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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.

House Passes “Build Back Better” Package

After months of intraparty discord among Democrats, both within the House and between chambers, the House passed early this morning the “Build Back Better” reconciliation package.  The House cleared the measure by a vote of 220 – 213, with one Democrat voting against it.  The vote was delayed to this morning after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spoke for more than eight hours against the package, lasting into the very early hours of this morning.

The package now goes to the Senate, where changes are likely, as at least one Democrat in that chamber has made clear his reservations about several parts of the House bill.

Read more about the vote and the next steps here and here.

USICA Goes to Conference

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced in a joint statement that the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260) will be conferenced to resolve differences between House and Senate versions. Although leadership in both chambers originally hoped to include the legislation in the upcoming FY 22 National Defense Authorization Act, Senate Republicans have indicated they would not support such a move. Conferencing brings the legislation one step closer to being signed into law.

If enacted, USICA would create a new NSF Directorate, authorize additional funding for semiconductor research, Department of Energy research, and tackle manufacturing and supply chain issues.