- Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on the FY18 Department of Education Budget
- House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on the FY18 National Science Foundation Budget
- NIH Announces Next Generation Researchers Initiative
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON THE FY18 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION BUDGET
Secretary Betsy DeVos testified Tuesday before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Humans Services, and Education on the agency's FY18 budget. In her testimony, she emphasized the need to reduce the complexity of federal student aid programs while increasing access for low-income students "through programs like year-round Pell."
Secretary DeVos acknowledged the Administration's budget may be "alarming" but insisted it refocuses priorities to better provide high-quality educational opportunities for all students. Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) opened the hearing by stating this is a difficult budget request to defend and such significant cuts are "likely untenable."
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON THE FY18 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION BUDGET
NSF Director France Córdova testified Wednesday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies on the agency's FY18 budget. Chairman John Culberson (R-TX) and Ranking Member Jose Serrano (D-NY) expressed enthusiastic support for the agency and its mission of funding fundamental scientific, engineering, and educational research. The Chairman said, "This whole subcommittee is arm-in-arm when it comes to our support for fundamental research, [and] the spectacular work done by the National Science Foundation."
In her testimony , Director Córdova asserted the agency's budget "continues the nation's longstanding commitment to basic research" but acknowledged it would reduce grant funding opportunities by 11 percent. Chairman Culberson concluded the hearing by briefly addressing the national debt and Congress' need to focus its attention on mandatory spending instead of reducing spending for discretionary programs.
NIH ANNOUNCES NEXT GENERATION RESEARCHERS INITIATIVE
On Thursday, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new initiative to support early-stage and mid-career researchers called the Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI). According to Director Collins' statement, the initiative has been established to stabilize the biomedical research workforce. Among its provisions, NGRI will provide approximately $210 million from NIH's base budget and an additional $1.1 billion per year after five years to support early-stage and mid-career investigators. The Next Generation model evolved from the input NIH received on its draft Grant Support Index (GSI) which has been shelved. NIH welcomes input on the new model.