Home » Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter » Heroes Act When the Stakes Are High

Heroes Act When the Stakes Are High

Dear Research Advocate,

For more than a decade, Research!America and partners across the nation have devoted time on the Monday before Thanksgiving to honor and convey our gratitude to the public health workforce.  

Naming all the ways these dedicated individuals serve the individual and public good would make this letter novel-length; instead, let me simply ask you to mark your calendar and participate with us on Public Health Thank You Day (#PHTYD) on Monday, November 22, 2021. Visit www.PublicHealthThankYouDay.org for sample tweets, emails, and other customizable resources.

Another Opportunity to Honor Heroes: The Clinical Research Forum’s annual Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards honor major advances in clinical research that have resulted from national investment. Nominations are open through November 19.

On the Hill: 

  • Appropriations Update: The House and Senate appropriations process is reportedly stalled – no progress has been made this week toward finishing FY22 appropriations before the current continuing resolution or CR (i.e. an extension of FY21 spending levels) expires.

The biggest hold up is that there is no bipartisan, bicameral agreement on “topline” spending numbers for FY22. Research!America sent a letter to Congressional leaders (with a copy to President Biden) urging them to clear this hurdle. If another CR is needed, it’s possible policymakers will simply punt and pass full-year flat-funding. We are still being buffeted by one of the most jarring wake-up calls in our history, yet year-long stasis is a possibility?

Email Ellie Dehoney if we can assist your organization in writing your own letter to these leaders. If ever there was a time for science and health advocates to raise their (our) voices, that time is now.

  • Reconciliation: The House could vote as soon as this evening on the newest version of the “reconciliation” package (legislation that would provide one-time funding boosts for a wide range of federal agencies and programs). While the current package contains less R&D funding than in previous iterations, it would still provide a robust infusion of dollars that can be put to work immediately to serve the public good. Completing the FY22 appropriations process is clearly needed for sustained investments in our nation’s future, but the reconciliation package remains significant to accelerating U.S. science and technology.

S&T Investment Continued: The Science and Technology Action Committee has penned a sign-on letter urging Congress to complete negotiations on a House-Senate compromise bill melding the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA, S.1260) and the NSF for the Future Act (H.R.2225). As discussed in previous letters, this bipartisan priority would set the stage for a dramatic increase in federal R&D investment and strengthen our nation’s global economic competitiveness.

The deadline for your organization to sign on to the letter is end of day Wednesday, November 17. Please join us.

Research Engagement: PCORI has issued a Request for Information to help inform an initiative aimed at arriving at evidence-based strategies for increasing patient and stakeholder engagement in PCORI-funded research. Research!America submitted comments this week. The RFI submission deadline is November 19.

Upcoming Alliance Meeting: Join us on Tuesday, November 9, at 2 p.m. ET to hear from Diana W. Bianchi, MD, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Particularly timely as more children become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, Dr. Bianchi will update us on the latest research exploring the impact of COVID-19 on children and address other key priorities for NICHD.

(For recent updates to COVID-19 vaccination recommendations, including for children ages 5-11, check out our COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker.)

Support Research Advocacy: “Without research, there is no hope.” Beloved Congressman and past Chair of Research!America Paul Rogers (1921-2008) made that statement decades ago, and now COVID-19 has dramatically driven the point home. The future our children will inherit hangs in the balance. Please make a gift to support Research!America’s efforts to boost medical, scientific, and public health progress.

We’re Growing Our Team!: Our Careers page lists several openings, with more to come. We’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word and share this link!

Gratitude has featured prominently in this week’s letter, and we at Research!America are grateful for you.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay connected.


Mary Woolley