Congress Passes Short-term Continuing Resolution
The federal government is currently operating under a short-term continuing resolution (CR) through December 16 as Congress was unable to negotiate final spending legislation for FY2023 before the end of the current fiscal year causing most federal agencies to remain funded at their FY2022 levels. Lawmakers will be out on recess through the November election and will need to reach an agreement when they return to avoid another CR. SfN is calling on Congress to pass federal funding legislation in a timely manner and not resort to long-term CRs that stagnate federal funding for research. Send your Representative and Senators a message via SfN's Advocacy Action Center and personalize it by including why robust and timely federal funding is critical to your research and necessary to advance our understanding of the brain<.
SfN Members Host Lab Tours for their Federal Legislators
Several SfN members recently welcomed their federal legislators and staffers to their lab and institution. Three current Early Career Policy Ambassadors (ECPAs) conducted lab tours; Linda Yu hosted Senator Jack Reed (RI) at the Carney Institute for Brain Science at Brown University, Leire Abalde-Atristain hosted two staffers from Representative Earl Blumenauer's office (OR-03) at the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, and Paige Greenwood hosted a staffer from Representative Adriano Espaillat’s office (NY-13) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Along with these ECPAs, key advocate Laura Martin hosted Representative Sharice Davids (KS-03) at the Hoglund Biomedical Imaging Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. These advocates were able to showcase their research first-hand and make the case as to why federal funding for biomedical research needs to continue to be a priority for lawmakers.
Mark your Calendars for Neuroscience 2022 Advocacy EventsNeuroscience 2022 from November 12-16 in San Diego is quickly approaching and there is an exciting line-up of advocacy events being held during the meeting! On Saturday, November 12 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. PST in the San Diego Convention Center Poster Hall, come and visit the ECPA poster session, where past and current ECPAs will be presenting on their policy and advocacy work they have been engaged in. On Monday, November 14 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. PST in the San Diego Convention Center Room 11, the Animals in Research Panel will be held where panelists will discuss the benefits and limitations of alternatives to animals in research and why neuroscience still needs animal models. Finally, on Tuesday, November 15 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. PST in the San Diego Convention Center Room 11, come and listen to the Advocacy Forum where panelists will explain how to successfully leverage the use of data and emotion to influence the decision-making process and have productive and impactful advocacy discussions. If you have any questions about these events, please email advocacy[@]sfn.org.
Top Science Officials Begin Their Tenure
Dr. Arati Prabhakar was recently confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Upon her confirmation, she will also become the President’s Science Advisor and a member of the President’s Cabinet. Dr. Prabhakar is the first woman and person of color confirmed by the Senate to lead the White House OSTP. Along with this, President Biden also announced Dr. Renee Wegrzyn to be the inaugural director for ARPA-H. She is a scientist with professional experience working for both DARPA and IARPA and will be responsible for driving the agency’s nascent research portfolio and associated budget.
BRAIN Initiative Launches Two Transformative Projects
The NIH has announced two projects supported by the BRAIN Initiative that have the potential to bring us one step closer to unraveling the complex workings of the human brain. The BRAIN Initiative Cell Atlas Network (BICAN) and the Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access, also known as the BRAIN 2.0 projects, aim to transform our understanding of brain cell types and the precise tools needed to access them. BICAN will support 11 grants projected to total $100 million annually over 5 years and the Armamentarium for Precision Brain Cell Access will support seven grants projected to total $36 million over 3 years in the first project phase. These large-scale projects promise to transform neuroscience research and inform new approaches to the treatment of human brain disorders.
Request for Information Available
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) put out a request for information (RFI) to the public for comments and suggestions it will consider as it endeavors to establish a Real-World Data (RWD) Infrastructure to transform the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and AD-related dementias (ADRD) research enterprise. NIA seeks further information from stakeholders regarding how a RWD infrastructure can be best established and managed to support research and clinical trials on AD/ADRD treatments and diagnosis, prevention strategies, interventions, services, and supports to improve the quality of life of older adults living with AD/ADRD and their families, caregivers, and communities. Responses to this RFI must be submitted via email by October 17.
Resources Available to Learn More About the Role of Animals in Research
SfN has several resources available on our website to help educate the public about the role of animals in research including a PowerPoint highlighting the role of animals in basic, medical, and veterinary health research as well as a wallet card showing the scientific advances made possible through research using animals. There are also public outreach resources on BrainFacts.org which can be used to educate others on the value of animal research.
National Science Policy Network Launches first National Science Policy Mentorship Program
The National Science Policy Network (NSPN) Mentorship Program is the first national scale program of its kind, specifically focusing on getting early career researchers access to the mentors that they need to launch their own unique science policy careers. The program will welcome up to 30 pairs of early career mentees and mid-to-late career mentors to engage in a structured mentorship experience. Mentees and mentors will be matched based on their shared interests and goals, and pairs will undergo an intentional training program with ongoing support to teach best practices for forming and sustaining an effective mentoring relationship. Applications for mentors and mentees are due by October 30.
SfN Advocacy Resources
- Introduce yourself to the new Congress 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 effectively advocate for science with SfN's Advocacy Best Practices.
- Get involved in global advocacy.
- Talk to the public about the importance of animal research.
- Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in preparing for your next advocacy effort at home or on Capitol Hill.