D.C. Research Weekly Report

House Passes FY 2016 Defense Appropriations Bill
On June 11th, the House passed the FY 2016 Defense appropriations bill by 278-149. The White House issued a Statement of Administrative Policy strongly opposing the bill and "his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill," if it were to reach the White House.

Senate Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2016 CJS Appropriations bill with bipartisan support (27-3). The funding levels included in the Senate bill, like the House bill, keeps within discretionary spending caps which means very little increases (if any). Overall, the bill funds NSF and NASA Aeronautics and Space Technology Directorates at levels below the President's request but increases funds to NASA's Science Mission and Space Grant Program directorates. 

Despite bipartisan support out of committee, Ranking Member Mikulski (D-MD) stated that "this bill doesn't provide adequate resources to spur innovation and support scientific research," and the Democrats have vowed to block all spending bills on the Senate floor if a deal to lift spending caps cannot be reached.

The House passed their version of this bill last week and the White House issued a
Statement of Administration Policy strongly opposing this legislation stating that, "If the President were presented with H.R. 2578, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill." 
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2016 Defense Appropriations Bill
Earlier this week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2016 Defense Appropriations bill by 27-3. This bill includes a 10 percent increase over FY 2015 enacted levels for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation programs providing $70.3 billion. Basic science research would be funded at $2.317 billion, a 1.7 percent increase over FY 2015 enacted levels, and DARPA would receive a 1.7 percent decrease putting funding at $2.865 billion. 

Committee Activities
Tuesday, June 16
House Committee on Appropriations
Full Committee Markup of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill, FY 2016
10:15 a.m., 2359 Rayburn
Senate HELP Committee
Hearings to 
examine health information technology, focusing on what providers and the Department of Health and Human Services can do to improve electronic health record user experience.
10:00 a.m., 430 Dirksen

Senate Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security
FY 2016 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill Markup
2:30 p.m., 138 Dirksen

Senate Subcommittee on Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
FY 2016 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations
2:30 p.m., 124 Dirksen

Wednesday, June 17
House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations
FY 2016 
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Markup
9:00 a.m., 2358-C Rayburn
Thursday, June 18

Senate Finance Committee
Hearings to examine challenges to the future of highway funding.
10:00 a.m., 215 Dirksen
Nomination Announcements
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.
Nominations are open until June 15th.

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.

Application deadline: June 30, 2015, 5:00 PM.

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.

Application deadline: 60 days from May 7th. Read the full announcement here.

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. 

Application deadline: July 15, 2015. 
Read the full announcement here
Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists
The Prize is awarded annually to one young scientist for outstanding life science research for which he/she was awarded a doctoral degree in the previous two years. The topic of the entrant's thesis research must be in one of the following categories: Cell and Molecular Biology, Genomics and Proteomics, Ecology and Environment, Translational Medicine. Eligible entrants must have been awarded their doctoral degree in 2013 or 2014, and the subject of their thesis should match one of the Subject Tracks below. The winners from each category will compete for the grand prize. US$30,000 for the grand prize winner, US$10,000 for each of the category winners. The grand prize winning essay will be published in Science and essays from the each of the category winners will be published online.

Application deadline: August 1, 2015. You can read more here.

News Articles
Successful US innovation ecosystem is under threat
Congress May Finally Offer the NIH More Money - at a Price
Where are all the women in engineering? A female engineering student answers.
Face it: America's experiment with for-profit colleges has failed
Ford Shifts Grant Making to Focus Entirely on Inequality
Why social sciences are just as important as STEM disciplines
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