Home » Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter » Joining and Cultivating R&D Champions

Joining and Cultivating R&D Champions

Dear Research Advocate,

On Tuesday, President Biden signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act into law. I had the privilege of joining dozens of champions for advancing science and technology (including my STAC co-chairs Keith Yamamoto and Sudip Parikh and my Research!America colleague Jenny Luray) at the White House signing ceremony.

Statements from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and White House OSTP Acting Director Alondra Nelson, PhD, are among the many highlighting the significance of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen S&T innovation and America’s role as a global research leader.

But, as Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, stresses in an op-ed in Forbes: “now comes the hard part.” I look forward to working in partnership with rock-solid advocates like Peter (and you!) to press for the funding needed to fully execute the CHIPS and Science Act.

CHIPS and Science and DEIA: Among the many positive effects we expect to come out of this legislation are several policy advances pertaining to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in STEM fields. In a blog published today, Jasmine George, PhD, Research!America’s Dr. Louis Sullivan Science Policy Fellow, outlines the DEIA provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act.

Help Us Cultivate R&D Champions!: The midterm elections are heating up… an ideal time to reach out to candidates from both sides of the aisle to educate them about the need for faster medical progress. (It’s never too early to secure a new research champion!) Share this non-partisan fact sheet with candidates via social media, or drop it by their local office.

FY23 Funding Outlook: While the full House has passed six of its FY23 appropriations bills and the Senate Appropriations Committee majority has provided draft versions of its FY23 marks, the odds that Congress will complete the appropriations process before the September 30 end of FY22 continue to slip. We’ve been here many times before. If members of Congress don’t complete the process, they will need to pass a continuing resolution, or “CR,” that locks FY22 funding and policies into place, probably until after the midterm elections.

The fact that CR’s have become the norm does not mean they should be the norm. It’s dangerous to freeze our nation in time while the threat of another pandemic grows and myriad other priorities call for new thinking and quick responses. It’s up to advocates to let members of Congress know that our nation deserves better. Look for advocacy opportunities in upcoming letters!

New NCI Director: Yesterday, President Biden announced his intention to appoint Monica Bertagnolli, MD, as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Bertagnolli currently serves as a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (a Research!America member) as well as professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. She follows in the footsteps of Ned Sharpless, MD, who retired from the role in the spring, and joined us for a panel, “Can We Truly Conquer Cancer?,” at our National Health Research Forum last fall.

2022 Research Forum: Register now for this year’s virtual National Health Research Forum – September 19 and 20 – to hear from top federal officials, research leaders, and distinguished national media as they explore health and R&D-related issues vital to the wellbeing of patients, our nation, and our economy in the U.S. and across the globe. Our “Straight Talk: Then, Now, Imagine” virtual forum is free and open to all.

ICYMI: On Wednesday, August 8, at 11 a.m. ET, Grace Graham and Kristen Shatynski, key health staff for House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), joined us for an off-the-record alliance member-only discussion. Grace and Kristen shared Ranking Member Rodgers’ perspective and priorities in regard to NIH oversight.

If you are interested in joining these off-the-record conversations, contact Joel Nepomuceno to discuss how your organization can become a member.

Support Research Innovation: This is my last outreach on behalf of Research!America’s summer giving campaign. For those yet to give, please consider making a contribution to ensure science advocacy flourishes, creating more opportunities to promote life-saving progress.

We fight for federal funding and policies (like the CHIPS and Science Act!) that maximize the progress science delivers and ensure we are capitalizing on it to address major societal threats like COVID-19 and monkeypox.

With support from individuals like you, we are best prepared to transform aspiration into accomplishment. Join us by making a gift, and together we will partner to embolden lifesaving science.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay connected.