Thursday, February 11, 2016

U.S. House Backs New Bid to Require ‘National Interest’ Certification for NSF Grants

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
February 11, 2016

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Wednesday that would require the National Science Foundation to award grants only for research projects that the agency can certify as being in the national interest.
The Republican-written measure (HR 3293), passed on a nearly party-line vote of 236 to 178, would set a series of broad yardsticks by which the "national interest" could be defined, such as improving American economic health or strengthening national defense.
Read more…


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Research into critical national issues at forefront of NSF's FY2017 budget request

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Press Release 16-013
February 9, 2016

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova today outlined how President Obama's fiscal year (FY) 2017 request for NSF supports research into critical national issues, including clean energy technologies, food sustainability, disaster response and education. The FY2017 budget requests $8 billion, an increase of about 6.7 percent, or about $500 million, over the enacted FY2016 budget.

"This budget proposes priorities that count on robust funding. It allows NSF to remain one of the country’s leaders in funding research, development and -- most importantly -- the people who are our innovators and discoverers," Córdova said.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Important NIH Notices

NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards - FY 2016
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
January 20, 2016

This Notice provides guidance about the NIH Fiscal Operations for FY 2016 and implements the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113), signed by President Obama on December 18, 2015.  With the passage of the Act, NIH has $32.31 billion in budget authority or equivalent (program level), an increase of $2 billion over FY 2015.  The NIH will continue to manage its portfolio in biomedical research investments in a manner that includes recognizing applications from and providing special incentives for new investigators.


Reminder: NIH & AHRQ Grant Application Changes for Due Dates On or After
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (

January 22, 2016

This Notice reminds the biomedical and health services research communities of announced changes to grant application policies and instructions for due dates on or after January 25, 2016.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Building A New Research-University System

Chronicle of Higher Education
Author: Jonathan R. Cole
January 17, 2016

American research universities are clearly the finest in the world. As of 2015, and for at

least 40 years, the United States has had by far the greatest system of higher education

in the world. By most reckonings, we have roughly 80 percent of the top 20 universities,

70 percent of the top 50, and 60 percent of the top 100. We win the majority of Nobel

science and economics prizes and other internationally prestigious awards for scholarly

achievement. Research produced by our universities dominates most fields.

The majority of the educated American public, however, think of our universities in terms

of teaching and the transmission of knowledge rather than the creation of knowledge, and

most critiques of higher education focus on undergraduate education. Let me be

emphatically clear: Excellent teaching of undergraduates and graduate students is

crucially important and an integral part of the mission of great universities. It is perhaps

our first calling. But it is not what has made our research universities the best in the

world. Rather, our ability to fulfill one of the other central missions of great universities
— the production of knowledge through discoveries that actually change the world — has

created our pre-eminence. 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

For Researchers, Risk Is a Vanishing Luxury

Chronicle of Higher Education
Author: Paul Voosen
December 3, 2015

A couple of years ago, as science was deep in a rut of flat federal financing, Roberta B. Ness, vice president for innovation at the University of Texas School of Public Health, toured the country, urging scientists to take on innovative, high-risk research. Such work, though prone to failure, can overturn whole scientific paradigms. Expand assumptions, she said. Change points of view.
Science has always balanced traditional lines of investigation with radical, divergent hypotheses. Follow her methods, she told them, and they could become risk takers themselves.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Clarifying NIH Priorities for Health Economics Research

National Institutes of Health
November 25, 2015

The purpose of this Guide Notice is to clarify NIH policy related to funding health economics research.  This Notice serves to communicate NIH’s priority areas of health economics research as well as research aims that generally fall outside of the NIH mission – to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems, and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.
Applicants and potential applicants for NIH research grants are advised to consult with NIH program officers in Institutes and Centers (IC) appropriate to their proposed topic if they have questions about the alignment of their research with IC program priorities. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Universities Report Continuing Decline in Federal R&D Funding in FY 2014

By Ronda Britt
The National Science Foundation
November 17, 2015

Federal funding of higher education research and development failed to outpace inflation for the third straight year, according to data from the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey. When adjusted for inflation, federal funding for higher education R&D declined by 5.1% between FY 2013 and FY 2014 and has fallen over 11% since its peak in FY 2011. This is the longest multiyear decline in federal funding for academic R&D since the beginning of the annually collected data series in FY 1972.