This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
Does Your State Get its Fair Share of Federal Research Dollars?
October 5, 2017 | Science
Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) has proposed adjusting the formula NSF currently uses for the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program. Eligibility for this program would shift from being based off of the amount of federal funding a state receives to the per-capita research dollars a state receives. The EPSCoR program is intended to help states and territories whose scientists receive little federal support, and some are concerned that this adjustment will take away funding from the states that need it most.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
Nobel Prize Winners Worry About the State of Science Funding
October 4, 2017 | The Boston Globe
Nobel Prize in physics winners Rainer Weiss, Kip. S. Throne, and Barry C. Barish emphasized the role that federal funding played in their breakthrough research and shared their concerns that funding for research is drying up. Another recent Nobel Prize winner, Michael Rosbash, echoed these concerns, stating he isn’t sure that NIH would have funded his research in the current climate.
- Learn about U.S. advocacy programs at SfN.org
South African Researchers Bemoan Slashed Funds
October 11, 2017 | Nature
The National Research Foundation (NFR) announced that in an effort to reduce costs it plans to cut the budget of a grant program that rewards the country’s best researchers. The Incentive Funding for Rated Researchers program aims to increase the country’s competitiveness and benchmark South Africa’s researchers against the rest of the world; some researchers say this cut could result in a loss of up to 90% of their funding.
- Find information about global advocacy programs at SfN.org
Scientists Have Most Impact When They're Free to Move
October 4, 2017 | Nature
Analysis using the records of 14 million papers from close to 16 million individuals who had published from 2008 to 2015 found that researchers with more than one country affiliation had ~40% higher citation rate on average when compared to researchers with only one country affiliation. The authors of the study suggest that disrupting the global science network would negatively affect many nations and could damage the scientific system.
- Read about global neuroscience projects on BrainFacts.org
Developing Nations Need More Than Just Money
October 10, 2017 | Nature
In this op-ed, Rana Dajani, a molecular biologist at Hashemite University in Jordan, discusses the disconnect between funding systems available to countries and the institutions where scientists work. Dajani provides examples of how this disconnect has negatively affected research projects and calls on funders to ensure grant recipients have the administrative staff and skills needed to use grant money effectively and to help build foundations where they are lacking.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org
Articles of Interest
Ultrasonic Probe Could Detect Stroke, Brain Damage in Young Babies
October 11, 2017 | Science
A new portable ultrasonic brain probe could perform similar work to that done by an MRI machine in newborns, such as detecting seizures and abnormal brain activity. The probes are 50 times more sensitive in measuring blood flow than a conventional ultrasound, and when combined with EEG the probes successfully detected seizures in two infants. Some researchers have suggested that this probe could be instrumental in studying normal brain development and disease origins.
- Learn about the developing brain on BrainFacts.org
Emphasis on 'Transformative' Research Might Do More Harm than Good
October 10, 2017 | Inside Higher Ed
According to study findings, funding proposals requiring scientists to declare what parts of their project will be “transformative” can potential harm the scientific field. The study’s author believes that emphasizing transformative research could result in less funding for incremental research, which is needed to create the building blocks required to transform a field.
- Find more information about neuroscience funding on BrainFacts.org
Publishers Threaten to Remove Millions of Papers from ResearchGate
October 10, 2017 | Nature
Five publishers have said they would begin ordering ResearchGate to remove articles from its site because they breach publishers’ copyright, possibly affecting up to 7 million papers. ResearchGate has already started to remove a number of copyrighted articles and asked users not to store any information that infringes copyright.
- Read more on publishing and peer review on Neuronline