Week of April 18 - 22
Senator Peters Introduces Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act
This week, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act (S.2817). This bipartisan legislation will strengthen space weather research by directing the various federal agencies responsible for understanding, predicting, and forecasting space weather to develop new tools and technologies to improve forecasting and develop benchmark standards to describe space weather disturbances and their potential impacts on Earth. This legislation has implications for NASA, NOAA, NSF, DoD, and DHS.
In the press release announcing this legislation, Senator Peters' stated: “We must ensure that we have the tools and resources to research and predict these events, and protect our nation’s infrastructure so we can avoid an economic catastrophe in the event of severe space weather.”
U-M worked closely with Senator Peters' office to craft this legislation. U-M's Vice President for Research Jack Hu was also quoted in the press release, stating: “Extreme space weather can pose a serious threat to our economy as well as to the safety and security of citizens in the U.S. and around the world. It has the potential to cause widespread blackouts in our electrical grid, for example, or to interfere with satellites used for GPS and communications. The University of Michigan applauds Senators Peters, Gardner and Booker for introducing the bipartisan Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, which provides guidance to federal agencies working to increase our ability to understand, predict, and forecast space weather for the benefit of all.”
Senate Passes FAA Reauthorization
This week, the Senate approved the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act by a vote of 95 to 3. This legislation now heads to the House for consideration. Recent efforts to reauthorize the FAA have stalled in the House and it remains to be seen what the House will do with the Senate-passed measure.
The FAA Reauthorization includes language (section 2155) that was offered as an amendment by Senator Peters (D-MI) during the Senate Committee markup. Senator Peters' provision is a modified version of S.2626, the Higher Education UAS Modernization Act. The provision puts the FAA on a timeline for establishing a process to expedite and make more flexible the safe operation of UAS by institutions of higher education for educational or research purposes. If the FAA is unable to establish this process within 270 days, an institution of higher education can immediately begin operating small UAS at model aircraft fields approved by the Academy of Model Aeronautics or seek approval from the FAA to utilize an alternative designated outdoor flight field.
Senate Approves Energy Policy Modernization Act
This week, the Senate approved the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S.2012) by a vote of 85 to 12. This bill is the first major revamp of federal energy policy since 2007. It contains policy and authorization levels (non-binding federal funding levels) for a number of energy and research programs. This legislation was originally held up over the insistence for the inclusion of an aid package to address the Flint water crisis. Last week, the hold on the legislation was dropped, clearing the way for the legislation to move forward. Senator Stabenow (D-MI) stated leadership promised "another path forward" for a Flint aid bill.
The Energy Policy Modernization Act includes a provision which would increase authorized funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science by five percent annually over five years. The legislation also includes an amendment which would provide for an increase of $147M over five years for the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E). The amendment would authorize $325M for FY16-18 and $375M for FY19-20.
This legislation now moves to a conference committee with a House-passed measure, which was narrower in scope.
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY17 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill
This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2017 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations bill by a vote of 30 to 0. This legislation would provide:
- $19.3B for NASA (+$21M over FY16)
- $5.4B for the Science Mission Directorate ($194M below FY16)
- $687 for Space Technology (Equal to FY16)
- $601M for Aeronautics ($39M below FY16)
- $40M for Space Grant (Equal to FY16)
- $7.5B for NSF (Equal to FY16)
- $974M for NIST (+$10M over FY16)
- $5.7B for NOAA ($33.5M above FY16)
House Appropriations Committee Approves FY17 Energy-Water Appropriations Bill
This week, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Energy-Water Appropriations bill. The bill would provide $5.4B for the Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Science. This is an increase of $53M (1%) above the FY2016 enacted level of $5.35B. The President's Budget requested $5.67B (through a proposed combination of mandatory and discretionary spending) for the Office of Science. The bill would provide $305.8M for ARPA-E, an increase of $14.8M (5.1%) above the FY2016 enacted level of $291M. The President's Budget requested $500M for ARPA-E through a combination of mandatory and discretionary spending.
A summary of the legislation is available here and text of the bill is available here.
NSF Accepting Nominations for Advisory Committees
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.
NIH Launches Research Program Aimed at Reducing Health Disparities in Surgical Outcomes
This week, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), launched a research program aimed at better understanding and addressing disparities in surgical care and outcomes for disadvantaged populations. This research initiative provides R01 and R21 opportunities to understand and address disparities in surgical care and outcomes.
National Cancer Institute Launches Online Platform to Submit Ideas about Research for Cancer Moonshot
This week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched an online platform to enable the research community to submit ideas on the National Cancer Moonshot efforts. The Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts and patient advocates will consider the feedback as the develop the scientific direction at NCI for the initiative. Ideas for advancing progress against cancer may be submitted at CancerResearchIdeas.cancer.gov.
U-M PhD Students Attend AAAS CASE Workshop in DC
Ben Isaacoff and Sarah Paleg, AAAS CASE Workshop Attendees in front of the U.S. Capitol
This week, two U-M PhD candidates traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop. The three-and-a-half day workshop gave students the opportunity to learn about Congress, the federal budget process, and effective science communication.
Sarah and Ben spent one day of the conference visiting with the Michigan delegation offices and other staff on Capitol Hill to learn how they could use their science expertise to better engage with policymakers.
NSF Seeking Input in Candidate Search for Assistant Director for Three Directorates
NSF is initiating a national search for the NSF's Assistant Director for Geosciences and is seeking assistance in the identification of candidates.
