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Washington Update
Week of January 30 - February 3
House Science Committee Announces Priorities for 115th Congress
 
This week, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced the committee's top priorities for the 115th Congress. This includes:
  • Cutting Government Red Tape, Emphasizing Sound Science at EPA: The Committee will highlight the EPA's need to use sound science and transparent data to justify its rules and regulations. 
  • Reforms to Department of Energy (DoE) Programs: The committee will continue to prioritize basic research at the Department of Energy, and will work to limit spending on late-stage commercialization programs that distort the energy market.
  • STEM Education and Reauthorization of NSF and NIST Programs: STEM education initiatives are a priority for the Committee along with initiatives including computer science. Reauthorizing the NIST programs is needed to prioritize the labs and protect our country from vulnerable technologies that lead to cyberattacks.
  • Oversight of FDIC Cybersecurity Failures, FISMA, and Ongoing Investigations: The Committee will continue to conduct robust government-wide cybersecurity oversight under its FISMA jurisdiction.
  • Constancy of Purpose within NASA: The Committee will continue to ensure that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration pursues a balanced portfolio of programs reinvigorated with bold exploration objectives.

AAAS Analysis of Two Budget Proposals That Will Likely Influence the Trump Administration

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released an analysis of two current budget proposals that are likely to influence President Trump's approach to his budget proposal. One proposal is The Heritage Foundation's: Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017. The second proposal is the Republican Study Committee's Blueprint for a Balanced Budget 2.0.

Both budgets include steep cuts to discretionary spending overall. The AAAS analysis outlines the budget's outlook with regards to science and technology. These proposals have not been put forward by the Trump administration, but are ideas supported or created by his current advisors and are widely speculated to influence his thinking. It is also important to remember that Congress will have the final say on spending, and Members of Congress often have different views than the administration on spending priorities.

National Medal of Technology and Innovation -- Accepting Applications

The Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is accepting nominations for the 2017 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal, presented each year by the President, is the country's highest award for technological achievement. The medal can be awarded to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies to recognize their outstanding contributions to the U.S. economic, environmental, and social well-being.

Nominations are due on April 7, 2017. Further information is available here.

STAT News Innovation Competition

STAT News is launching STAT Madness, a search for the best in life science innovation from universities across the country. To participate, click here to submit your innovation published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2016. STAT will hold a bracketed competition — letting readers vote on the winners of each match-up — and ultimately crown a champion of innovation. The winning innovation will be featured on STAT. The deadline is February 15, 2017. More than one entry is allowed.

Communicating Science Bootcamp -- Accepting Applications

The Alda Center for Communicating Science Boot Camp is intended for scientists – including faculty members, post docs and graduate students – who are eager to improve their skills in communicating science to the public. The center teaches flexible skills that are applicable to communicating with a range of people outside your own field, including students, funders, employers, policymakers, community members and scientists in other disciplines.

The next boot camp will be held at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY from June 19-23, 2017. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis through April. Early acceptance applications at a reduced rate ($1,500) are due by March 1, 2017. Further information and the application can be found here.


US Water Alliance Opens Nominations for 2017 US Water Prize

The U.S. Water Alliance has opened nominations for their 2017 US Water Prize. According to the U.S. Water Alliance, this prize is awarded on an annual basis to celebrate outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable solutions to our nation's water challenges.

Winners of the 2017 US Water Prize will be recognized and announced during the Water Prize Ceremony at the 2017 One Water Summit in New Orleans, June 27-29. Nominations are due March 8, 2017. Winners will be chosen by an Independent Review Panel comprised of past winners and water industry experts. More information about the nomination process can be found here.

Legislative Activities

Both the House of Representative and the Senate will be in session next week, February 6 - 10.

Tuesday February 7

House Science, Space and Technology Committee
Full Committee Hearing: Make EPA Great Again
11:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn


Wednesday, February 8

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
Full Committee Hearing: A Look Ahead: Inspector General Recommendations for Improving Federal Agencies
10:00 a.m., 216 Hart

Highlighting U-M Faculty Serving on Federal Advisory Committees:

We are proud to feature U-M faculty and staff who are serving on a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) in our weekly newsletter. Through FACs, faculty and staff live out U-M’s mission to serve the state, nation, and world by applying their knowledge and expertise to help shape and inform national policy. If you are currently serving on a FAC, or have recently been selected to serve, please let Kristina or Madeline know.

