July 13, 2017
The Trump administration's first budget proposal was greeted coolly by Republican lawmakers (amid deep consternation from advocates for higher education) when it was released in May. Many members of Congress avoided direct criticism but suggested they would not go along with major cuts in popular programs, including a plan to slash the rates at which the government reimburses universities for their own spending on research overhead. Wednesday President Trump's party offered a more direct rebuke, as the appropriations panel in the House of Representatives released a 2018 spending bill that rejects most of the administration's proposed changes.
July 13, 2017
The National Institutes of Health’s budget would get a modest 3.2% raise, to $35.2 billion, in a draft spending bill released by a House of Representatives committee today. To the relief of U.S. research universities, the measure would also explicitly block a proposal by the Trump Administration to slash by two-thirds the payments that NIH disburses to cover the overhead costs of the research it funds. Furthermore, the bill ignores a Trump plan to abolish NIH’s widely lauded global health center.
July 6, 2017
Put expensive high-tech scientific equipment in a former citrus packing house more than 60 years old, throw in an overworked air conditioner, a corroding foundation, and the sticky Central Florida climate, and you’ve got problems.The University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center is doing cutting-edge work to find cures for new biological threats to the U.S. citrus crop, but its researchers and staff housed in some of the facility’s older buildings are also waging a more immediate fight against bugs, rodents and other fauna that thrive in the muggy summer heat.
June 9, 2017
Facing protests from senior scientists, including members of its own advisory board, the National Institutes of Health on Thursday abandoned a plan to help younger researchers by imposing a general three-grant limit. Instead, the NIH is moving forward with a more complicated formula in which scientists who win a first grant under a program designed to aid first-time applicants will get priority for their second grant.
June 2, 2017
Advocates for university-based research are working hard to make sure Congress doesn't buy into what they say is a specious argument made by the Trump administration: that the federal government can cut reimbursement payments to research institutions without undermining the quality of the studies themselves. In March, after the release of the White House's skinny budget for the 2018 fiscal year, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told congressional appropriators that large proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health could be covered by reducing indirect-cost payments to universities.
May 2, 2017
The deal reached by Congress this weekend on an omnibus budget for the current 2017 fiscal year included key victories for universities and higher ed advocates. The spending agreement, which funds the government through September, restores year-round Pell Grant funding, a longtime priority sought by student aid groups since its elimination as a cost-saving measure in 2011. The deal also funds the National Institutes of Health at $2 billion more than 2016 levels. And it provides modest increases to college readiness programs TRIO and GEAR UP, which were reduced significantly in the proposed White House 2018 budget plan.
April 13, 2017
Communicating the value of science is a vital undertaking that will continue long after the March for Science brings together friends and supporters worldwide, said several experts at the 2017 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Forum. “This truly is an opportune time,” said Sarah Rovito, assistant director of research policy at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, during a panel discussion hosted by AAAS on the enduring importance of highlighting scientific discoveries. “The March for Science is really a great first step for scientists to start down a path of continued, sustained advocacy.”
April 3, 2017
When President Trump proposed a cut of nearly 20 percent in support for the National Institutes of Health, many wondered how the administration would even attempt to find such reductions. The answer emerged in the congressional testimony last week of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who argued the government could save billions without hurting research by cutting back on the overhead reimbursements to colleges and universities. Higher education associations said cutting those reimbursements would have a very real impact on the science conducted on campuses. For some institutions, eliminating support for administrative costs could mean they would find it difficult to continue that research at all, the groups said.
March 28, 2017
Higher education leaders entered the 2017 session of the Texas Legislature expecting some dark days. Two-and-a-half months in, they're now focused on warding off a perfect storm. In addition to potential state funding cuts, which are being discussed like they're a virtual certainty in the Capitol, schools are staring down efforts to freeze tuition and slash federal funding for higher education. If all three happen, the universities' three biggest sources of money would be reduced or frozen for 2018.
January 18, 2017
With two days left in the Obama administration, the federal agency charged with protecting humans in research on Wednesday issued an overhaul of rules that had been caught up in more than five years of acrimonious debate.