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ARPA-H Established Within NIH as Independent Entity

Earlier today, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra formally unveiled the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA) as an independent agency within the NIH.  Along with that announced, Adam H. Russell was named as the Acting Deputy Director of the new organization.

The creation of ARPA-H, modeled on its counterparts at the Department of Defense (DARPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), has been a priority of the Biden Administration.

Read more about today’s announcements here.

NSF Hosts Virtual Grants Conference

The National Science Foundation will host a virtual grants conference the week of June 6-10, 2022.

The conference will cover:

• New programs and initiatives
• NSF Directorate sessions
• Future directions and strategies for national science policy
• Proposal preparation and the merit review process
• Award management topics

Sign up here to be notified when registration is open.

House Passes Omnibus, FY22 Chart Now Available

Yesterday the House passed an omnibus appropriations package for FY22, following negotiations between House and Senate appropriators. The final package includes modest increases for key scientific and higher education accounts. The Senate is expected to vote on the package quickly to send it to the President’s desk. Current government funding is set to expire on Friday, so another short continuing resolution will be necessary to allow the Senate to clear procedural steps.

A chart tracking key accounts relevant to UW is available here. Our office will post detailed updates as information becomes available. We will also discuss appropriations in more detail during our town hall on March 24th at noon PT (register here).

2022 Federal Agenda Now Live

The University of Washington has published our 2022 Federal Agenda reaffirming our commitment to a robust partnership with the federal government. You can view the agenda here.

On March 24th at 12pm PT, Director of Federal Relations Sarah Castro will participate in a Town Hall highlighting the key elements of our federal agenda. Members of the UW community can register here.

Eric Lander Resigns as OSTP Director

Dr. Eric Lander, the President’s Chief Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, has reportedly submitted his resignation effective February 18th. The resignation comes amidst several reports that he bullied subordinates. Read more here.

House Passes America COMPETES Act

The House passed the America COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521) on a nearly party-line vote. The bill has a broad focus attempting to tackle research, climate, supply chain, education, and immigration issues. As it stands, the legislation reauthorizes the NSF and key components of the Department of Energy, invests in semiconductor chips production, and contains diplomatic, research security, and immigration provisions. Several amendments were adopted, and the bill will need to be conferenced with the bipartisan US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA, S. 1260). You can find a fact sheet here.

Register Now: Federal Relations Spring Town Hall

The Office of Federal Relations will host a virtual town hall for the campus community on Thursday, March 24th from 12pm-1pm PT. Our staff will provide an update on the federal budget, infrastructure and competitiveness bills, and preview the UW’s 2022 federal agenda. This will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A. Register here (NetID restricted).

House Releases America COMPETES Act of 2022

Today, House leadership revealed the America COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521). Much like the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260), which passed in the Senate last summer, the bill authorizes strategic investments in advanced scientific research at NSF and the Department of Energy, semiconductor chip manufacturing, supply chain and natural resource issues, and key diplomatic efforts.

Of particular relevance:

  • $52B for the CHIPS for America Act.
  • Comprehensive reauthorization of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
  • Reauthorizes the entire National Science Foundation and establishes a new Directorate for Science and Engineering Solutions (SES).
  • Establishes a National Engineering Biology Research and Development Initiative.
  • Enhances outreach and access to STEM education at all levels.
  • Reauthorizes Title VI International Education programs.

A factsheet is available here and a section-by-section summary is available here.

OSTP Releases Guidance for U.S. Scientific Research Security That Preserves International Collaboration

Today the National Science and Technology Council, Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE), released guidance for Federal departments and agencies on implementing National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33) on National Security Strategy for U.S. Government-Supported Research and Development.

The guidance addresses the below key elements of NSPM-33:

1) disclosure requirements and standardization;

2) digital persistent identifiers;

3) consequences for violation of disclosure requirements;

4) information sharing; and

5) research security programs.

As a next step, Dr. Eric Lander, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is directing agencies to develop model grant applications and instructions within 120 days that can be used by any funding agency.

In a press statement, Dr. Lander said “the implementation guidance reflects the principles I laid out in August: to protect America’s security and openness, to be clear so that well-intentioned researchers can easily and properly comply, and to ensure that policies do not fuel xenophobia or prejudice.”

You can read the full guidance here.

Lawrence A. Tabak to Serve as Acting Director of NIH

Lawrence A. Tabak, the Principal Deputy Director of NIH, will take over as the Acting Director of the agency when the current head, Francis Collins, leaves later this month. Collins is scheduled to depart December 19.

Read more about Tabak and the announcement here.