AADR Government Affairs Committee to Meet on October 22, 2013

The AADR Government Affairs Committee has been following the shutdown developments closely and will be convening on October 22 for both a strategy meeting and a series of Hill visits with elected representatives. They will be sharing stories on how sequestration and the government shutdown has adversely affected oral health research in this country.

If you would like to share your story about how sequestration or the government shutdown has impacted your research program or institution, please contact Christopher Fox at cfox@aadronline.org.

NIH sends informal notice to grantees about potential lapse in appropriated funds

Yesterday the NIH Office of Extramural Research sent the following notice to grantees: 

September 26, 2013

Dear Grantee:

As you are aware, the Government Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 ends on September 30, 2013 and an Appropriation Act for FY2014 has not yet been passed.  The Administration strongly believes that a lapse in appropriations should not occur, and that there is enough time for Congress to act to prevent a lapse.  However, prudent management requires that we prepare for an orderly execution of contingency plans in the unfortunate event of a lapse.  In the event a continuing resolution or a FY2014 budget is not passed and a lapse of funding occurs, I wanted to provide you with information related to our grant administration processes.

Your particular grant program is funded by appropriations that will be affected by a government shutdown.  As a result, if there is a lapse in funding, HHS’ NIH staff will not be available to provide routine administrative support services.  HHS will, however, maintain the Payment Management System in an operational status to continue processing grant drawdown requests. Given that you have received your award prior to the gap in funding, you may  be able to continue drawing funds from prior awards during an appropriations lapse.  If you received your notice of grant award with restrictive terms and conditions, or if your drawdown request triggers one of the Payment Management System edit checks and/or the drawdown limit controls, you will not be able to drawdown funds.

If you are considering submitting an application for additional HHS federal assistance funding, please be advised that the Grants.gov system will be operational during a lapse in funding and will be accepting applications from prospective grantees.   However, for NIH applications the Grants.gov system will only accept and store applications. Applications will not be processed further until such time as the authority and funding to return to normal business operations are restored.

Please check the website at www.hhs.gov for updates.  Thank you for your assistance with this period of a potential government shut-down and your ongoing support of the NIH.

Sally J. Rockey, Ph.D.
NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research

Join the NIH for the “Transforming Diversity in Research Training” Interactive Sessions

The NIH Common Fund’s “Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce” program seeks innovative and transformative approaches to student engagement, training and mentoring. The overarching goal of the program is to recruit the best and brightest minds from all sectors of the population into biomedical research careers and foster their development into independent scientists.

To that end, the NIH is planning a series of interactive sessions to allow potential applicants for the BUILD, NRMN and CEC initiatives, and other interested parties, to network and exchange ideas. NIH staff and session participants will explore innovative and creative strategies to engage a diverse student pool in the early phases of biomedical research training, sustain their interest, and enable success at each career phase.

The NIH is planning the following sessions:

  • Wednesday, October 2, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: San Antonio, Texas (in association with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Annual Meeting)*
  • Saturday, November 2, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Arlington, Virginia (in association with the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring Annual Meeting)*
  • Friday, November 8, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Sacramento, California
  • Wednesday, November 13, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Nashville, Tennessee (in association with the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS))*

* Note: You do NOT need to be registered to attend the associated meetings in order to participate in the NIH sessions.

There is no fee for attendees but pre-registration is requested. For more information and to register, visit http://commonfund.nih.gov/meetings/diversity/about.aspx. Additional meeting information will be provided as it becomes available.

Can’t join the discussion in person? The NIH will open an online discussion forum in the coming months. Subscribe to the NIH Common Fund email list to receive updates or visit the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce website.

For information specific to the BUILD, NRMN and CEC initiatives, the NIH is also planning a technical webinar to review upcoming Funding Opportunity Announcements once they are published. Continue to visit the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce website for more information and a registration link.

Deficit Deal to Affect Dental Student Loans

The Budget Control Act (Full Bill) passed by Congress yesterday includes provisions that impact federal student loans (see below for yesterday’s post about the deal). While the Federal Pell Grant program gains $17 billion in mandatory funds over the next two years, the student loan program will not be as lucky. Effective July 1, 2012, the subsidized Stafford loan program will end for most graduate and professional students. As a result, students will be eligible to  borrow more through the unsubsidized loan program. Additionally, incentives for on-time repayment of loans including partial rebates of the origination fee and interest rate reduction will end for new loans dispersed on or after July 1, 2012. However,  interest rate reduction will still be available for those repaying loans through electronic debiting.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that these changes will reduce direct spending by $21.6 billion over the 2012-2021 period.