New FAFSA, Climate Research, Collaborating with Policymakers


Wheelock College of Education & Human Development Dean David Chard discussed research on learning disabilities with Congressional staff on March 23rd and 24th.

Arunima Krishna and Michelle Amazeen of the College of Communication presented their research on climate misinformation to staff with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development on March 22nd.

Senior Vice President for External Affairs Steve Burgay and Vice President of Marketing & Creative Services Amy Hook attended the Association of American Universities Public Affairs Network meeting from March 19th to March 21st.


  • The U.S. Department of Education published the implementation timeline for the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on Tuesday, revealing that the form will be available in December rather than the more typical October release. Students and schools are expected to use the streamlined application for financial aid for the 2024-2025 academic year, in accordance with the FAFSA Simplification Act signed into law at the end of 2020.
  • On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm appeared before the Energy & Water Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to discuss the Administration's proposed budget for the U.S. Department of Energy. Granholm touted the Department's pivotal role in addressing climate change, broadening participation in science, and revitalizing the infrastructure of the agency's national labs.
  • The House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing yesterday on the Biden Administration's proposal to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for certain borrowers. Members and witnesses debated the fairness of the debt cancellation proposal and the merits of other policy options to address college affordability.


The President signed several bills into law last year that include significant new funding for energy, climate, microelectronics, and transportation research, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The Federal Relations web site now includes a compendium written by Lewis-Burke Associates which details the role university-based researchers can play in the new and forthcoming funding calls available at the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The document includes both solicitations that have already been announced and others expected to come out later this year.

Review the grant opportunities


How can faculty share their research findings in a way that successfully influences policy? Join Federal Relations as we host Dr. Adam Seth Levine for an in-person workshop on how scholars can develop effective, collaborative relationships with policymakers. Dr. Levine will present new research on why these relationships require effort and intentionality to cultivate, and evidence-based practices for scholars seeking to forge new connections. Dr. Levine is co-founder and president of research4impact, an organization that connects experts from diverse fields in collaborations to better understand and solve complex social problems.

RSVP today


MA Universities, ARPA-H, Environmental Equity


Dean Sandro Galea, Jennifer Beard, David Jernigan, Mary Murphy-Phillips, Rea Shqepa, Lisa Sullivan, Karla Todd, Monica Wang, and Greg Wellenius of the School of Public Health all attended the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health annual meeting from March 15th through 17th.

Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs Daniel Kleinman attended the Association of Graduate Schools Executive Committee meeting at the Association of American Universities on March 13th and 14th.

Elizabeth Loizeaux of the Office of the Provost and colleagues from the Association for Undergraduate Education at Research Universities discussed the Boyer Commission 2030 report with senior leadership of the U.S. Department of Education on March 2nd.


This week, Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tufts University sent their annual memorandum to Massachusetts Congressional offices urging elected officials to advocate for strong investments in student aid and research as Congress begins the fiscal year 2024 budget process. The letter encourages Congress to build upon the bipartisan support for federal research demonstrated in last year's CHIPS & Science Act (P.L.117-167) by providing robust funding for science agencies. The universities also requested lawmakers double the maximum Pell Grant award for low-income students and support cultural agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities. Congress will hold hearings this spring to prepare for drafting the annual spending bills that determine the agencies’ budgets.

Read the letter


On Wednesday, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health (ARPA-H) released its first funding opportunities to the public. Its inaugural broad agency announcement requests proposers submit abstracts of no more than three pages in length for "unconventional approaches" to improve health outcomes with a focus on health science futures, scalable solutions, proactive health, and resilient systems. Proposals addressing the Administration's Cancer Moonshot are encouraged, though not required. The agency also announced the Dash to Accelerate Health Outcomes (DASH) prize competition with a $15,000 award. A "bracket format" with online debate and voting will be used to narrow down the winning ideas between March and April.

Learn more


The Institute for Global Sustainability hosts the next Research on Tap on March 22nd at 4 p.m. in the Kilachand Center. "Environmental Cultures, Power and Equity" will bring together BU experts in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences to share research on how humans have inhabited, crafted meaning around, and dealt with power and inequity in their environments. The microtalks will explore how to design and implement technological and social systems that can simultaneously sustain human well-being with equitable and effective responses to climate change. A networking session will follow the presentations.

RSVP today


Racism & Heart Disease, Mystic River, Fastest Track


Racism has a real impact on the heart health of Black women,” says Shanshan Sheehy, a study coauthor and BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine assistant professor.
Photo by FG Trade / iStock.

Experiencing Racism Increases Black Women's Heart Disease Risk, BU Research Finds

New National Institutes of Health-supported research from the Black Women's Health Study shows perceived racism in employment, housing, and interactions with the police is associated with a 26 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease. 

See the findings


The Tobin Memorial Bridge carries US Route 1 over the Mystic River, which has the most urbanized watershed in Massachusetts. BU researchers are examining whether climate change could exacerbate the environmental risks facing the watershed from decades of development.
Photo by Denis Tangney, Jr / iStock.

Climate Change is Threatening the Mystic River Watershed -- Can It Be Saved?

With a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, BU environmental health researchers Jonathan Levy and Amruta Nori-Sarma use geospatial data and mapping tools to support community climate resilience efforts.

