SfN Council Meets With NIH Leadership
SfN Council met via Zoom on July 28–29 and August 4 to discuss programmatic updates from the Society and partake in their annual dialogue with Directors of the NIH.
Council continues to pay close attention to funding conversations in Congress that have implications for biomedical research. The House of Representatives is discussing an 8% increase in NIH funding for a total budget of $49.4 billion, which exceeds the scientific community ask for $46.1 billion in funding. The Senate plans to review this budget after their August recess. If approved, $3 billion of NIH funding would go towards the newly developed Advanced Projects Research Agency for Health (APRA-H) that aims to build high-risk, high-reward platforms and technologies to further biomedical discovery.
The impact factors of JNeurosci and eNeuro increased in 2020, as did overall citations to both journals. JNeurosci remains the most cited journal in neuroscience and Council commended the editorial teams for their leadership. In May, a new monthly webinar series titled, “SfN Journals in Conversation” was launched on Neuronline, featuring the authors of selected papers in conversation with the editors-in-chief of the journals. This series aims to highlight papers with strong readership and a diverse slate of authors.
After the cancellation of Neuroscience 2020, there has been significant effort at SfN to offer additional opportunities for programming and engagement throughout the year. Webinars on leadership and increasing discovery in diverse communities were made available to participants in the Neuroscience Scholars Program. Monthly live chats were also hosted to regularly convene the program cohorts. In January, SfN launched a podcast as part of its Foundations of Rigorous Neuroscience Research program in partnership with NINDS that aims to empower scientists to improve the rigor and reproducibility of their research. The podcast is entitled Pathways to Enhance Rigor: A Collection of Conversations and may be accessed on Neuronline.
Meeting with NIH Leadership
For the 19th consecutive year, Council and NIH leadership met to discuss opportunities to partner on initiatives supporting the neuroscience community. Sixteen institutes were represented among attendees from NIH, including the BRAIN Initiative. Council and the NIH directors had a productive discussion on a wide range of topics, including how to support researchers using animal models, initiatives to keep women and underrepresented minorities in the research pipeline, and the potential for funding opportunities to investigate the long-term neurological impact of COVID-19.