Kevin C. Cooke, Ph.D.

Director, Research Policy

Ny’lyjah Cain
Senior Associate, STEM Education & Research Policy

CoR News (March 28, 2016)


CoR NEWSMarch 28, 2016

To: APLU Council on ResearchFrom: APLU CoR Staff

  • APLU joins AAU and COGR in response to USDA Regulatory Burden RFI

AAU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), on March 18, in response to the Department’s Request for Information (RFI) on how to increase the effectiveness and reduce the burdens of USDA regulations. Our joint letter focused on the use of animals in research.

The associations urged USDA to establish a risk-based, tiered level of oversight for animal research that poses no more than minimal risk; to take a more risk-based approach to inspections that would harmonize with the Public Health Service policy; and to explore alternatives to requiring a literature search as a means of identifying alternatives to animal models.

USDA issued the RFI in accordance with the Department’s retrospective review of existing regulations required by Executive Orders 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” and 13610, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens.”

  • Sign-up Reminder: New APLU/CoR Distribution List for Associate SROs

As noted in the March 14 CoR News:

CoR has determined that it would be useful to develop an email distribution list for Associate VP/VCRs, in addition to this CoR list, which is directed solely at VP/VCRs and APLU staff. This new list will be used for occasional communications regarding relevant meetings, news, and initiatives. As an example, this list will permit communications related to the upcoming New and Associate SRO workshop at the CoR Summer Meeting. We also plan to copy the new Associates distribution list on CoR News mailings such as this. Please email gcroft@aplu.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding the new list.

Please forward this email, and/or a link to this Google Form soliciting Associate VP/VCR contact information to any and all Associate VP/VCRs you would like subscribed to our new list. We will use responses to the Google Form to build our Associates database.

Please submit Associate contact details to the Google Form by Monday, April 4th.

  • NIH Reiterates Support for Basic Research, Revises Grant Application Instructions

Dr. Francis Collins and NIH’s senior leadership published a letter in Science (March 25) reiterating NIH’s commitment to basic science and introducing a revision to its grant application instructions to this effect. The updated instructions will ensure that the public health relevance statement in grant applications better reflects the full spectrum of the NIH mission and its commitment to support a robust, diverse research portfolio, including pursuit of basic knowledge.

Excerpt from the letter:

We are particularly concerned that misperceptions about NIH’s priorities and interests may be causing investigators to submit fewer basic research applications. For example, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) noticed a gradual and significant decline in the number of basic grants awarded between 1997 and 2012 (4). This decrease in awards was not a consequence of peer review given that basic grant applications actually did substantially better in review than applied research proposals. Instead, the major driver of this decline was a decrease in the number of fundamental basic research applications submitted.

  • April 7 Report Release: American Academy of Arts and Sciences Lincoln Project on Public Universities

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has developed a series of reports on public research universities. APLU highlighted “The Lincoln Project” as a session at the 2015 APLU Annual Meeting – co-convened by CAA, CEO, CGA, CICEP, CoR, and CSC. The Lincoln Project is co-chaired by Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor Emeritus, UC Berkeley; and Mary Sue Coleman, President Emerita, University of Michigan and incoming president of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

The much-anticipated final Lincoln Project report on “Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education” will be publicly released on Thursday, April 7 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Please see the attached PDF for an invitation to attend this event. Prospective attendees should RSVP here by Friday, April 1. For those who will not be in Washington, the Academy is planning a series of related outreach events throughout 2016. The event will be recorded and posted to the Lincoln Project website at a later date.

From the website:

The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education is considering the implications of reduced state investment in public higher education; assessing the role of the federal government in funding our great public research universities; and developing recommendations for ensuring that public universities continue to serve the nation as engines of economic development and opportunity for Americans from all backgrounds. Ultimately, the project will encourage the development of new federal, corporate, and philanthropic sources of support to sustain public higher education in every state.