Biden’s FY22 Budget Proposal Invests in Education and R&D

On May 28, President Biden released his full fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request, which seeks increased funding for most federal agencies and includes provisions first announced in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. Themes of promoting diversity, bolstering U.S. research and development (R&D), and streamlining immigration services are interwoven throughout the request. Among the notable requests for federal agencies, the Department of Education would receive $102.8 billion, a 40 percent increase in funding compared to the FY21 enacted level. The National Science Foundation would receive $10.2 billion, roughly a 20 percent increase compared to the FY21 enacted level, and the National Institutes of Health would receive $52 billion, which is $9 billion more than the FY21 enacted level. CGS continues to analyze the proposal and has developed a summary document highlighting some CGS programs of interest, available here. All CGS resources regarding FY22 appropriations advocacy are available here, including an updated FY22 Appropriations Chart.

Upon receiving the President’s funding request, House and Senate lawmakers will begin their respective budget and appropriations processes to prepare for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on October 1, 2021. The House and Senate Budget Committees will leverage the White House request as a resource when crafting their annual budget resolution, which sets federal funding caps. The budget resolution can be a vehicle for reconciliation, the provision which lawmakers used to pass the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. While in the majority, Democratic lawmakers are engaged in ongoing discussions about using reconciliation again this year. On June 2, the Senate Parliamentarian, who oversees reconciliation protocols, issued an opinion reminding lawmakers the special provision is intended only to be used “in extraordinary circumstances” and should be used sparingly, as reported by Roll Call. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has outlined plans for her committee to markup and pass all twelve of its funding bills out of committee in June. Senate Appropriators have not yet released a timeline for action on their bills. CGS continues to advocate for the highest levels of funding for programs of importance to graduate education and research and will keep members apprised as the FY22 budget and appropriations process unfolds.

Senate to Resume Consideration of U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

On June 7, Senate lawmakers will resume consideration of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S.1260) when the upper chamber returns to session. On May 28, following a lengthy debate over the size and scope of the research and development bill, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, one of the original authors of the legislation, announced the agreement to move the bill to the Senate’s June agenda. The legislation would allocate roughly $100 billion for federal agencies to combat foreign competition and invest in STEM education and workforce development in the U.S. However, the package has grown much more expansive than the original Endless Frontiers Act proposal with numerous amendments still up for debate, including requirements around how institutions of higher education track and report foreign gifts. When talks resume, in addition to finalizing the bill’s content, senators will be tasked with rallying sufficient support from Republican members to get the legislation over the 60-vote threshold.

Lander Confirmed to Top Science Position

On June 1, the Senate confirmed Eric Lander as the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). In January, President Biden nominated Eric Lander to oversee OSTP and serve as his top science adviser, elevating the position to cabinet-level rank. In April 2021, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a nomination hearing for Lander, during which the nominee emphasized his work to increase diversity in science and enhance COVID-19 testing strategies. In the Obama-Biden administration, Lander served as the external co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Most recently, Lander founded and led the Broad Institute at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Register Now for Virtual CGS Summer Workshop and New Deans Institute

CGS’s annual 2021 CGS Summer Workshop and New Deans Institute, both held virtually this year, are one month away. Members of the graduate education and research community are invited to join your colleagues virtually on July 12-14 to learn about current issues facing graduate education. The meeting will address topics within the larger context of graduate education, including dismantling structural racism, the future of public policy and graduate education, graduate student mental health, and the top 10 issues in higher education. The virtual New Deans Institute will be held on July 9, and experienced peers will offer new deans insights in graduate education leadership. Registration details and program outlines are available here.

NSF Webinar on Proposal Writing

On June 9 from 2-3pm EDT, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will hold virtual office hours to discuss new opportunities at the NSF and the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences. The webinar will also detail best practices for writing a successful NSF proposal followed by an open question and answer forum. More information on the meeting, including registration details, is available here.