Learn how they're working to change the future


BU’s indoor track combines optimal physics with an exciting atmosphere. The result is often collegiate, national, and even world records.
Photo by Jake Belcher.

The Mystery behind BU's Record-Breaking Indoor Track

There are a number of reasons why the world's fastest runners come to BU when they want to set a record.

Watch them go


In Case You Missed It...

The U.S. State Department highlighted earthquake relief for Turkey and Syria organized by BU students... Wesley Wildman of the BU School of Theology discusses ethical considerations for AI text generation in education during a recent Reddit AMA... Marilyn Augustyn of the BU Avedisian & Chobanian School of Medicine weighs in on the Adderall shortage in New England in The Boston Globe... BU pathologist Thor Stein explains recent research on the risk of brain damage from starting football at a young age to CBS Boston... Katy Coduto of the BU College of Communication weighs in on Taylor Swift lookalikes on social media with Marie Claire.


Biden Budget; Research Security; Cities, Safety, & Health


Ambassador Mark Storella of the Pardee School of Global Studies spoke on a panel on U.S. foreign policy and the war in Ukraine at the Principles First Summit on March 4th.

Vice President and Associate Provost for Research Gloria Waters attended the Association of American Universities Senior Research Officers meeting between March 5th and 7th.

Dean Scott Taylor and Cory Diamond of the Pardee School of Global Studies attended a reception hosted by Pardee School Dean’s Advisory Board member Paul Nathanson (Pardee ’85) for alumni and students on March 6th.

Yannis Paschalidis of the Rafik Hariri Institute of Computing and Computational Science & Engineering participated in a National Science Foundation workshop on harnessing artificial intelligence for scientific advancement on March 8th and 9th.


On Thursday, President Joe Biden released his budget request for fiscal year 2024, revealing the Administration’s education and research priorities for the year ahead. Building on the vision laid out in last year's CHIPS + Science Act (Public Law 117-167), the President proposed an 18% increase in the National Science Foundation budget ($11.3 billion) and a 9% increase for the Department of Energy's Office of Science ($8.8 billion). The President also requested an additional $1 billion for the new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health and just shy of a 2% increase for the National Institutes of Health. The White House requested an $820 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award amount ($8,215), continuing the President's goal of eventually doubling the award. Congress will hold hearings on the President's proposals this spring and then begin to formulate the spending bills that will determine agency budgets for fiscal year 2024.

Read the budget proposal



The Office of Research and the Initiative on Cities are cosponsoring "Safety, Justice, and Health in U.S. Cities" as the next Research on Tap on March 15th at 4 p.m. in the Kilachand Center. Hosted by Professors Jonathan Jay and Jessica Simes, the event will feature microtalks on multidisciplinary research at BU examining the links between community violence, the criminal justice system, and health in U.S. cities and will explore solutions through community-based and policy-engaged work. Participants will have an opportunity to connect with potential collaborators at a reception following the event. 

RSVP today


Post-Doc Policies, NASA Science, National Science Strategy


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.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently asked the scientific community to weigh in on the agency's planned policies and research priorities.


  • 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.


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.

Watch the hearing


Closing the Literacy Gap

Hank Fien and BU’s National Center on Improving Literacy are on a mission to cultivate a generation of readers.

Ketanji Brown Jackson, Biased Algorithms, Helping Ukraine


Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, with President Biden after her confirmation to the US Supreme Court last year, will give the 2023 BU School of Law convocation address in May.
Photo courtesy: AP / Andrew Harnik

Supreme Court Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson To Address BU School of Law Convocation

"You want your students exposed to people who not only do well career-wise, but also do good in their lives. Justice Jackson is a great role model for our students," said BU School of Law Dean Angela Onwuachi-Willig. Jackson will participate in the school's May commencement ceremony.

Get the details


Ngozi Okidegbe is an Associate Professor of Law and an Assistant Professor of Computing & Data Sciences at Boston University.

Algorithms Were Supposed to Reduce Bias in Criminal Justice—Do They?

Data can discriminate, says Professor Ngozi Okidegbe, the first dual-appointed professor to the BU School of Law and the BU Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences.

Learn how algorithms can replicate bias


Daria Bogatova (GRS’29,’29) and Dmytro Bogatov (GRS’22,’22) say the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces is a moment they’ll never forget. Their dog, HIMARS, is named for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, a weapon that has been essential to Ukraine’s battle against Russia.
Photo by Jake Belcher.

One Year after the Invasion of Ukraine, the War Has Transformed Life for This BU Couple

Daria Bogatova (GRS'29,'29) and Dmytro Bogatov (GRS'22,'22) have launched the nonprofit Mriya to help their fellow Ukrainians.

See their impact


In Case You Missed It...

The Washington Post highlights research by the BU Global Development Policy Center to demonstrate how China became the biggest bilateral creditor for developing and emerging nations... Janine Bempechat of the BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development explains why reducing homework may widen the educational disparity between low and high income households in Vox... Joshua Semeter of the BU College of Engineering describes the possible explanations for the UFO sighting over Lake Huron in Newsweek... Emanuela Binello of the BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine discusses brain surgery that happened 3,500 years ago in Smithsonian Magazine.