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Update on Research Funding via Federal Agencies August 8, 2022

Strategic Intelligence
August 12, 2022

Research Development's Strategic Intelligence team monitors the federal budget and funding landscape and produces this memo on a bi-weekly basis to share information that may impact ASU research. 

Science Policy Legislation

Billions more for US science: how the landmark spending plan will boost research  

The US$280-billion CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 promises one of the biggest funding increases in years for science. But it remains unclear whether Congress will ultimately deliver the money it has pledged.  The legislation centres on boosting domestic manufacturing of semiconductors — or chips — which are crucial for electronics. CHIPS and Science authorizes multibillion-dollar budget increases over the next five years to federal research agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Most of the increases represent authorizations to spend a certain amount — not budget appropriations, which provide funding. So each year, Congress will have to decide whether to deliver the promised amounts as it approves appropriations bills that set annual spending for the federal agencies.  


Senate Appropriations Committee Releases FY 2023 Bills  

On 7/28/22, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations bills. The House introduced its bills in June and passed half of them in late July. While the Senate Appropriations Committee is not planning to take up the bills through the regular committee process, the release of the Senate bills allows House and Senate appropriators to begin talks and, hopefully, work toward an agreement on final FY 2023 spending in the fall. 

A Call for Public Access to Monkeypox-related Research and Data  

On 8/4/2022, the OSTP announced a coordinated call to action with science and technology leaders and advisors from around the world, asking scholarly publishers to provide immediate access to research that has the potential to accelerate the global monkeypox response.

Do Funding Agencies Select and Enable Risky Research: Evidence from ERC Using Novelty as a Proxy of Risk Taking  

We find that applicants with a history of risky research are less likely to be selected for funding than those without such a history, especially early career applicants. This selection penalty for high-risk also holds among those applicants with a history of high-gain publications. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 

Looking forward: NIH’s Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias FY 2024 bypass budget 

NIH released its bypass budget for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias for FY 2024 on 07/25/22. The budget focuses on prospective research opportunities that NIH could support with additional funds in FY 2024, and estimates that the total funding needed for Alzheimer's and related dementias research totals $3.87 billion. NIH is now inviting input on the bypass budget on their blog. 

National Science Foundation (NSF) 

The science part of the CHIPS and Science Act  

A good chunk of the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act is earmarked to advance scientific research across several areas. That could mean big things for NSF. Over the course of five years, $81 billion could be directed to the organization, the largest funding increase the NSF has seen since it was created back in 1950. 

NSF selects James L. Moore III to head the Education and Human Resources Directorate  

The U.S. National Science Foundation has selected James L. Moore III to head the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, or EHR, which supports research that enhances learning and teaching, and broad efforts to achieve excellence in STEM education at all levels and in all settings. From 2015 to 2017, Moore served as NSF program director for the Broadening Participation in Engineering program and also helped launched NSF INCLUDES, a national broadening participation initiative. NSF’s EHR funds education research and STEM education initiatives and has an annual budget of more than $1 billion.

NSF and Amazon continue collaboration that strengthens and supports fairness in artificial intelligence and machine learning  

NSF, in collaboration with Amazon, announced the 2022 recipients of the Program on Fairness in Artificial Intelligence in Collaboration with Amazon awards. The 2022 awardees will receive up to $9.5 million in financial support. The teams have planned projects that involve rooting out unfairness and bias in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, developing principles for human interaction with artificial intelligence systems, theoretical frameworks for algorithms, and improving speech recognition technology so that it is accessible to broader populations.

Racial and ethnic disparities persist in NSF funding decisions  

Over the past 2 decades, NSF has consistently funded White researchers at higher rates than researchers from other racial and ethnic groups, according to a new study that has not yet been peer-reviewed. The study also found that White PIs have secured NSF funding at increasing rates since at least 1999, a finding that contrasts with a common sentiment among White researchers that they have had more difficulty acquiring funding over time. The researchers conclude that racial and ethnic disparities translate to thousands of unfunded awards for Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander researchers. Those missed awards equate to several billion dollars in funding.

 Department of Defense (DoD) 

After ‘Critical’ CHIPS Act, More Needed To Build Domestic Production, Experts Say 

“If China were to take over Taiwan and TSMC, that would seriously impact our supply chains,” he said. “Even if that worst-case—somewhat unlikely—scenario did not take place, re-shoring would be very important for the [United States.] There is always a risk that when DOD-critical chip designs are shipped overseas to be fabricated at foundries, the technologies could leak out to our adversaries. Even more scary is the possibility of the designs being tampered with, where the chips could be made to fail during combat.”  

“This will involve increasing funding for STEM R&D and encouraging more domestic students to get into this field,” he said.  

Department of Energy (DoE) 

US Department of Energy research gets a surprise boost in inflation-reduction bill

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) science programs are poised to get a windfall of $1.5 billion over 5 years in the massive climate and health care bill awaiting final passage later this week by the House of Representatives. The money is primarily for the construction of new facilities and major upgrades funded by DOE’s $7.5 billion Office of Science, although the bill does not call out specific projects.

DOE Presses Ahead with Equity Agenda | American Institute of Physics

The Biden Administration took a significant step in implementing its Justice40 initiative last week, announcing a sweeping array of federal programs that it will cover. Established through an executive order Biden signed during his first week in office, Justice40 requires that 40% of the overall benefits of federal activities in areas such as climate change mitigation and environmental protection flow to disadvantaged communities. 

DOE Launches New Research Group to Grow America's Solar Industry

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the launch of the Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium—a $20 million initiative designed to make cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells less expensive, more efficient and develop new markets for solar cell products. CdTe solar cells were first developed in the United States and are the second-most common photovoltaic technology in the world after silicon.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 

  NASA and Roscosmos officials restate intent to operate ISS after 2024  

At an Aug. 4 briefing about the upcoming SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the ISS, officials with NASA and Roscosmos reiterated that they expect to continue operations of the International Space Station after 2024 as NASA continues to push for an extension to 2030. 

Congress is busy considering space funding and authorizations 

The CHIPS and Science Act included an authorization bill for NASA–the first new authorization the agency has received in more than five years. The authorization bill under the CHIPS act is a policy bill, meaning that it didn’t provide or recommend any new funding to the agency. NASA’s funding is determined through the President’s federal budget request, which was released in late March for FY23. The NASA authorization cements federal support for NASA’s marquee programs. That includes Artemis, with emphasis on Mars as the final destination for the next chapter of solar system exploration. The bill also reaffirms the U.S. government’s intention to extend ISS operations from 2024 to 2030.