Post-Doc Policies, NASA Science, National Science Strategy
BU IN DC
Vice President and Associate Provost for Global Programs Willis Wang attended the Association of International Education Administrators annual meeting from February 19th through 22nd.
Rebecca Ray and Cecilia Springer of the Global Development Policy Center addressed a Woodrow Wilson Center webinar on greening China’s Belt and Road Initiative governance on February 22nd.
Naomi Caselli of the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development spoke at a Capitol Hill briefing and met with the Congressional Deaf Caucus as part of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf advocacy summit on February 22nd.
Juliet Moncaster of the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine met with several Massachusetts Congressional offices as part of National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research advocacy day on February 28th.
Michelle Amazeen of the College of Communication attended a Federal Information Literacy Convening hosted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services on February 23rd and 24th. She also attended a meeting of the Civic Science Fellows program, of which she is a member, on February 28th and March 1st.
NIH SEEKS INPUT ON POST-DOCS, OPEN ACCESS
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently asked the scientific community to weigh in on the agency’s planned policies and research priorities.
- NIH is requesting feedback on how the biomedical research enterprise can improve postdoctoral research training. The agency is looking to address concerns about recent declines in the number of postdocs nationally and the adverse impacts this may have. Stakeholders can submit written responses by April 14th and participate in several listening sessions being held this month.
- The agency also is seeking input on its proposed public access plan designed to make the results of NIH-sponsored research readily available to the public. NIH is particularly interested in feedback on ensuring the open access policy is implemented equitably, both for grantees and for the public. Comments are due by April 14th.
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) within NIH is asking for written comments on what to include in the upcoming NIEHS strategic plan for 2024-2028. The request is an opportunity to help shape NIEHS research priorities for the future. Comments are due by April 20th and a workshop is planned this spring.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that Dr. Nicola Fox is now the associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD), which oversees the agency’s research programs. Dr. Fox has led SMD’s heliophysics division since 2018; she previously served as chief scientist at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) named Shelia Garrity as the new director of the HHS Office of Research Integrity, which is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal research regulations by its grantees. Ms. Garrity previously oversaw research compliance training and policy development for both George Washington University and the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.
- The National Science Board (NSB), which oversees activities at the National Science Foundation (NSF), is forming a commission to assess the criteria used in NSF’s merit review process. NSB is particularly interested in whether inequities in the process contribute to disparate funding rates among different applicants and recommendations for how merit review might be improved. A final report is expected in May 2024.
CONGRESS CONSIDERS INNOVATION STRATEGY
On Tuesday, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held its first hearing of the new Congress, focusing on how the U.S. can maintain its global leadership in research and innovation as international competition increases, particularly from China. Witnesses from academia, think tanks, and national laboratories offered recommendations for how the federal government should develop a national science and technology plan to provide long-term guidance on science priorities and incentivize better collaboration between government, universities, and industry. Members of the Committee questioned the witnesses on topics including protecting federal research from malign foreign influence, broadening participation in science by underrepresented communities, reducing regulatory burden on small businesses engaging in research, and addressing the climate crisis.