News & Media

Washington Update: Teacher Preparation Rule; NIH Award; Institutional Review Boards; and More

APLU made recommendations to the U.S. Department of Education on a proposed rule regarding teacher preparation. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking input on a new “Emeritus Award” for senior level investigators, and APLU joined in submitting comments to the NIH on the use of a single institutional review board for multi-site research. Also, the National Science Foundation Released its FY2013 Higher Education R&D Survey Data.

APLU Submits Comments on the Teacher Preparation Proposed Rule

APLU responded to the Department of Education’s December 3, 2014 Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) on teacher preparation programs. While APLU acknowledged the need for excellent teachers in every classroom, APLU felt the NPRM proposal was “misdirected, based on unreliable and/or invalid measures, and would impose far too high of a financial burden on states and education programs.” Instead of implementing this proposed rule, APLU recommended the Department begin tracking the ongoing changes transpiring now in education programs and provide support for the development of new evaluation processes and measures through the Institute for Education Sciences.

NIH Seeking Input on New “Emeritus Award” for Senior Level Investigators

On February 3, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that based on interest from the research community, it is seeking input regarding a new “emeritus award”. This award will allow senior investigators to transition out of a position dependent on NIH funding by enabling a senior investigator to partner with a junior faculty member and hand off his or her research inquiry. The senior investigator would then train his or her junior colleague to continue with the research project, while still maintaining a mentorship role.

NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Dr. Sally Rockey has a blog post on this topic here. To read the request for information, or to submit your response, please click here. Responses will be accepted through March 6, 2015.

APLU Joins AAU on Comments to the NIH on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-Site Research

APLU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU) in sending a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the “Draft NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Multi-Site Research.”

Last year, NIH published a draft policy to promote the use, as appropriate, of a single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for all NIH multi-site research studies. The purpose of the policy change is to “to reduce procedural inefficiencies so that human subjects research can proceed efficiently without compromising ethical principles and protections.” Currently, research conducted at multiple sites, which must be approved by an IRB at each site, often face delays. NIH also cites significant administrative burden and added difficulty in recruiting human subjects into research studies. The draft policy proposes that all NIH-funded multi-site studies in the U.S. should use a single IRB. Exceptions would be allowed “if local IRB review is necessary to meet the needs of specific populations or where it is required by federal, state or tribal laws or regulations.”

NSF Releases FY2013 Higher Education R&D Survey Data

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released two items from the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey. The HERD Survey is the main source of information on research and development expenditures at U.S. colleges and universities. The survey’s analysis for FY2013 found that university spending on research and development increased by less than half of one percent in FY2013, when adjusted for inflation. This survey represents information from 891 higher education institutions that spent at least $150,000 in research and development. For further information on these findings, please click here. For more information on HERD findings from FY2013, please click here.

The next release of data will be a Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering expected in March 2015.

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