WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that up to $85 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be awarded in early 2010 to support at least 50 early career researchers for five years at U.S. academic institutions and DOE national laboratories.
To be eligible for the competition, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track assistant professor at a U.S. academic institution or a full-time employee at a DOE national laboratory. The applicant must also have received a Ph.D. within the past ten years.
Each university award will be at least $150,000 per year for five years to support summer salary and other research expenses. For DOE national laboratories, awards will be at least $500,000 per year for five years to support year-round salary and expenses.
Early career researchers may apply to one of six Office of Science program offices: Advanced Scientific Computing Research; Biological and Environmental Research; Basic Energy Sciences; Fusion Energy Sciences; High Energy Physics; or Nuclear Physics. Proposed research topics must fall within the programmatic priorities of DOE’s Office of Science, which are provided in the program announcements. Funding will be competitively awarded on the basis of peer review.
Letters of intent will be due on August 1, 2009, and proposals will be due on September 1, 2009.
Read more about DoE grant opportunities.
Today, the House of Representatives will introduce a budget reconciliation package designed to achieve components of the President’s agenda. Budget reconciliation is a special procedure, not subject to a fillibuster in the Senate, that was intended to serve as a deficit reduction tool by forcing spending cuts or tax increases to meet the targets set forth at the beginning of an appropriations cycle in a budget resolution.
The legislation, The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, advances President Obama’s goal of making the Pell Grant program an entitlement -not subject to annual appropriations debates. As has been discussed on this site, the Pell Grant entitlement would be funded by eliminating the Federal Family Education Loan program (FFEL)-which utilizes banks and guarantee agencies- in favor of the Direct Lending (DL) program. Financial institutions, Members of Congress with a heavy presence of financial institutions in their states/districts, and many conservatives have been against the elimination of the FFEL program. Just a few weeks ago, it appeared likely that a compromise would be stuck that fell short of a full Pell entitlement. However, the legislation offered today supports a Pell entitlement and a number of other student aid items.
Provisions of the bill: (more…)
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced plans to provide up to $52.5 million to research, develop, and demonstrate Concentrating Solar Power systems capable of providing low-cost electrical power both day and night. Today’s announcement underscores the Obama Administration’s commitment to creating jobs and saving money, making electricity generated from solar energy competitive with conventional grid electricity.
“Low-cost renewable energy generation that includes energy storage is one key to our efforts to diversify domestic energy sources and create new jobs,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. “By investing in the development of low-cost solar technologies we can pave the way toward faster deployment of carbon-free, large-scale energy sources.”
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies concentrate the sun’s energy and capture that energy as heat, which then drives an engine or turbine to produce electrical power. CSP plants can include low-cost energy storage, which allows them to provide electricity even when the sun is not shining. CSP technologies currently used in utility-scale power plants typically do not have the capability/capacity for storage, operating only during daytime hours. These projects will seek to improve technology and novel system designs to extend operation to an average of about 18 hours per day, a level of production that would make it possible for a CSP plant to displace a traditional coal power plant.
The competitive funding opportunity involves two areas:
- Research and development of concepts and components for a CSP system that enables a plant to produce low-cost electricity at least 18 hours of the day.
- Evaluation of the feasibility and development of a prototype complete CSP system capable of operating at least 18 hours per day while generating low-cost power.
Projects are based upon continuing annual appropriations. DOE anticipates making up to 13 project awards totaling up to $52.5 million.
Learn more about US Department of Energy grant opportunities.
The UW Office of Federal Relations invites participation in a brown bag lunch to discuss our ongoing FY10 and anticipated FY11 federal strategies. The informal sessions serves as an opportunity to receive an update on developments in DC that impact the higher education community in general and our Institution in particular. Topics for discussion will include:
- Overview of the Federal Legislative (Policy and Appropriations) Process –As Necessary
- Update on the Ongoing Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations Process
o UW Specific Projects
o Federal Agency/Program Funding Levels -of Interest to UW
- Update on Obama Legislative Agenda
o Student Aid
o Clean Energy
o Health Reform
- Preparation for the Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations Process
o New Guidelines for Submitting UW Specific Appropriations Requests
o Agency/Programmatic Recommendations
- Advocacy Tools
o Federal Agenda Booklet
o DC Hill Visits
o Letters of Support to/from WA Delegation
o Campus/Site Visits by Members
o UW Office of Federal Relations
- Open Forum
UW Tacoma- Tuesday August 4th, 11:00am-12:30pm, UWT Cherry Parkes 206C
UW Seattle- Wednesday August 5th, 12:00pm-1:30pm, UW Seattle Gerberding 142
UW Bothell- Thursday August 6th, Time TBD, UWB Room TBD
The Office of Federal Relations will conduct these sessions periodically on the three campuses -as warranted by events in DC. Please note that our team will also be available for individual meetings – as necessary – during the August congressional recess and going forward.
If you plan to attend the brown bag discussion, please RSVP by Friday July 24 to email@example.com.
Yesterday, House Democrats finally unveiled their comprehensive health care overhaul legislation, including details on how they intend to pay for it. For the most part, the $1 trillion-plus plan would be paid for through a surtax on upper incomes (families with adjusted gross incomes of more than $350,000) and by more than $500 billion in savings from Medicare over 10 years.
