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D.C. Research Weekly Report


Senate Passes Budget Agreement, House Passed Agreement Last Week
On Tuesday, the Senate approved the FY2016 Budget Resolution Conference Report by a vote of 51 to 48 on a party line vote. The House also passed the resolution last week.

Budget resolutions, which do not go to the President for signature, are used to set overall spending levels for separate appropriations bills that Congress will send to the White house later this year, if passed.

The agreement includes more than $5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. On the non-defense discretionary (NDD) side of the budget, the resolution maintains the FY2016 sequester-level cap. However, beginning in FY2017 and through FY2025, the NDD accounts would be cut below the sequester-level caps, cutting NDD by $496 billion in total.

You can read more about the agreement here.

New Senate NIH Caucus 
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are starting a new, bipartisan Senate caucus dedicated to supporting the National Institutes of Health (NIH). On Tuesday, they circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter asking other Senators to join their caucus, which will focus on educating other Members about the importance of the NIH and supporting a bipartisan strategy to restore the purchasing power of the agency.
New Office of Research Website
The Office of Research has a new and improved website. You can check it out here. The Office of Federal Relations for Research page can be found here and the archive of D.C. Research Weekly Reports can be found here. We hope you find the new website useful and, of course, welcome any feedback you might have for the Federal Relations page.
Upcoming Hearings
Wednesday, May 13
Nuclear Energy Innovation and the National Labs
House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Subcommittee on Energy
Hearings to discuss the role of National Labs in nuclear energy innovation. 10:00AM

Thursday, May 14
A Pathway to Improving Care for Medicare Patients with Chronic Conditions
Senate Committee on Finance 
Hearings to discuss the impact of chronic conditions on Medicare, how to improve both the fiscal integrity of medicare and the quality of care patients receive. 10:00AM

Nomination Announcements

National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill at least 16 vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP).The NACNEP provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary and Congress in preparation of general regulations and concerning policy matters arising in the administration of Title VIII, including the range of issues related to nurse workforce education and practice improvement.

The Department of Health and Human Services is requesting at least 16 nominations for members of the NACNEP from leading authorities in the various fields of nursing, higher and secondary education, and associate degree schools of nursing; and from representatives of advanced education nursing groups (such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists); from hospitals and other institutions and organizations which provide nursing services; from practicing professional nurses; from the general public; and full-time students enrolled in schools of nursing. The majority of NACNEP members shall be nurses. Read the full announcement here.

 
National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Council is to advise the Secretary of HHS (Secretary) and the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on matters related to activities of the Agency to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

Seven current members' terms will expire in November 2015. To fill these positions, we are seeking individuals who are distinguished in: (1) The conduct of research, demonstration projects, and evaluations with respect to health care; (2) the fields of health care quality research or health care improvement; (3) the practice of medicine; (4) other health professions; (5) representing the private health care sector (including health plans, providers, and purchasers) or administrators of health care delivery systems; (6) the fields of health care economics, information systems, law, ethics, business, or public policy; and, (7) representing the interests of patients and consumers of health care. Individuals are particularly sought with experience and success in activities specified in the summary above. Read the full announcement here.

EPA Science Advisory Board

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites nominations of scientific experts from a diverse range of disciplines to be considered for appointment to the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and six SAB committees. The chartered SAB provides strategic advice to the EPA Administrator on a variety of EPA science and research programs. All the work of SAB committees and panels is under the direction of the chartered SAB. The chartered SAB reviews all SAB committee and panel draft reports and determines whether they are appropriate to send to the EPA Administrator. The SAB Staff Office is seeking nominations of experts to serve on the chartered SAB in the following disciplines as they relate to human health and the environment: Analytical chemistry; ecological sciences and ecological assessment; economics; engineering; geochemistry; health disparities; health sciences; hydrology; hydrogeology; medicine; microbiology; modeling; pediatrics; public health; risk assessment; social, behavioral and decision sciences; statistics; and toxicology. should be submitted in time to arrive no later than May 27, 2015. The SAB Staff Office is especially interested in scientists with expertise described above who have knowledge and experience in air quality; agricultural sciences; climate change; drinking water; energy and the environment; water quality; water quantity; water reuse; ecosystem services; community environmental health; sustainability; chemical safety; green chemistry; human health risk assessment; homeland security; and waste and waste management. Read the full announcement here.

 
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award
The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award is bestowed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy to mid-career scientists and engineers in recognition of exceptional scientific, technical, and/or engineering achievements related to the broad missions of the U.S. Department of Energy and its programs. The Lawrence Award is administered by the Department of Energy's Office of Science. The Award consists of a citation signed by the Secretary of Energy, a gold-plated medal, and a $20,000 honorarium. An award is given in each of the following eight categories: Atomic, Molecular, and Chemical Sciences, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Computer, Information, and Knowledge Sciences, Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences, Energy Science and Innovation, Fusion and Plasma Sciences, High Energy Physics, National Security and Nonproliferation, and Nuclear Physics.
 
Enrico Fermi Award
The Enrico Fermi Award is one of the longest running and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the US Government. The award recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements that are particularly distinguished and demonstrate scientific, technical, management or policy leadership that are related to all basic and applied research, science, and technology supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and its programs. The Award consists of a citation signed by the President of the United States and the Secretary of Energy, a gold-plated medal, and a $50,000 honorarium.

National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Nominations are currently being accepted for the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The National Medal of Science is awarded by the President to individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding cumulative contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or behavioral or social sciences, in service to the nation. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation is awarded to individuals, teams, companies, or divisions of companies for contributions to America's economic, environmental, and social well-being.
Nominations for the National Medal of Science are due on April 27, 2015. More information on the nomination process is available here. Nominations for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation must be received by June 1, 2015. More information is available here.

Research Articles
Dr. Karen DeSalvo to leave ONC if confirmed for new HHS post
Ben Carson, presidential hopeful, controversial in academe
National Academies: FAA should 'reset expectations' for next generation air transportation system
Push to boost medical research gains traction
House panel holds hearing on 'politically driven science'--sans scientists
Bill would create 'National Nurse' position
Do we need to add an 'A' to STEM?
NIH summit delivers recommendations to transform Alzheimer's disease research 
Smith: battery storage 'next frontier in energy R&D'
Under pressure, universities take renewed shot at improving lab safety
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