Kevin C. Cooke, Ph.D.

Director, Research Policy

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

CoR News (December 20, 2017)


CoR NEWSDecember 20, 2017

To: APLU Council on ResearchFrom: APLU CoR Staff

  • APLU Annual Meeting Wrap-Up

We thank the 126 members of CoR who traveled to Washington for The Age of Disruption: Navigating, Innovating, and Excelling on November 12 – 14. Presentations for the sessions sponsored by CoR are available here, and the Google document presented at the CoR Business Meeting containing Lab Safety and F&A Resources is available here. More information will be available soon regarding the CoR F&A and HIBAR Working Groups; please email Sarah Rovito if you did not express interest at the CoR Business Meeting and would like to participate in one or both groups.

  • APLU and AAU Issue Recommendations for Ensuring Public Access to Research Data

A working group of research university leaders convened by APLU and the Association of American Universities (AAU) released a report in November detailing principles and recommended actions universities and federal agencies can take to advance timely access to data from federally-sponsored research grants.

The report outlines suggestions for viable and sustainable public access to research that advances science in the public interest while minimizing the administrative burden on agencies, universities, and researchers. The report also contains actions universities should take both collectively and individually to align with the goals of research data sharing.

The full press release, including statements by APLU President Peter McPherson and AAU President Mary Sue Coleman, is available here.

  • House to Vote on FY2018 Continuing Resolution/Defense Funding

This week, the House is expected to vote on H.J.Res.124, a bill which would fund the Department of Defense above the Budget Control Act caps for the remainder of FY2018 while flat-funding non-defense discretionary spending through January 19, 2018. The current CR expires on this Friday, December 22. Specifically, H.J.Res.124 also contains several health-related provisions, including an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through FY2022. Fully funding the FY2018 House Defense Appropriations bill without addressing year-long funding for the other agencies is seriously problematic, and is at odds with the principles of APLU and many others who have advocated that the defense and non-defense funding caps must both be raised at the same time and at the same levels.

APLU President Peter McPherson issued a statement expressing deep concern with the House resolution.

  • APLU Writes OMB with Concerns Over Banned Words at CDC

In response to reports this weekend that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refrain from using certain words (such as “science-based,” “evidence-based,” and “diversity”) in budget preparation documents, APLU President Peter McPherson sent a letter to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney expressing concern and seeking clarification. APLU released a short statement about the letter as well.

  • FCC Votes to Reverse Net Neutrality

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week approved the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. This FCC action repeals the prior net neutrality rules which required internet service providers to treat all internet traffic equally. Debate and policy activity around net neutrality issues will continue in the courts and in Congress. Several state attorneys general and public interest groups have announced their intent to file suit to stop the change. In Congress, many net neutrality bills are expected to be considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee. For example, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who chairs the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced her intent to introduce legislation to codify the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

  • National Space Council Seeking Nominations for User’s Advisory Group

NASA has publicly announced an invitation for nominations of U.S. citizens to serve as potential members of the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group (UAG). The UAG is a new Federal advisory committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) being established pursuant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991 (Pub. L. 101-611, Section 121) and Executive Order 13803, Section 6 (“Reviving the National Space Council”) signed by the President on June 30, 2017. The UAG is purely advisory and will ensure that the interests of industry and other non-Federal entities are adequately represented in the deliberations of the National Space Council. NASA is sponsoring the UAG on behalf of the National Space Council, an Executive Branch interagency coordinating committee chaired by the Vice President, which is tasked with advising and assisting the President on national space policy and strategy. Members of the UAG will serve either as “Representatives” (representing industry, other non-Federal entities, and other recognizable groups of persons involved in aeronautical and space activities), or as “Special Government Employees” (individual subject matter experts or consultants). The deadline for NASA to receive all public nominations is January 10, 2018, and questions may be directed to the UAG Designated Federal Officer/Executive Secretary, Dr. Jeff Waksman, Office of the Administrator, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. at jeff.l.waksman@nasa.gov.