Dr. Kimberlee Kearfott
We are proud to feature U-M faculty and staff who are serving or have served on a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) in our weekly newsletter. Through FACs, faculty and staff live out U-M’s mission to serve the state, nation, and world by applying their knowledge and expertise to help shape and inform national policy.
 
This week, we are featuring Dr. Kimberlee Kearfott, Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering; Adjunct Professor, Radiology.
 
Dr. Kearfott serves on the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Environmental Management Advisory Board (EMAB). According to the DoE, EMAB’s mission is to provide independent and external advice, information, and recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (EM) on corporate issues relating to accelerated site clean-up and risk reduction. The Board works to identify applicable private sector best management practices and provides counsel on how to integrate them into the EM program.

To learn more about Dr. Kearfott’s background and research areas, please click here.

Nomination Announcements
 
Federal Advisory Committees:
 

Census Bureau 2020 Advisory Committee
The Department of Commerce's Census Bureau is accepting nominations for the Census Bureau 2020 Advisory Committee. The Committee will provide formal review and feedback related to 2020 Census plans and execution to devise strategies to increase census awareness, reduce barriers to response, and enhance the public's trust and willingness to respond.
 
Nominations are due February 17, 2017. Further information is available here.
 
Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
The Government Accountability Office is accepting nominations to join the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) for appointments that will be effective May 1, 2017.

Nominations are due March 10, 2017. Further information is available here.

Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states on a wide array of issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The U.S. Comptroller General appoints MACPAC’s 17 commissioners, who come from diverse regions across the United States and bring broad expertise and a wide range of perspectives on Medicaid and CHIP. GAO is now accepting nominations to MACPAC that will be effective May 1, 2017.

Nominations are due February 24, 2017. Further information is available here.

 
National Sea Grant Advisory Board
The Secretary of Commerce is accepting applications for membership on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board, a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice on the implementation of the National Sea Grant College Program. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) intends to fill two expected vacancies on the Board in 2017.
 
Applications must be postmarked no later than March 1st 2017. Applications will be kept on file for consideration of any Board vacancy for a period of three years from the closing date of this notice. Further information is available here.
 
Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is soliciting nominations for membership on the Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).

The Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel provides advice and guidance to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); the Director, CDC, and the Administrator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regarding the concept review, scientific and technical merit of grant and cooperative agreement assistance applications, and contract proposals relating to the causes, prevention, and control of diseases, disabilities, injuries, and impairments of public health significance; exposure to hazardous substances in the environment; health promotion and education; and other related activities that promote health and well-being.

Nominations are due March 31, 2017. Further information is available here.

 
NSF Advisory Committee Openings
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting nominations for positions available on its scientific and technical federal advisory committees. There are 13 advisory committees accepting nominations including:
  • Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences
  • Advisory Committee for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure
  • Advisory Committee for Education and Human Resources
  • Advisory Committee for Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Geosciences
  • Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
  • Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering
  • Advisory Committee for Business and Operations
  • Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee
The federal register notice, with details on how to submit names, is available here. Nominations for membership are maintained for one year.
 
National Institute of Standards and Technology Federal Advisory Committees
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting nominations for appointment to nine existing Federal Advisory Committees:
  • Board of Overseers of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
  • Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
  • Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board
  • National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee
  • Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction
  • National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction
  • NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee
  • Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology
Nominations will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Further information is available here.
 
Council on Graduate Medical Education
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accpeting nominations to fill vacancies on the Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME). The COGME provides advice and recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services and members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on matters related to: supply of physicians in the U.S., physician workforce trends, training issues, and financing policies.

The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis. Further information is available here.
News Articles
‘We fear the chilling effect this will have’: Nearly 50 higher education associations unite to oppose travel ban
What You Need to Know About Colleges and the Immigration Ban
Travel Ban Throws Research, Academic Exchange Into Turmoil
 
Ivy League and other university presidents call on Trump to revoke — or change — immigration order
Will they or won’t they? What science groups are saying about joining the March for Science
How Trump’s travel ban could hurt science
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