WASHINGTON – The Science Coalition (TSC) is supporting a bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives to include funding for scientific and medical researchers at universities in the next COVID-19 relief package.
The letter – spearheaded by U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Fred Upton, R-Mich., and signed by more than 180 members of Congress – urges House leadership to include $26 billion to cover research costs in the next relief legislation, citing the critical importance of the 560,000-strong research workforce to “state and local economies as research universities, academic medical centers, independent research institutes, and national labs are major employers in all 50 states.”
“Our research universities have long been drivers of local and national economic growth,” said TSC President and Director of Government Relations at Stony Brook University Lauren Brookmeyer. “Thanks to strong partnerships with federal research agencies, TSC institutions are also leading the charge to address the COVID-19 pandemic, from developing a vaccine and treatments to supplying medical equipment to frontline workers. The fundamental research currently underway at our universities and colleges is not just essential for addressing the current crisis, but also for the next public health emergency. We applaud these members of Congress – including our Champions of Science – for their continued support for robust, predictable federal funding of scientific research. We urge House leadership to support this commitment to the American scientific enterprise.”
Specifically, the letter calls for federal funding to:
- Cover supplements for research grants and contracts (i.e., cost extensions) due to COVID-19 related impacts, including the need for additional salary support and/or research related ramp-up costs;
- Provide emergency relief to sustain research support personnel and base operating costs for core research facilities and user-funded research services until such time facilities reopen and research activities return to pre-pandemic activity levels; and
- Allow additional graduate student and postdoc fellowships, traineeships, and research assistantships for up to two years. Graduate students who could not complete their degrees due to pandemic related impacts should be given priority for graduate fellowships and other forms of support so they can complete their research and degrees.
The letter concludes by saying: “In the long term, these researchers are essential to protecting our nation’s public health, national security, economic growth and international competitiveness. Preserving our scientific infrastructure and protecting our innovation pipeline will help ensure U.S. leadership in the world.”
Learn more about the cutting-edge research TSC institutions are conducting to combat COVID-19 here.
Signatories of the letter who have received the Champion of Science Award include:
- Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore.
- G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.
- Tom Cole, R-Okla.
- Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.
- Susan Davis, D-Calif.
- Bill Foster, D-Ill.
- James Langevin, D-R.I.
- Dan Lipinski, D-Ill.
- Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa
- Scott Peters, D-Calif.
- Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.
- Fred Upton, R-Mich.
About the Science Coalition
Established in 1994, the Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. It is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation, and drive America’s global competitiveness.