Washington Update
Office of Research

Congress Resumes Session After August Recess

On Tuesday, September 8, both the House of Representatives and the Senate returned to Washington, D.C. after their August recess. Congress has until September 30th to pass an appropriations measure, either individual appropriations bills or a short-term continuing resolution, to avoid a government shutdown. There are several sticking points making this difficult, including disagreements over federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the Iran deal, and military funding. According to the Washington Post, some experts strongly believe there will be a government shutdown (read here).

The Department of Energy Releases 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review
On Thursday, September 10, the Department of Energy released the 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR). This report examines the current status of clean energy technologies and identifies research opportunities to support the effort to modernize our power sector. The 2015 QTR builds on the 2011 QTR, which was developed in response to the Report to the President on Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Read the full report here. If you would like additional information from the public launch, please email Madeline ( for her summary. 

This week we are introducing a new section to the DC update that we hope will highlight the impact wolverines are making in the nation's capital. These alums are a testament to the university's commitment to educating future leaders and policy makers who seek roles in which they can serve the nation. We hope you enjoy getting to know these people as much as we enjoy being able to shine a light on these bright stars. If you have any suggestions on alums you would like featured, please let Madeline know.
Wolverines in Washington, D.C. --
Highlighting some of the important work happening in our nation’s capital by University of Michigan alumni
Adri Jayaratne, Class of 1999
What do you do for work?:
Acting Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
U.S. Department of Labor

Nominated by the President in January, 2015 to be an Assistant Secretary of Labor.
How does this tie in with the University’s mission of developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future?:
The Department of Labor’s mission is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
The Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (OCIA) serves to advance the Secretary's mission promoting the Department of Labor as the Department of Opportunity to policymakers both in Washington and throughout state and local governments. OCIA assists the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, agency heads, and departmental staff to develop effective programs and strategies to achieve the Department's legislative goals and objectives. OCIA also coordinates with Departmental leadership to educate policymakers about the Department's programs and federal labor issues.
How do you bring your experience and what you learned at U-M into your current role in Washington, D.C.?
One thing I learned at UofM was the importance of looking at situations and issues through a critical lens. If something isn’t working or could be improved, don’t accept the status quo. Through my public service here at the Department of Labor and previously in Congress, I feel like I’ve been able to make a difference for individuals and families to ensure prosperity is enjoyed broadly.
What did you study at U-M?:
Political Science
What is your favorite memory from your time at U-M? or What do you miss most about Ann Arbor?:
I grew up in Ann Arbor and both my parents worked for the University, so I was a Michigan man from a very early age. My family and many of my friends growing up and from college still live in Ann Arbor. This is what I miss most.
Committee Activities
Wednesday, September 16
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Full Committee Hearing: Achieving the Promise of Health Information Technology: Improving Care Through Patient Access to Their Records
10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen
Nomination Announcements

The Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on a newly established committee, the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (Committee). The Committee will provide advice on sustained National Climate Assessment activities and products to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, who will forward the advice to the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). 

OAA is seeking individuals with expertise in communications, engagement, and education; risk management and risk assessment; economics and social sciences; technology, tools, and data systems; and other disciplines relevant to the sustained National Climate Assessment process. In addition, NOAA is seeking individuals with expertise in climate change and variability, spanning the range from climate science (physical, biological, chemical) to impacts and societal responses. Individuals with experience in the private sector, academia, public sector, non-governmental organizations,and others will all be given consideration.

Application deadline: Monday, September 14. Read the full announcement here.   
NASA Federal Advisory Committees
NASA is inviting public nominations for service on NASA Federal advisory committees. NASA's Federal advisory committees have member vacancies from time to time throughout the year, and NASA will consider self-nominations to fill such intermittent vacancies. NASA's six currently chartered Federal advisory committees are the: Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, Applied Sciences Advisory Committee, the International Space Station Advisory Committee, the International Space Station National Laboratory Advisory Committee, the NASA Advisory Council, and the National Space-Based Positioning, Naviation and Timing Advisory Board.

Application deadline: Wednesday, September 30. Read the full announcement here.

Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking nominations of qualified individuals to be considered for appointment as members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). PACHA will provide advice, information and recommendations to the HHS Secretary regarding programs and policies intended to promote effective prevention and care of HIV disease and AIDS.
Application deadline: Friday, October 9. Read the full announcement here.
Fellowship Announcements
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is accepting applications for 2016 class. The GRFP accepts outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and in STEM education. This program provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who demonstrate the potential for significant research achievements in these areas. 

Application deadline: October 26 - 30 (varies based on directorate). Further information available here
News Articles
FY 2016 R&D Appropriations So Far: A Roundup
Reproducibility will not cure what ails science
Medical Innovation Bill Passed the House With 344 Votes; Now It’s On Life Support
The United States needs a research investment fund to compete with China
Obama Promotes Plan for College Affordability on Michigan Trip
House passes stem cell research reauthorization
UM DC Office
UM DC Office
UMOR DC Website
UMOR DC Website
If you would like to be added to the Washington Update, please contact Madeline Nykaza (