threat: gaps in the research needed to test assumptions and craft evidence-based solutions.
Earlier this summer, the House passed $50 million for CDC and NIH-funded gun violence research as part of its Fiscal Year 2020 Labor-H appropriations bill. However, the fate of this funding is uncertain. Use this editable email to encourage your policymakers to voice their support for this common sense research investment when Congress resumes its efforts to complete the FY20 appropriations process.
A host of other research-relevant legislative issues are on deck for Fall, among them: PCORI reauthorization; repeal of the medical device tax; and continuing deliberations around health care affordability and intellectual property protection. If your organization is a Research!America member (or is interested in joining the alliance!), email Jacqueline Lagoy at firstname.lastname@example.org to join a quick catch-up call on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 11a.m. ET.
Regarding the unfinished FY20 appropriations process, last Friday the President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which raises the FY20 and FY21 budget caps, into law. Without this crucially important advocacy win, science agencies like NIH, CDC, AHRQ, FDA, and NSF would be facing unjustified funding cuts. The challenge now is to secure what these agencies justifiably need: funding growth. Next week we are launching a new series of agency-specific blog posts explaining why increased funding is a smart strategy for our nation. If you’d like to guest blog as part of this effort, we’re for it! Email Robert at email@example.com.
Another smart strategy for our nation: confirming Dr. Ned Sharpless to serve as FDA Commissioner, a role he is currently filling on an Acting basis. Friends of Cancer Research (FOCR) is leading a letter urging President Trump to formally nominate Dr. Sharpless. If your organization would like to sign on, contact FOCR’s Ryan Hohman by COB on August 23, 2019.
Dr. Sharpless and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar are joining Research!America for our annual health research forum on Thursday, September 5, 2019, and we hope you will too! Learn more and register here.
Research!America recently launched our 2019 civic engagement initiative, seeking proposals from graduate student and postdoc-led science policy groups for activities that enable early-career scientists to engage with government officials and community leaders. We’d appreciate it if you’d share this opportunity with your networks. The National Science Policy Network is sponsoring a course to engage young scientists in expanding and improving Wikipedia’s scientific content. If you are aware of other engagement efforts like these, let us help spread the word! Email Caitlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.