Public Affairs

Now, more than ever, one of the benefits to belonging to a society such as SLB is the voice it gives to the collective scientific community.  SLB has appointed Daniel Remick as the SLB Public Affairs Officer.  On this page will be posted issues of interest in the public affairs arena that related to research funding and policy.  If you wish to get involved or have additional content to share with the membership on this page, please contact SLB.

FASEB Capitol Hill Day 2017

Submitted by Daniel Remick, M.D.

On March 9, 2017 scientists from across the country gathered in Washington D.C. to participate in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Capitol Hill day. The purpose of the day was to advocate for federal funding for research, which includes the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and other agencies.
Participants met with congressional staff from the offices of our Representatives and Senators. During these meetings we emphasized the importance of research funding that drives scientific discoveries by sharing individual stories. We also emphasized how these scientific advances improve the care of patients and health of the nation. Information was provided about the positive economic impact of NIH and NSF funding for each state and congressional district.

Our specific request was to have research funded to the full amount in the 2017 budget. Since the federal government currently operates under a continuing resolution, NIH has been withholding 10% from grants until the budget has been finalized.
When meeting with the Massachusetts representatives, all strongly supported research funding. However, they were also pessimistic given the current political climate in Washington DC, even though there is strong bipartisan support for research.
This pessimism was justified when the White House released the first version of their budget, which calls for cutting the NIH budget by $5.8 billion, or 18%.

Pictured: Ming Ming Ning, Derek Scholes, Shoumita Dasgupta, Congressman Joe Kennedy, Laura Coleman and Hanno Steen


Legislation to decrease NIH Salary cap...

Current legislation would decrease the NIH salary cap from Executive Level II to Executive Level III, a decrease of $14,600. This creates pressure for scientists to engage in research if their salaries are not appropriately covered. Please consider logging on the action alert and writing to your Representatives and Senators urging them to keep the current salary cap.

FASEB One Stop Website for Science Advocacy

FASEB has created a one stop website for science advocacy. This website provides scientists with many resources including how to meet with a member of congress and federal science funding information fact sheets.
Visit the site!

NIH Biosketch modifications

NIH biosketch. NIH has released plans to modify the biosketch. The new biosketch “. . .  will allow researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science along with the historical background that framed their research.   This description can outline the central finding(s) of their work, the influence of those finding(s) on their field and how those findings may have contributed to improvements in health or technology.  For those involved in team science, it will allow the investigator to describe their specific role in the described work.”

Get more details from the NIH website.

Sex Differences in Pre-Clinical Research

Addressing sex differences in pre-clinical research. There are important differences in the response between males and females in pre-clinical studies. It is likely that greater attention will be paid to these differences during the grant review process. Read more in a recent NY Times article.

SLB Capital Hill Day Report

2017 Capitol Hill Day is coming up! March 9th!

Read the report - March 2014

FASEB President, Margaret Offerman's, Call to Contact your Representatives

The Appropriations Committees are working to determine fiscal year (FY) 2015 funding levels for federal agencies. As part of the process, all members of Congress have an opportunity to submit funding requests on behalf of specific programs, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The requests from members of Congress are a very important factor the Appropriations Committee take into consideration when making funding decisions. 

Email your Senators and Representatives today asking them to submit appropriations requests in support of FASEB’s FY 2015 funding recommendations -$32 billion for NIH and $7.6 billion for NSF. Sending an email to your elected officials only takes a few moments but makes a big difference at such a critical time.


Former SLB President Liz Kovacs meets with Senator

SLB Member and Past President, Elizabeth Kovacs, recently attended an event in Washington, D.C. in her role as Chair of the Committee on Public Affairs of the American Association of Immunologists. She visited the offices of a number of Congressman and Senators with a group of Public Policy Fellows, Junior Faculty, and Postdocs from around the country who are learning about government and advocacy. She presented Senator Durbin with the 2013 AAI Public Service Award for his continued efforts to improve funding for biomedical research.