The Assistant Director, GEO, leads a directorate comprised of four divisions: Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS), Earth Sciences (EAR), Ocean Sciences (OCE), and Polar Programs (PLR). Dr. Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, will head the search committee. NSF seeks your help in identifying candidates with the following qualifications: outstanding leadership; a deep sense of scholarship; a grasp of the issues facing the geosciences in the areas of research and education; experience developing and overseeing complex scientific facilities; and the ability to serve effectively as a key member of the NSF management team. Recommendations of individuals from any sector - academic, industry, or government - are welcome.
Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information that you can provide, to the AD/GEO Search Committee via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at the following address: NSF, Office of the Director, Suite 1205, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. Please send any recommendations by May 20, 2016.
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
NSF is conducting a search for NSF Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and seeks your assistance in the identification of candidates. The Assistant Director, MPS, leads a directorate comprised of five divisions — Astronomical Sciences (AST), Chemistry (CHE), Materials Research (DMR), Mathematical Sciences (DMS), Physics (PHY) —and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA). Dr. Saul Perlmutter, Franklin W. and Karen Weber Dabby Professor at the U. California, Berkeley, will head the search committee. NSF seeks your help in identifying candidates with the following qualifications: outstanding leadership; a deep sense of scholarship; a grasp of the issues facing the mathematical and physical sciences in the areas of research and education; experience developing and overseeing complex scientific facilities; and the ability to serve effectively as a key member of the NSF management team. Recommendations of individuals from any sector — academic, industry, or government — are welcome. Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information that you can provide, to the AD/MPS Search Committee via e-mail (email@example.com) or at the following address: NSF, Office of the Director, Suite 1205, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. Please send your recommendations by May 13, 2016.
NSF is initiating a search for Assistant Director for Engineering (ENG) and seeks your assistance identifying candidates. The Assistant Director, ENG, leads a directorate comprised of five divisions — Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET); Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI); Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS); Engineering Education and Centers (EEC); and Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) — as well as the Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA). Enclosed is an information sheet that summarizes the directorate's activities and the responsibilities of the position, together with the criteria that will be used in the search. Dr. C. Daniel Mote, President of the National Academy of Engineering, will head the search committee. We seek your help in identifying candidates with the following qualifications: outstanding leadership; a deep sense of scholarship; a grasp of the issues facing the engineering disciplines in the areas of research, education, and innovation; and the ability to serve effectively as a key member of the NSF management team. Recommendations of individuals from any sector — academic, industry, or government — are welcome. Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information that you can provide, to the AD/ENG Search Committee via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at the following address: NSF, Office of the Director, Suite 1205, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230. Recommendations made by May 27, 2016 would be appreciated.
ARPA-E Program Director Positions Available
ARPA-E is hiring Program Directors. The ideal candidates would have visionary ideas on promising areas for new energy technologies. Program Directors are responsible for program creation, design, implementation, and management.
Job opportunity details:
- Initial term of hire is three years.
- ARPA-E will consider hiring individuals from universities and other nonprofit organizations via an IPA.
- US Citizenship is required.
- Doctorate degree in an energy-relevant field of science or engineering, earned by original work.
- Strong vision for specific program areas that are ripe for ARPA-E investment – those likely to develop transformational energy technologies.
- Minimum of six to eight years of relevant energy-related experience in academia, industry, and/or technology investment.
- Strong background in both program management and technology transfer.
- Deep technical and industry knowledge.
- Familiarity in at least one specific area of energy technology, along with a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on energy-related issues.
Especially relevant backgrounds include:
- Electrochemical energy storage and conversion
- Photovoltaic energy conversion
- Advanced engines/vehicle technologies
- Chemical catalysis/reaction engineering for biofuels, industrial processes, and other energy applications
- Biological approaches to energy conversion/biofuels
- Low temperature waste heat recapture/thermodynamic and/or solid state cycles
- Fossil energy conversion/carbon capture and conversion
- Wind power/ocean and wave power/aerodynamics and fluid dynamics
- Grid scale energy storage
- Energy harvesting materials and devices
- Building efficiency technologies/HVAC/building envelope/smart buildings
- Advanced lighting technologies
- Advanced materials for energy applications
Further information is available here.
The Senate will reconvene on Monday, April 25. They will resume consideration of the FY17 Energy-Water appropriations bill. The House will convene on Tuesday, April 26.
Wednesday, April 27
Senate Appropriations Committee
Defense Subcommittee: FY2017 Appropriations for the Department of Defense
10:30 a.m., 192 Dirksen
Federal Advisory Committees:
National Environmental Education Advisory Council
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office of Public Engagement and Environmental Education is soliciting applications for environmental education professionals for consideration to serve on the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC). There are up to eleven vacancies on the Advisory Council that must be filled.
Nominations are due April 29. Further information here.
HRSA Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment as members of the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee). The Committee provides advice, recommendations, and technical information about aspects of heritable disorders and newborn and childhood screening to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. HRSA is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to fill three positions on the Committee.
Nominations are due May 16. Further information here.
EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee & Science Advisory Board
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites nominations of scientific experts from a diverse range of disciplines to be considered for appointment to the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) and five SAB committees. Appointments are anticipated to be filled by the start of Fiscal Year 2017 (October 2016).
CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
Nominations are due Friday, May 6. Further information here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are accepting nominations for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP consists of 15 experts in fields associated with immunization who provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the CDC on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases.
National Institute of Standards and Technology Federal Advisory Committees
Nominations will be accepted through Friday, November 4, 2016. Further information is available here.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting nominations for appointment to eight 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
- 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.