ICYMI: SfN Annual Meeting Announcement
SfN has announced the cancellation of Neuroscience 2020. Read the full statement.
NeuroAdvocate Challenge: August 2020
As SfN continually looks for opportunities to help you advocate under the changing circumstances, you can continue to carry out advocacy activities this month:
- Contact your elected officials to ensure report language that wanes the ethical use of animals in research at NIH is not included in the final FY 21 appropriations bill.
- Watch the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus (CNC) virtual briefing on “Preserving Mental Health during COVID-19.”
- Register to take part in this year’s Rally for Medical Research. Let SfN know you registered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell Congress to Support Biomedical Research Funding in FY 21 and the Next COVID-19 Relief Package
The House and Senate are negotiating details for FY 21 funding levels as well as the next COVID-19 relief package. This includes funds for research at NIH, NSF, VA and other agencies. Join your fellow NeuroAdvocates and tell Congress to ensure that funding for biomedical research is included at adequate levels and not to forget the relief needed by researchers and investigators across the country.
RFI: Rigor in Animal Research
NIH posted a Request for Information (RFI) to help improve scientific rigor of the research the Institutes support. They are seeking comments related to addressing the complexity and expense related to use of large animals, the challenges of rigor and transparency in animal research, how NIH can improve the quality of animal research through rigor and transparency and other related topics. The RFI has been extended to August 21.
RFI: Advancing Scientific and Workforce Diversity in the BRAIN Initiative
NIH posted an RFI to enhance scientific and workforce diversity. The BRAIN Initiative is seeking input from BRAIN Initiative awardees and the broader scientific community on factors that limit or discourage participation from underrepresented groups. Some of the topics NIH is requesting feedback on are creating effective outreach and recruitment opportunities, strategies to enhance BRAIN Initiative workforce diversity and inclusion, developing metrics and evaluations strategies to examine outcomes of diversity efforts, and many others. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to Aug. 31, 2020.
Federal Advocacy News
- The House passed an appropriations minibus with funding for NIH ($42 billion), NSF ($8.55 billion) and VA ($840 million) research. The Senate has not yet introduced its appropriations legislation.
- The Senate released text for a new COVID-19 relief package. Negotiations on the next U.S. coronavirus relief package remain in limbo.
- Sens. Markey (D-MA), Tillis (R-NC), Gardner (R-CO) and Peters (D-MI) introduced the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, which would authorize $26 billion in supplemental funding for federal research agencies to help alleviate the disruptions caused by COVID-19 to federally funded research.
- Civil Rights hero and long-serving Representative John Lewis (D-GA-5) passed away from pancreatic cancer July 17, 2020.
International Student Visa Restrictions Lifted After Outcry
An earlier decision by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that would have barred international students with legal visas from entering the United States was reversed. Despite this, the threat of deportation and being barred from entry has created problems for international students who want to be educated in the United States. Some universities, such as Pennsylvania State University and Lehigh University, have taken steps to help affected students out by partnering with universities in their home countries.
Two SfN ECPAs, Thiago Arzua and Ubadah Sabbagh, worked with many neuroscientists to highlight the important work and issues of Black scientists in the field. This has helped connect Black neuroscientists who normally find themselves feeling isolated without mentors of peers with shared experiences. From July 27 to August 2, Black in Neuro celebrated the achievements and voices of underrepresented neuroscientists from every career stage.
International News Headlines
- Science money was slashed in EU’s €1.8-trillion budget deal.
- Startups in eastern Europe tap public money as private investors bail.
- Japan considers tougher rules on research interference amid US-China tensions.
- NIH is set to invest $58M to catalyze data science and health research innovation in Africa.
SfN Advocacy Resources
- Contact your legislator about research funding via the Advocacy Action Center.
- Watch the Neuroscientist’s Guide to Advocacy series to understand the tools you need to help advance the field.
- Learn how to engage your members of Congress and persuasively advocate for science with SfN's Advocacy Best Practices.
- Get involved in global advocacy.
- Talk to the public about the importance of animal research.
- Download the SfN Advocacy App for your Apple or Android device to have all your advocacy resources in one place.
- Reach out to email@example.com for assistance in preparing for your next advocacy effort at home or on Capitol Hill.