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Washington Update
Office of Research
Continuing Resolution Update; Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) Resigns
Congress has until September 30th to pass an appropriations measure to avoid a government shutdown on October 1. The sticking point for Members of Congress has been whether to pass a clean continuing resolution (CR) or whether to include a measure to defund Planned Parenthood. However, on Friday, September 25, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his plans to resign from Congress at the end of October. After the announcement, there was agreement to pass a clean CR and keep the government open though mid-December. In the meantime, broader negotiations on spending levels can be held. According to the Washington Post, several conservative members who led the revolt against Boehner’s leadership, said they will now support a clean CR without insisting the inclusion of language to defund Planned Parenthood.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Issues Paper on Consequences of Year-Long CR
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) issued a paper on the consequences of a year-long continuing resolution (CR). The paper outlines the specifics of how problematic a full-year CR would be, including: locking in the low sequestration levels, additional cuts to non-defense programs, and enabling higher defense spending which defeats the underlying parity principle of the Budget Control Act. It is not yet known if Congress will consider a full-year, but it is a consideration as Congress continues its work on FY2016 appropriations.

National Academies of Sciences Releases Report on Research Regulation
As you may know, an ad hoc committee under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL) and the Board of Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) are conducting a study of federal regulations and reporting requirements with specific attention to those directed at research universities. On September 22, the committee released the part one of their two-part report. The report urges the federal government to streamline and harmonize its regulation of federally funded academic research. If you have any comments on the report's recommendations, please let Madeline know.
**NEW SECTION**
We recently introduced a new section to the DC update that we hope will highlight the impact wolverines are making in the nation's capital. These alums are a testament to the university's commitment to educating future leaders and policy makers who seek roles in which they can serve the nation. We hope you enjoy getting to know these people as much as we enjoy being able to shine a light on these bright stars. If you have any suggestions on alums you would like featured, please let Madeline know.
 
Wolverines in Washington, D.C. --
Highlighting some of the important work happening in our nation’s capital by University of Michigan alumni
Reuben Sarkar

Reuben holds both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in chemical engineering, as well as an MBA with high distinction, all from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

What do you do for work?:

I am the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation for the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) where I oversee the Sustainable Transportation Sector.  My role is to set strategic direction and oversee the activities of the transportation sector which includes three technology offices for vehicles, bioenergy, and hydrogen fuel cells with annual R&D spend of roughly $600M.  We contribute competitive funding to Industry, Universities, and other organizations to conduct research, development, demonstration and deployment activities that help achieve our national goals on reducing dependence on foreign oil and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. We also provide funding to ten National Labs to further our R&D efforts.

How does this tie in with the University’s mission of developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future?:

One of the key aspects of my role is to develop the forward-leaning high risk/high reward R&D agenda and portfolio to achieve our nations goals towards reducing petroleum consumption and GHG emissions from transportation.  My efforts are focused on the strategic white space for finding new opportunities for innovation.  Through those efforts we have launched a number of high profile new endeavors in transportation research.

How do you bring your experience and what you learned at U-M into your current role in Washington, D.C.?

Above all, my experience at the University as well as through my work experience has helped me bring a spirit of entrepreneurship into government.

I have worked in both a large corporate environment to a small venture backed startup. I manage organizational complexity and can still be nimble, decisive, and willing to take calculated risks.  I benefited from hopscotching through many different roles and disciplines in my career which gave me a broad perspective into different technology and corporate areas. I am very comfortable at learning new things outside my area of expertise and innovating across organizational boundaries.

This coupled with my blend of engineering and business education from U-M has helped me manage a broad and diverse technology portfolio that spans biofuel production to batteries for electric cars to  non-precious metal catalysts for fuel cells, while at the same time having the business  and management acumen to effectively put into play the substantial financial, facilities, and human capital resources and to develop the high performing teams that enable us to achieving measurable, high-impact, results driven outcomes.

What did you study at U-M?:

I studied Chemical Engineering (B.S.E. and M.S.E.) and Business (MBA) while at U-M

What is your favorite memory from your time at U-M? or What do you miss most about Ann Arbor?:

My favorite memory is hanging out with friends and studying at Rendezvous. What I miss most: the Original Brown Jug (when it had a real juke box for those who remember), tailgating on the golf course, playing Euchre for endless hours, just being a student and learning new things.

 
Committee Activities
Tuesday, September 29
House Science, Space and Technology Committee
Full Committee Hearing:
Astrobiology and the Search for Life Beyond Earth in the Next Decade
10:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn

Thursday, October 1
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Full Committee Hearing: Achieving the Promise of Health Information Technology

10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen
Nomination Announcements
National Science Board

The six-year terms of eight Members (one-third) of the National Science Board (NSB) will expire on May 10, 2016. Recommendations for highly qualified individuals to serve on the NSB are being accepted.

The NSB is responsible for overseeing the activities of and establishing policies for the National Science Foundation, as well as serving as an advisory body to the President and Congress on individual policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering.

Nomination deadline: Friday, October 30. Nominations must be submitted through the online portal here. Further information is available here

 
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 waterman@nsf.gov 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 Scientist Who Taught Cookie Monster Self-Control Has A Warning For Congress
Rally for Medical Research Warns Congress That ‘Research Can’t Wait’
 
New U.S. board proposed to tackle regulatory burden on research universities
House Speaker John Boehner to resign at end of October
 
Proposed Budget Cuts Set Sights on Education Research
Academic Social Network Hopes to Change the Culture of Peer Review
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If you would like to be added to the Washington Update, please contact Madeline Nykaza (mnykaza@umich.edu).