On the Medicare side, some providers would see their Medicare payouts cut directly (with Medicare Advantage seeing a $156 billion reduction). And in other areas, Medicare would “bundle” payments for a number of related services, with the goal of providing better, less costly care for patients. Currently, Medicare typically reimburses providers for every procedure or test they do.
Prevention and wellness measures of the bill include:
- Expansion of Community Health Centers;
- Prohibition of cost-sharing for preventive services;
- Creation of community-based programs to deliver prevention and wellness services;
- A focus on community-based programs and new data collection efforts to better identify and address racial, ethnic, regional and other health disparities;
- Funding to strengthen state, local, tribal and territorial public health departments and programs.
The bill expands the health care workforce through:
- Increased funding for the National Health Service Corp;
- More training of primary care doctors and an expansion of the pipeline of individuals going into health professions, including primary care, nursing and public health;
- Greater support for workforce diversity;
- Expansion of scholarships and loans for individuals in needed professions and shortage areas;
- Encouragement of training of primary care physicians by taking steps to increase physician training outside the hospital, where most primary care is delivered, and redistributes unfilled graduate medical education residency slots for purposes of training more primary care physicians. The proposal also improves accountability for graduate medical education funding to ensure that physicians are trained with the skills needed to practice health care in the 21st century.
Read more about the proposal.
Today, President Obama will unveil a $12 billion initiative to boost community colleges and move the US toward his goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. President Obama’s will include the following:
- $9 billion will go mainly for “challenge grants” awarded on a competitive basis to encourage community colleges to propose and launch innovative new programs. Some of the $9 billion would fund programs to address the problem of students dropping out of college.
- $2.5 billion would be used as seed money to generate $10 billion in renovation and construction at community colleges.
- Another $500 million would be used to develop online courses and materials to improve student learning, including artificial intelligence tutoring and multimedia courses.
President Obama’s Statement and Fact Sheet
Dr. Mari Kitahata, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Clinical Epidemiolgy and Health Services Research at the UW Center for AIDS Research was in DC on June 4th to participate in the HIV Medicine Association Advocacy Day. She was able to meet with several members to discuss health care reform, federal policy positions and funding concerns.
On June 17 and 18, Dean Pat Wasley was in Washington DC to participate in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Day on the Hill. Dean Wasley participated in a Congressional briefing and also met with a few of the Washington state delegation to share information on initiatives and projects that exemplify reform in teacher preparation.
Note: Please contact the UW Office of Federal Relations to assist in scheduling visits to Washington state delegation offices. 202-624-1420.
· The House convenes 2 p.m. for a pro forma session.
· The Senate convenes 2 p.m. to consider HR 627 —Credit card regulation. No roll call votes expected.
· The House convenes 12:30 p.m. to consider several issues under suspension of the rules. One of the issues is HR 2020, Networking and IT research
· Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on financing a comprehensive health care overhaul.
· The House convenes 10 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. Friday. Several bills will be considered under suspension of the rules. Also to be considered, Subject to a rule, are HR 2187, ‘Green’ school renovations and the Draft of the Fiscal 2009 war supplemental.
· House Science and Technology Energy and Environment Subcommittee will mark up a draft bill on climate change.
· Senate Energy and Natural Resources will mark up draft sections of an energy policy bill and votes on nominations.
The House convenes at 10 a.m.
The House convenes at 9 a.m.
Source: CQ Today Print Edition
Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved FY10 funding for the Department of Energy. As previously mentioned on this site, the House provided $880,000 for the UW-OSU Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, as well as $1,000,000 for the UW Washington State Biofuels project. Although the Senate did not provide similar figures, the Office of Federal Relations is actively working with the offices of Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell to make certain that UW project funding is — at a minimum — maintained this fall when the Energy and Water Appropriations bill goes to conference and is finalized.
The House Appropriations Committee was able to provide the Department of Energy Office of Science funding of $4.9 billion, the same as the President’s budget request and an increase of $171 million over last year. The Administration’s new initiatives, the Energy Innovation Hubs and the Re-ENERGYSE energy education program, received partial funding by the House Committee. In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee cleared their bill yesterday and provided a similar increase for the DOE Office of Science. They provided funding for three Innovation Hubs but did not fund the Re-ENERGYSE program.
In terms of the comprehensive energy and climate authorization bills, the House passed its bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454), in late June. House Leadership made agreements for votes up until the end, reaching a final vote of 219 to 212. The most important R&D provisions in HR 2454 are the 1.5 percent of the climate mitigation credit allowances that were allotted for research and development and related activities. The House bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration, with most of the interested Senate committees with scheduled to hold hearings this month and mark up in early September. Senate Leadership has asked that all Committee markups be completed by September 28.
Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Summary
House Energy and Water Appropriations Summary
OMB has scheduled webinars on Recovery Act reporting requirements. Individuals interested in participating must go to the website and register for each session. The webinars will be available for later viewing on the Recovery.gov website.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board announce that webinars will be held the week of July 20, 2009 to provide information on implementing the guidance set forth in OMB Memorandum M-09-21, Implementing Guidance for the Reports on Use of Funds Pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that was released on June 22, 2009.
Each webinar will focus on a major section of the Guidance as well as on the technology solution. The intended audience for these webinars includes Federal agency personnel, prime recipients and sub-recipients.