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.
August 9, 2016
One important way to help build strong lab safety programs at universities, according to A Guide to Implementing a Safety Culture in Our Universities, published in April by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, is to “establish recognition and reward systems” that honor people who exemplify excellent safety performance. Now, fittingly, the individuals who led the effort to create the report have been formally honored for their work. In addition, a new award has been created to recognize deserving principal investigators (PIs) and safety officers for their safety efforts.
June 30, 2016
In April, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) issued its report, A Guide to Implementing a Safety Culture in Our Universities. This important document, as we noted at the time, is more than an urgent call to university leadership to enlist everyone, from senior administrators to incoming students, in efforts to upgrade safety practices in their labs; it also gives detailed guidance for how to go about accomplishing this. To help get those efforts underway, APLU is teaming up with the University of California (UC) Center for Laboratory Safety and the lab safety firm BioRAFT to present a free 1.5-hour webinar on 30 June for researchers, environmental health and safety workers, campus administrators, and anyone else interested in safer labs.
May 26, 2016
Indiana University on Wednesday challenged a new state abortion law in federal court, arguing it restricts academic freedom by criminalizing the acquisition or transfer of fetal tissue used for research. The move stands out because the university is challenging the actions of the state that supports it. The dispute also comes at a time when many state and federal legislators are proposing laws to curtail abortion. And it arrives as lawmakers scrutinize fetal tissue research in the wake of a series of controversial videos released in 2015 showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the use of fetal tissue.