Rescheduled: HHS Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host the 2012 Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit from December 17 through 19 (new dates due to Super Storm Sandy). HHS describes the event as “the leading scientific gathering on health disparities.” Over 100 workshops will offer attendees the opportunity to exchange new knowledge. The summit will take place just outside of DC in National Harbor, Maryland.

Registration Deadline: October 19th (Online registration is now closed)

Additional Information

NIH Funding Non-Competing Grants at Reduced Levels

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced yesterday that until a permanent budget is put into place for FY13 it will fund non-competing research grants at generally 90% of the amount indicated on the most recent Notice of Award. At present, the federal government is operating with a continuing resolution, which provides temporary funding at the FY12 level plus 0.6% in order to afford Congress more time to develop a permanent budget. If a satisfactory budget is eventually enacted, NIH will consider upward adjustments. However, grantees are cautioned not to expect the additional increases. The NIH notice is consistent with agency actions during previous stopgap budget conditions. However, it could be just the beginning of a series of challenges for agencies and their grantees. Across-the-board budget cuts scheduled for January 2nd would take agency funding well below the level provided in the continuing resolution.

Full NIH Notice NOT-OD-13-002

Save the Date: April 17, 2013 is AADR Advocacy Day

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3rd) addressing AADR Advocacy Day 2012

Federal investments in biomedical research continue to be targeted for reduction despite the well demonstrated contribution to U.S. economic growth and individual health. During FY11, NIH funded just 18% of proposal received –an all-time low. Despite this fact, $2.5 billion is scheduled to be removed from the NIH budget this fiscal year. The budget for NIH and other Federal research agencies are projected to worsen over the next decade unless Congress acts to change the course. Your participation in the AADR 2013 Advocacy Day is necessary to demonstrate to Congress that, even during difficult economic conditions, oral health research and education must be federal priorities. Sustained dialogue with Congress has never been more necessary for the research community.

The program will include:

  • A morning key issues briefing with Members of Congress and staff from select Federal agencies
  • An afternoon of individual meetings with Congressional offices

Save the Date
2013 AADR Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill
April 17, 2013
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Program begins in the Rayburn House Office Building Gold Room (#2168)

Registration will begin on January 7, 2013, but mark your calendar today!
Preliminary questions can be directed to Jonathan Nurse, AADR Director of Government Affairs, at jnurse@aadronline.org or 703-299-8098

AADR Joins Group Letter to House Appropriators

AADR joined over 200 organizations in a letter to the House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, which sets the budget for NIH and various other agencies. The letter expresses concern with the proposed level-funding of NIH couple with new mandates that limit the ability of the Director to move resources where they are most needed. The letter reads in part: “If NIH is to continue to fund the highest quality research and the next generation of talented researchers in the most effective manner possible, Congress should not tie the hands of the agency by setting arbitrary boundaries on the number and size of awards.” Congress will likely decide the final FY13 funding levels for NIH and other federal agencies after the November elections.

Full Community Letter to House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

NIH 2012 Research Festival Begins

From October 9-12, NIH is featuring intramural research as part of its 2012 Research Festival. The first day of the week’s activities began with a plenary session that highlighted lifesaving discoveries realized over the 125 year history of the NIH and looked forward at current challenges and emerging threats. Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD), 1 of 19 MDs in Congress, gave remarks on the need to clearly demonstrate the return on the taxpayer investment made in NIH and fielded questions from attendees.

The afternoon portion of Tuesday’s events included a poster session that highlighted a wide range of intramural research from across the NIH institutes and centers. Two postdoctoral fellows from Dr. Myung Hee Park’s lab in the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research participated in the session.

Continue reading

Congressional Research Service: 2.1 Million Jobs at Stake

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has produced a report that draws on several analyses of the employment impact of scheduled across-the-board spending reductions. The CRS report provides data indicating that implementation of the cuts could result in a loss of 2.1 million jobs across the economy in 2013. CRS attributes most of the job losses to reductions in defense and Medicare reimbursement reductions to providers. However, the losses are more widespread. The report includes an estimate that a 7.8% reduction to the NIH budget for extramural awards alone would cost 34,000 jobs across the country. According to the report, a similar budget reduction to the Department of Education results in a loss of 80,000 jobs.

Full CRS Report

AAAS Captures Possible 5-Year $57.5b R&D Loss

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has produced a report that details a potential reduction of $57.5 billion over the next five years (FY13-17) in federal research and development investments. AAAS estimates that NIH makes up $11.3 billion of the fiver-year figure.

The AAAS report also provides some global comparisons on R&D expenditures, as well as state-level R&D reductions from sequestration. State-level data is useful for interactions with legislators.

Review the full report.

Fiscal Year 2013 Begins Amid Uncertainty

Today marks the beginning of Fiscal Year 2013. Last Friday, President Obama signed legislation that will keep the government open for the next six months despite the lack of a permanent budget for the year. Federal agencies and those who rely upon them can count on at least some stability in the system, given the provision of temporary funding at the FY12 level. However, that stability will be tested in the weeks leading up to January 2, 2013 when across-the-board cuts are scheduled to remove 8.2% from agencies’ budgets.

On Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) instructed federal agencies to “…continue normal spending and operations.” OMB went on to explain that agencies should largely ignore the threat of a January budget sequestration and that amended guidelines would be issued if necessary. The optimistic nature of the OMB guidance indicates that the administration continues to believe that government efforts need to be devoted to avoiding a budget sequestration, as opposed to planning for one. The White House goal is certainly shared by those in the research community. However, the strategy carries risks if sequestration become inevitable -which Washington partisanship suggests might already be the case. Now is certainly an appropriate time for scientists and students to join efforts to avoid budget sequestration. Visit the AADR Action Center today for access to tools that you can use to urge your elected representatives to develop an alternative to the scheduled budget sequester.