Federal Relations

Federal Agency Developments


December 15, 2011

FY12 Spending Package Conference Report Released

After negotiations late into the night and leaders finally reaching an agreement, the House today released the conference report containing details for the remaining nine spending bills. The House is expected to vote on the package this afternoon and then send it to the Senate for quick passage. It looks like Congress will remain through…


December 2, 2011

Future of SBE Sciences at NSF

NSF released a new report this morning that outlines their research priorities in the coming decade in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.  The report, titled “Rebuilding the Mosaic, Fostering Research in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation in the Next Decade,” can be downloaded here.   Read more about the…


November 14, 2011

This Week in Washington DC

Happy Monday morning!  It will be a busy week in Washington, DC with the continuing resolution (CR) expiring on Friday, appropriators scrambling to approve at least one “mini-bus” before week’s end, the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee deadline looming next week, the House taking action on a balanced budget amendment, and Obama announcing the next phase…


October 26, 2011

President Obama Announces New ‘Know Before You Owe’ Student Loan Initiative

President Obama announced today at a speech at the University of Colorado Denver, a new initiative called ‘Know Before You Owe’ designed to make college loans more affordable and reduce the financial burden on recent graduates – many of whom are struggling to find employment. The administration is essentially speeding up by 2 years, a…


October 19, 2011

NIH Considers Options for Cuts

As described in this Science Insider article, NIH has begun to reach out to the community for feedback on what strategies should be considered during an era of reduced budgets. Everything seems to be on the table, from limiting numbers or grants per investigator to capping salaries charged to grants. NIH has put together a…


July 28, 2011

Senate Holds Hearing on Department of Ed FY12 Budget

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing yesterday on the Department of Education’s FY12 budget. Secretary Duncan was the witness. In his opening remarks, Duncan expressed concern that America has gone from being a world leader in education to now being “middle of the pack”.  He…


July 27, 2011

State Dept Names New Science & Technology Adviser

Late last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Dr. E. William (Bill) Colglazier as her Science & Technology Adviser.  Congress established the position of Science & Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State in 2000; Dr. Colglazier is the fourth individual to hold the position.   Dr. Colglazier’s most recent position was Executive Officer of the…


July 11, 2011

NSF & USAID Launch PEER

The National Science Foundation(NSF) and the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) launched a new collaborative program called PEER (Partnership for Enhanced Engagement and Research) last week. PEER is a new international, interagency joint initiative which will address environmental challenges that affect both the United States and the developing world by reinforcing existing relationships and…


July 8, 2011

Week in Review

New Staff Member in the Office of Federal Relations:  On Tuesday, Sarah Martin Castro joined the OFR team in our Washington, DC office as our new Associate Director.  Sarah comes to us after several years as the government relations officer for the University of Missouri System.  She has also worked on Capitol Hill for a…


July 7, 2011

Draft Criteria for NSF Proposals

Last week the National Science Board (NSB) issued new draft criteria for the peer review of proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The two “merit review” criteria of the last 14 years – intellectual merit and broader impact – remain, but they are now framed by a preamble that offers a set of…



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