APLU Submits Comments on OSTP Research Environment RFI
APLU submitted a response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) request for information (RFI) on the American Research Environment. APLU urges individual institutions to submit comments to the RFI as well.
APLU’s comments affirm the importance of research reproducibility, replicability, and quality. The letter to OSTP also underscores the importance of public access to data underlying federally funded research. Additionally, APLU urged the federal government to coordinate and harmonize administrative requirements for research, which is essential to maximizing researchers’ time in the lab. On research security, APLU reiterated public universities’ deep and longstanding commitment to appropriately protecting federally funded research while maintaining openness to international students and scholars. Finally, APLU stressed public universities’ commitment to providing a safe, inclusive, equitable, and harassment-free environments for students, faculty, and staff.
Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act Introduced in the House
Today, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas introduced the Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology (SALTA) Act. The bill would double research funding levels for the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration over the next decade. APLU President Peter McPherson issued a statement applauding the research authorization increases in the bill.
Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Announces New Compliance Center
Last week, the Department of Education (ED) announced that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will launch a new “Outreach, Prevention, Education and Non-Discrimination (OPEN) Center” to “focus on proactive compliance with federal civil rights laws.” Per the announcement, the Center will “provide for improved technical assistance to recipients and the public through a dedicated team to ensure that technical assistance is high-quality, accurate, thorough, and legally sound.”
The announcement of the Center comes as the Department of Education’s proposed rewrite of Title IX remains with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
NSF Releases Indicators Report
On January 15, National Science Foundation (NSF) continued its Science and Engineering Indicators rollout with the release of The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2020. The report shows that the U.S. continues to perform the largest share of global research and development (R&D), generate the largest share of R&D-intensive industry output globally, award the largest number of science and engineering (S&E) doctoral degrees, and account for significant share of S&E research articles and citations worldwide.
The report also indicates that “increasingly, the United States is seen as an important leader rather than the uncontested leader” in the global S&E enterprise. For example, inventors from China, Japan, and South Korea are ahead internationally in new patent generation and other nations, particularly China, are rapidly developing their science and technology (S&T) capacity. The report notes that since 2000, “the share of U.S. R&D funded by the federal government has declined. This decline is notable as federally funded R&D is an important source of support, particularly for the higher education sector and for the nation’s basic research enterprise.”