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Washington Update
Week of June 13 - 17
U-M Professor Thomas Zurbuchen Presents at Congressional Briefing on Space Weather
U-M Professor Thomas Zurbuchen Speaks with Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) Before the Space Weather Briefing
 
On Tuesday, U-M Professor Thomas Zurbuchen presented at a briefing organized by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research on 'Predicting Space Weather: Disruption in the near-Earth space environment and why it matters'. Among several items, Dr. Zurbuchen discussed the role of the university community in understanding space weather, including building models and improved prediction methodologies. U-M’s space weather model is used as a forecasting tool in the national Space Weather Prediction Center.

Before the briefing, Dr. Zurbuchen spoke with Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI). Sen. Peters is the lead sponsor of the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act. This legislation would assign responsibilities to government agencies to forecast and prepare for space weather events. Sen. Peters gave opening remarks at the briefing and acknowledged that U-M was integral in the initiation and drafting of this legislation.


Senate Considers Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill

This week, the Senate began consideration of the FY2017 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill. This legislation passed out of Committee in April. The legislation was stalled mid-week when Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) filibustered the legislation in order to secure the promise of two votes on gun control measures. The filibuster ended early Thursday morning and the Senate will resume consideration of the legislation next week.

The Senate Committee approved 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)

Senate Approves National Defense Authorization Act

This week, the Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2943) by a vote of 85 to 13. Almost all amendment consideration was blocked. The passage of the legislation sets up a conference with the House passed Defense Authorization (H.R.4909), which passed in May. The White House has threatened to veto both the House and Senate measure.


AAAS Offering Courses on Proposal Writing & the Federal Budget

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is offering two courses through their Career Development Center: Avoiding Common Errors in Proposal Writing; and Understanding the Federal R&D Budget. These two courses are free for members, and $59 for non-members. AAAS has recently launched the Career Development Center, an e-learning website which can be located at: careerdevelopment.aaas.org.


Legislative Activities
 
The Senate will reconvene on Monday, June 20 and resume consideration of the FY2017 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. The House will reconvene on Tuesday, June 21.
 
Committee Hearings

Wednesday, June 22

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Full Committee Hearing: Ensuring Sound Science at EPA
Witness: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn

House Energy and Commerce Committee
Energy and Power Subcommittee Hearing: The Renewable Fuel Standard - Implementation Issues
10:00 a.m., 2123 Rayburn

House Committee on Agriculture
Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Hearing: Big Data and Agriculture: Innovation in the Air
10:00 a.m., 1300 Longworth

 

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.

Required qualifications:

  • 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.
Nomination Announcements

Federal Advisory Committees:

Census Scientific Advisory Committee

The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) is requesting nominations of individuals and organizations to the Census Scientific Advisory Committee. The Committee advises the Director of the Census Bureau on the uses of scientific developments in statistical data collection, statistical analysis, survey methodology, geospatial analysis, econometrics, cognitive psychology, and computer science as they pertain to the full range of Census Bureau programs and activities. The Committee also provides scientific and technical expertise from the following disciplines: Demography, economics, geography, psychology, statistics, survey methodology, social and behavioral sciences, Information Technology and computing, marketing, communications, and other fields of expertise, as appropriate, to address Census Bureau program needs and objectives
Further information is available here. Nominations are due July 15.
 
National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations
The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) is requesting nominations of individuals and organizations to the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. The Committee provides insight, perspectives, expertise and advice to the Director of the Census Bureau on the full spectrum of Census surveys and programs. The Committee assists the Census Bureau in developing appropriate research/methodological, operational, and communication strategies to reduce program/survey costs, improve coverage and operational efficiency, improve the quality of data collected, protect the public's and business units' privacy and enhance public participation and awareness of Census programs and surveys, and make data products more useful and accessible.
Further information is available here. Nominations are due July 15.

HHS Advisory Committee on Minority Health
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH), is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment as a member of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health. The Committee provides advice to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health on improving the health of racial and ethnic minority groups, and on the development of goals and specific program activities of OMH designed to improve the health status and outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities.
Further information is available here. Nominations are due September 8.
 
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.
 
CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

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.

The deadline for receipt of all application materials (for consideration for term beginning July 1, 2017) is June 30, 2016. Further information is available here.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Federal Advisory Committees

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.
News Articles
Canada launches review of its research enterprise
Universities call for increased federal investment in ag research
Senate passes $602 billion defense authorization bill
Gun violence research ban must be lifted, say doctors
House panel, agencies oppose boost in basic research tax
 
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If you would like to be added to the Washington Update, please contact Madeline Nykaza (mnykaza@umich.edu).






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