Washington Update
Office of Research
HHS Issues Proposed Rule on Human Subjects Protection in Research
On September 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on potential changes to federal rules governing the use of human subjects in research. The proposed changes would update the so-called Common Rule. They follow an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in 2011. Among other changes, the rule would require institutions to use a single institutional review board (IRB) for multi-site studies. A summary of the major changes is available here. Comments are due close of business on Monday, December 7.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Provides Thoughts on STEM Education
This week, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Presented at a luncheon attended by the UM Washington, D.C. office. Administrator Bolden emphasized the importance of STEM education, and specifically discussed the STEM programs at NASA. NASA has unique capabilities that allow the agency to contribute to and advance STEM education. He also discussed the necessity of recruiting underrepresented minorities to the STEM fields. He directed the audience to review the NASA Education Implementation Plan, which is available online here. This plan outlines the role of NASA education and how performance is measured.

AFOSR Presents at Association of American Universities

This week, Dr. Thomas Christian, the Director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), presented at the Association of American Universities monthly meeting of the Council of Federal Relations. During Dr. Christian's presentation, he provided an overview of AFOSR, their technical strategy, and how to work with their office. AFOSR  seeks to discover, shape and champion basic research that profoundly impacts the future Air Force. AFOSR looks to identify individuals early in their career who have the potential to make significant breakthroughs. AFOSR proposals are broad and their aim is to give money without a lot of stipulations.

Dr. Christian visited the University of Michigan last week and made several references to AFOSR's collaborations with U-M during his presentation. U-M is the lead on an Air Force Center of Excellence in Electric Propulsion. In addition, the University of Michigan is the fourth best funded university. If you would like a complete summary of the presentation, please e-mail Madeline (

Precision Medicine Initiative Update
On Thursday, September 17, the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director released its recommendations for how the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program should be shaped and implemented. The report is now available here. You may also wish to view some of the presentations made during the Advisory Committee meeting here. For comprehensive notes from the advisory committee meeting, please e-mail Madeline ( 

Dr. Collins and Dr. Hudson (NIH Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy) will also host a briefing for stakeholders on the report and the design of the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program.  The briefing will take place Friday, September 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST. The briefing will be webcast at
Nomination Announcements
Alan T. Waterman Award
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Alan T. Waterman Award. Each year, the Foundation bestows the Waterman Award in recognition of the talent, creativity, and influence of a singular young researcher. Nominees are accepted from all sources, and from any field of science and engineering that NSF supports. The award recipient will receive a medal and an invitation to the formal awards ceremony in Washington, DC. In addition, the recipient will receive a grant of $1,000,000 over a five-year period for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science or engineering supported by the NSF, at any institution of the recipient's choice. The NSF is especially interested in nominations for women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities.

Nomination deadline: Friday, October 23. To submit an application, please visit here. Please contact Dr. Sherrie Green, Program Manager for the Alan T. Waterman Award at or 703-292-8040 if you have any questions. You may also visit here for more information.
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee
The Department of Commerce is requesting nominations for individuals to serve on the National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee. This committee is responsible for reviewing nominations and making recommendations for the Nation's highest honor for technological innovation, awarded periodically by the President of the United States.

Application deadline: Friday, October 16. 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
The Science Teacher
Another Research Gender Gap: Men Get More Start-Up Money
Golden Goose Awards for Unusual Research
The Winners and Losers of Innovation
U.S. universities lead in innovation, Asia a rising power
NIH disclosure rules falter
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UM DC Office
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UMOR DC Website
If you would like to be added to the Washington Update, please contact Madeline Nykaza (