Urge Congress to Protect Neuroscience Research and Avoid a Government Shutdown
Send your U.S. representative and senators a message using SfN’s Advocacy Action Center and personalize it by stating why inadequate research funding and a government shutdown would be detrimental to your own work as a neuroscientist. It is essential Congress demonstrates its commitment to scientific research and discovery by providing the highest possible funding levels for federal science agencies and programs in FY 2024. We urge you to reach out to your legislators now, as Congress has until September 30 to pass a continuing resolution and avoid a government shutdown which would have harmful effects on research agencies and programs. Join fellow NeuroAdvocates in urging Congress to protect neuroscience research funding and avoid a government shutdown.
2023 ECPAs Continue Their Advocacy Work
Many of our 2023 Early Career Policy Ambassadors (ECPAs) have continued their advocacy efforts both through meetings with their policymakers and through recent written policy memos and articles. Graduate student Dylan Scarton and representatives from the George Mason University Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research hosted a lab tour for Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) of the Science and Technology campus. Dylan was able to present his research which could lead to optimized recovery outcomes and reduced healing time for those suffering from severe peripheral nerve damage. Monserrat Orozco, a graduate student at the University of New Mexico, wrote a policy memo for the Federation of American Scientists highlighting the importance of health care coverage for the incarcerated population which can help reduce opioid-related relapse, overdose, and recidivism rates. Finally, graduate student Rachel Hostetler of West Virginia University wrote two articles for Research!America on how graduate students advocated for improvements in post-doc training and submitted comments to an NIH request for information on this topic.
Continuing Resolution Needed to Avoid Government Shutdown
Congress has until September 30 to pass a continuing resolution (CR), otherwise, the federal government would be forced to shut down causing harmful effects and delays for federal agencies and workers. Should a CR be passed, this would temporarily extend FY 2023 funding and provide more time for Congress to negotiate FY 2024 funding levels. A list of programs that would funded under a CR can be found here. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved all 12 FY 2024 spending bills, the first time in five years this has been done, while the House Appropriations Committee has not. If you haven’t already, we urge you to send your legislators a message urging them to protect neuroscience research in FY 2024 and avoid a government shutdown.
White House Releases FY 2025 Research and Development Priorities
Leaders of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have released the Multi-Agency Research and Development (R&D) Priorities for FY 2025. The memo outlines guidance to federal agencies as they draft their budget requests for FY 2025, detailing how R&D programs are expected to align with the president’s larger policy agenda which includes achieving better health outcomes for all people, reducing barriers and inequities, and bolstering the R&D innovation that will build the Nation’s future economic competitiveness.
NIH Requesting Information on Updating Mission Statement
The NIH has issued a new request for information (RFI) inviting stakeholders to provide comments and suggestions on updating NIH’s mission statement. This RFI will inform NIH's efforts to update its mission statement to ensure that it reflects the NIH mission as accurately as possible. Input sought about the proposed revised mission statement includes feedback on whether the proposed new mission statement reflects the goals and objectives as outlined in the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for FYs 2021-2025, suggestions for specific language that could be added to the proposed mission statement, and why, and feedback on any specific language that could be removed from the proposed mission statement and why. The deadline to submit comments is November 24, 2023.
Apply for Research!America’s Civic Engagement Microgrant Program
Applications for Research!America’s 2023-2024 Civic Engagement Microgrant Program are now open. Microgrants of up to $4,000 will be awarded to STEM graduate students and postdoc-led groups to design and execute projects that create dialogue with public officials, local community leaders, and the public around issues of common concern. The Program welcomes novel ideas and programs for early career researchers to support building policy and communication skills and increase their level of engagement with their communities, community leaders, and elected and non-elected government officials. Read the report looking at the impact of the first four years of the Microgrant Program. The deadline to apply is October 16, 2023.
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.