Kevin C. Cooke, Ph.D.

Director, Research Policy

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

CoR News (December 21, 2016)


CoR NEWSDecember 21, 2016

To: APLU Council on ResearchFrom: APLU CoR Staff

  • CURES Update

​President Obama signed the 21st Century CURES Act into law on Tuesday, December 13. “Passage of the 21st Century CURES Act is one of the 114th Congress’ greatest achievements and is truly the perfect gift for all Americans during this holiday season,” said APLU President Peter McPherson following passage of the bill. By significantly increasing authorized biomedical research funding, this measure “gives real hope to the far too many Americans who suffer from debilitating and life-threatening diseases and are counting on new research to unlock cures and more effective treatments.” The rest of the APLU statement on the passage of the 21st Century CURES Act can be found here.

  • COMPETES Update

The House gave final approval to S. 3084, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act on Friday, December 16th. The bill, which updates programs and activities last authorized in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 – including at NSF and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), was previously passed by the Senate and heads to President Obama for signature. APLU President Peter McPherson’s statement on the passage of S. 3084 can be found here.

  • NDAA Update

Both the House and the Senate have passed the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA is a bill, passed annually, that authorizes and sets policy for defense programs at the Defense and Energy Departments, including defense R&D. The bill now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign.

  • Government Funding Update

The House passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) on December 9th that extends funding for most of the federal government at current levels until April 28, 2017. The CR includes a 0.19 percent across-the-board cut for all accounts and maintains the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Control Act sequester cap of $1.07 trillion. The previous CR included a reduction of 0.496 percent.

The stop-gap measure allows appropriators to complete work on the FY2017 spending bills in the 115th Congress, after President-elect Trump takes office, and includes some supplemental spending provisions. The CR provides $872 million for accounts funded by the recently passed 21st Century CURES Act, including the full $352 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Innovation Account. Through the Innovation Account, the CR provides:

  • $40 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative;
  • $10 million for the BRAIN Initiative;
  • $300 million for cancer research; and
  • $2 million for clinical research to further the field of regenerative medicine.

The CR also extends the Department of Education’s authority to make account maintenance fee payments to guarantee agencies under the Federal Family Education Loan program for an additional year. Other anomalies include $170 million to address water infrastructure and health needs in Flint, Michigan; $4.1 billion in disaster relief funds to respond to recent major flood and hurricane damage; and $45 million to extend health care coverage for retired coal miners into the next year.

  • AAAS Election Transition Information Website

AAAS recently launched a new set of pages to centralize reporting on the Presidential transition, with a focus on items most relevant to science and technology policy. The site is intended as a resource and includes information on the President-elect’s transition and Cabinet appointments; white papers, transition statements, and letters from the scientific community; and news and other resources. The site will continue to be updated after the Inauguration to include information on the New Administration’s First 100 Days.

  • Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense Indicators Study

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, chaired by Joseph Lieberman and Thomas Ridge, recently released a new progress report on the status of implementation of each of the recommendations from the Blueprint for Defense. The Panel is tasked with “recommending and promoting changes to U.S. policy and law to strengthen national biodefense while optimizing resource investments.”

  • NIH Request for Information on Strategies for NIH Data Management, Sharing, and Citation

The NIH seeks public comments on data management and sharing strategies and priorities in order to consider: (1) how digital scientific data generated from NIH-funded research should be managed, and to the fullest extent possible, made publically available; and (2) how to set standards for citing shared data and software. The NIH will consider all public comments before taking next steps, and electronic responses will be accepted here through January 19, 2017.

  • NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Updates Webinar

The NSF has updated the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), and changes will go into effect on January 30, 2017. A PAPPG Update Webinar will be offered to the public on Thursday, January 19, 2017 from 1:00pm – 2:30pm EST. The webinar will provide an overview of significant changes and clarifications to the PAPPG that will take effect for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. The PAPPG details NSF’s proposal preparation and submission guidelines, and provides guidance on managing and monitoring the award and administration of grants and cooperative agreements made by the Foundation. To register for this webinar, please proceed to the registration site here.

  • Associations Comment on NIST’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

APLU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) in submitting comments on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Notice of Proposed Rule Making “Rights to Federally Funded Inventions and Licensing of Government Owned Inventions.” The comment letter welcomes NIST’s efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the technology transfer infrastructure while maintaining the Bayh-Dole framework, and provides feedback on proposed changes to invention reporting and filing timelines and processes.