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Critical RISE Act Relief Would Support American Research Enterprise

The following is a statement from the Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman to support the “Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act,” which would authorize approximately $26 billion to support the nation’s research workforce and offset costs related to laboratory closures and lost research productivity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic:

In the last 75 years, federally supported research conducted at America’s leading universities and other scientific institutions helped put humans on the Moon, win the Cold War, create the internet, and invent the core technologies in smartphones, among other massive advances in science and innovation. But the COVID-19 crisis has put much of our nation’s critical research enterprise in limbo.

I applaud Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Fred Upton (R-MI), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) for their leadership in introducing the RISE Act. This sorely needed funding and regulatory relief would help keep critical research personnel working and ensure that federally supported research projects can be restarted and completed despite the unprecedented disruptions caused by COVID-19.

America’s research enterprise must continue to move forward and lead the world in scientific advancement and economic innovation. The RISE Act is a bipartisan investment in that continued momentum.

For more information about the unprecedented disruptions to federally supported research and their impact, please see this recent article in Science Magazine.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

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