Washington Update
Week of February 6 - 10
Scientific Integrity Bill Introduced in the Senate
This week, Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Scientific Integrity Act (S.338), along with twenty-seven of his Democratic colleagues, including Senators Stabenow and Peters from Michigan.

This legislation would enshrine into law existing policies at the 24 federal agencies with science programs. The policies are the result of an executive order from former President Barack Obama requiring agencies to define how they will safeguard scientific integrity. Among other items, this legislation would require:
  • Reaffirm the principle of open communication of scientific findings and prevent the suppression of scientific findings;
  • Ensure that scientists are allowed to communicate their findings with the public, press, and Congress;
  • Direct federal agencies to develop scientific integrity policies that include whistleblower protections; and,
  • Require scientific integrity policies to be posted online and given to all new hires

Cabinet Confirmations Update
This week, the Senate approved the nominations of:
  • Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education by a vote of 51 to 50 (VP Pence cast the tie-breaking vote)
  • Jeff Sessions for Attorney General by a vote of 52 to 47
  • Tom Price (Double U-M alum) for Secretary of Health and Human Services by a vote of 52 to 47.
The Washington Post has a full confirmation update here.

Capitol Hill Briefing Centered on U-M Research Concept
Dr. Mark Fendrick Speaks at V-BID Briefing
This week, Dr. Mark Fendrick, Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School and Professor of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health (SPH), spoke at a Congressional briefing hosted by Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The briefing was organized in the wake of the national and Congressional focus on healthcare reform.

Dr. Fendrick's research focuses on how insurance-related costs influence patient behavior. His research has led to a concept called Value-Based Insurance Design (V-BID). The U-M Center for V-BID was co-founded by Dr. Fendrick and Dr. Michael Chernew, a former SPH faculty member. According to V-BID, their plans align patients’ out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments and deductibles, with the value of services.

Last year, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act called for a demonstration using V-BID in the TRICARE program. At the briefing the host Representatives expressed interest in co-sponsoring legislation to expand V-BID in private and public payers.

A full write-up of the briefing can be found on the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation's website here or on the V-BID website here.

Two U-M Faculty Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Professors Mark Daskin and Ellen Arruda

This week, two U-M faculty members were elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the NAE is one of the highest professional honors accorded to an engineer. Members are elected by their peers, current NAE members, and cannot apply individually for membership. Both will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. this October. There are 27 other NAE members at U-M. Further information is available here.
  • Ellen Arruda, Professor, Mechanical Engineering; Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, was elected "for pioneering research in polymer and tissue mechanics and their application in innovative commercial products." Professor Arruda co-directs the Exercise and Sports Science Initiative.
  • Mark Daskin, the Clyde W. Johnson Collegiate Professor and Chair, Industrial & Operations Engineering, was elected "for leadership and creative contributions to location optimization and its application to industrial, service, and medical systems."

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 13 - 17.

Tuesday February 14

House Science, Space and Technology Committee
Research and Technology Subcommittee Hearing: Strengthening U.S. Cybersecurity Capabilities
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn

Wednesday, February 15

House Science, Space and Technology Committee
Joint Energy Subcommittee and Oversight Subcommittee Hearing: Risky Business: The DOE Loan Guarantee Program
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn

Thursday, February 16

House Science, Space and Technology Committee
Full Committee Hearing: NASA: Past, Present, and Future
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn


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. James Lepkowski
This month, we are featuring Dr. James Lepkowski, Research Professor Emeritus and Director of the Summer Institute in Survey Research Techniques at the Institute for Social Research, and Professor Emeritus of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health.
Dr. Lepkowski serves on the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Program’s (OJP) Science Advisory Board. According to the DOJ, the Science Advisory Board is charged with providing OJP with guidance and recommendations for research, statistics and grant programs, ensuring the programs and activities are scientifically sound and pertinent to policymakers and practitioners. Dr. Lepkowski was among the first 18 board members named to serve when the Board was first created in 2010.
Through his work on the OJP Science Advisory Board, Dr. Lepkowski has contributed to the design of Bureau of Justice Statistics surveys on crime victimization and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data collection and etimation system as well as understanding participation rates in surveys across the OJP.  He has been a member of the subcommittee on the Bureau of Justice Statistics and another on data collection and statistics.
To learn more about Dr. Lepkowski’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.

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.

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.
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
Nearly 600 colleges object to Trump’s travel ban
U.S. Senate bill aims to make sure federal scientists aren’t ‘muzzled’
**International students and faculty make 'the world a safer place'
Trump advisers' space plan: To moon, Mars and beyond
Tom Price Is Confirmed as Health Secretary
Who is Betsy DeVos?
Yale professors: Trump puts U.S. scientific leadership at risk
** Denotes U-M Mention
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