  • NIH Lifts Funding Pause on Gain-of-Function Research

Yesterday, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it is lifting a funding pause on gain-of-function (GOF) experiments involving influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses. The funding pause dates back to October 2014 and was lifted in response to the release of the Department of Health and Human Services Framework for Guiding Funding Decisions about Proposed Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens (HHS P3CO Framework). The HHS P3CO Framework describes a multi-disciplinary review process, involving the funding agency and a Department-level review group, that considers the scientific merits and potential benefits of the research, as well as the potential to create, transfer, or use an enhanced potential pandemic pathogen. This framework formalizes robust oversight for federally funded research with enhanced pathogens of pandemic potential. It is the product of an extensive deliberative process undertaken by experts throughout the public and private sectors, and is aligned with the Recommended Policy Guidance for Departmental Development of Review Mechanisms for Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight (P3CO).

  • New NIH “Under the Poliscope” Blog About a Recent NIH-NSF Data Sharing Workshop

A new blog from “Under the Poliscope” is now available. This latest entry, “Data with Destiny: A Debrief of an NIH-NSF Workshop,” discusses a recently held workshop between NIH and NSF on the value of data sharing and describes some of the outcomes. As with all of our blogs, we invite you to add your voice to the conversation by providing your thoughts in the comment section of the blog. If you have any questions or require further information about the OSP blog or any of OSP’s activities, please contact us at SciencePolicy@od.nih.gov.

  • NSF Proposal & Award Policy Newsletter

The Policy Office in the Division of Institution & Award Support at the National Science Foundation is pleased to release another edition of the NSF Proposal & Award Policy Newsletter, designed to provide information about upcoming changes and clarifications to policies and procedures that affect the preparation and submission of proposals and management of awards. Please let the NSF know of any feedback at policy@nsf.gov.

  • New NSF Grants.gov Application Guide

NSF recently sent the letter below concerning the new NSF Grants.gov application guide:

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide has been issued. The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide has been updated to align with changes to NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1). Information about FastLane system registration has been removed and replaced with guidance for registering in Research.gov. Editorial changes have also been made to either clarify or enhance the intended meaning of a sentence or section or to ensure consistency with data contained in NSF systems or other NSF policy documents.

The new NSF Grants.gov Application Guide will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Policy Office on (703) 292-8243 or by e-mail to policy@nsf.gov. For technical questions relating to Grants.gov, please contact Grants.gov directly at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov.



Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution & Award Support
National Science Foundation

  • Extension of the Cost Share Pilot for Personnel on Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment to NSF

For many years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided the opportunity for scientists, engineers, and educators to rotate into the Foundation on a temporary basis. Many of our rotators, who are an integral and valued part of the NSF workforce, come to the agency through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) program. As part of the continuing effort to enhance the administration of temporary personnel at NSF under the IPA program, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, NSF piloted a required 10% cost share of the IPA’s base salary and fringe benefits for all new IPA agreements. NSF has decided to extend the pilot through FY2018 to ensure that a full evaluation can be conducted. Strongly justified waiver requests may be considered.

Questions may be referred to Allison Radford, Workforce Planning Program Manager, NSF OIRM/HRM (aradford@nsf.gov).

  • Request for Applications for the FY2018 DOE Early Career Research Program

The Office of Science of the Department of Energy is pleased to announce the request for applications for the Fiscal Year 2018 Early Career Research Program. The funding opportunity for researchers in universities and DOE national laboratories, now in its ninth year, supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science. Opportunities exist in the following program areas: Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR); Biological and Environmental Research (BER); Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES); High Energy Physics (HEP), and Nuclear Physics (NP). The mandatory Pre-Application Due Date is January 25, 2018.

  • AAALAC Seeking Comments on “Definition of Laboratory Animals”

The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International is seeking comments on proposed changes to its position statement on the “Definition of Laboratory Animals.” Additional information can be found here, and comments are due by December 22, 2017.