Federal Science Partners Periodic Update

House Passes Legislation to Reopen the Government; Senate Fails to Pass their Proposal -- On January 23, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 648, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 by the vote 234-180.  This bill is made up of six of the seven unfinished FY 2019 appropriations bills as conferenced between the House and Senate.  The bill also includes $1.6 billion for border security-related initiatives but no funding for the Administration’s proposed border wall.  The six appropriation bills include: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. It also includes language to pay federal employees who have been working without pay or furloughed because of the shutdown.  Copies of the six conferenced bills and the accompanying explanatory statement of managers can be found here.

This week the Senate took up a version of this package but it failed to attract enough votes to pass the Senate.  The Senate bill not only included the six conferenced appropriations bills passed in the House but also had $12.7 billion for hurricane and wildfire disaster recovery efforts, and yearlong funding for Homeland Security including $5.7 billion for construction of a physical barrier along the southern border.  Failure of the Senate to pass this and a separate 3-week continuing resolution that would have reopened that portion of the Federal Government currently shutdown has encouraged the White House and Congressional negotiators to resume their discussions. Negotiations are continuing as the White House and Congress look for a way to re-open those parts of the Federal Government currently shutdown.

A summary of the relevant portions of the conferenced House-Senate FY 2019 appropriations bills can be found here.

NIH Releases New Data Book – NIH has released their latest edition of their NIH Data Book.  The NIH Data Book provides basic summary statistics on extramural grants and contract awards, grant applications, the organizations that NIH supports, the trainees and fellows supported through NIH programs, and the national biomedical workforce.  It is organized into categories and sub-categories, each of which will display related reports together on a single page. Most reports provide both an interactive chart visualization and the underlying data table. Chart images can be exported in a PNG graphic format. Tabular data export is available in the Excel file format.  More information, including access to the NIH Data Book can be found here.

Intelligence Community Releases Solicitation for Centers for Academic Excellence – The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), on behalf of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released a funding opportunity entitled, FY 2019 Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) Program, with total funding of about $12 million available for approximately 8 awards.  The IC CAE Program’s purpose is to develop a cadre of qualified intelligence professionals to carry out America's long-term national Security initiatives by creating a competitive; knowledgeable and diverse workforce through the provision of multi-year grants to colleges and universities. The program encourages eligible institutions of higher education to submit proposals that support intelligence and national security curricula and programs that will create, attract and sustain a robust and knowledgeable talent pool in multi-disciplinary areas of interest to the Intelligence Community. A copy of the solicitation is available here.

Department of Justice to Award Graduate Research Fellowships in STEM – The National Institute of Justice within the Department of Justice provides grants to accredited academic institutions to support graduate research leading to doctoral degrees in topic areas that are relevant to preventing and controlling crime and ensuring the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States. Applicant academic institutions sponsoring doctoral students are eligible to apply only if the doctoral student's degree program is a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) discipline; and the student's proposed dissertation research has demonstrable implications for addressing the challenges of crime and/or the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States. Awards are anticipated to be made to successful applicant institutions in the form of grants to cover fellowships for the sponsored doctoral students. Awards are made for up to 3 years of support usable over a 5-year period. For each year of support, NIJ provides the degree-granting institution a stipend of $35,000 usable toward the student's salary and related costs, and up to $15,000 to cover the student's tuition and fees, research expenses, and related costs. A copy of the program announcement for these fellowships can be found here.