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The State of U.S. Science & Engineering 2020 Report

Florida State's Federal Relations staff attends House briefing on The State of U.S. Science and Engineering. 

The National Science Board has recently published its 2020 Report on the State of U.S. Science and Engineering in which it concludes that while other countries around the world are rising in their overall contribution to research and development (R&D), the United States has remained the world leader in many STEM areas. This is much in part due to funding from the federal government and higher-learning institutions, like FSU, which comprise the majority of overall R&D funding. Florida State University’s federal relations staff was present at the board’s House of Representatives briefing to discuss the implications of the report on the future of Science and Engineering in the United States and what that signifies on the global stage.

The NSB pointed out China’s substantial progression in many categories relating to science and engineering. This includes their Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D that show China will soon pass the United States in upcoming years due to their annual growth rate being around 4x greater than that of the U.S. The board notes that this is not inherently bad as greater focus in STEM allows for more innovation and breakthroughs that will likely benefit the whole world. However, the report concludes that the United States should turn their attention to the workforce in science and engineering as an area that needs to be improved on. Women and minority groups are underrepresented in S&E. Further, foreign-born individuals (that hold a Masters or Doctorate degree) make up about a third of the S&E workforce.

Research & development performed by universities is key to maintaining the global position of the United States when it comes to science and engineering. Higher-education institutions, like Florida State University, drive basic research and training for new scientists and engineers. 

References and additional information:

Science and Engineering Indicators

Academic Research and Development in the United States

U.S. and Global Education


Kaelyn Hughes

Pres. Trump Nominates New NSF Director

The White House

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key position in his Administration:

Sethuraman Panchanathan of Arizona, to be the Director of the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Panchanathan currently serves as the Executive Vice President and the Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University (ASU).  He is the Founding Director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at ASU.  He was appointed to the National Science Board (NSB) in 2014 and served as the Chair of the Committee on Strategy for NSB.  He also served as a member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  Dr. Panchanathan is the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).  He was the Chair of the Council on Research of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and Co-Chair of the Extreme Innovation Taskforce of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils.  He was appointed as Senior Advisor for Science & Technology by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in 2018.  Dr. Panchanathan is a Fellow of the NAI, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Society of Optical Engineering.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Madras in 1981 and in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1984.  He then earned his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1986 and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Ottawa, Canada, in 1989.

Jonathan Nurse

Final FY20 Budget Within Reach

Congress is poised to send President Trump final appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2020. The bills, emerging nearly three months after the start of the fiscal year, were cheered by much of the higher education advocacy community.

Federal student financial aid and research programs will receive, in most cases, modest FY20 increases. The programs received bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. Of particular note, the Pell Grant maximum award (+2.4%), Federal Work Study Program (+4.4%), and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (+3%) will see meaningful increases over FY19. The National Institutes of Health (+6.7%) remained a top priority for appropriators, drawing a significant increase for the fifth straight year. Several agencies slated for termination by the administration were instead given increases over FY19 including the National Endowment for the Humanities, Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, and the Institute of Education Science.

The FY20 appropriations bills also included policy provisions that will have an impact on institutions of higher education and students. The legislation directs NIH to consider implementing the Advisory Committee to the Director's recommendations on combating foreign threats to research. The bill directs the Department of Education to work with institutions to make certain that Sec. 117 foreign gift and contracting reporting requirements are clear and to provide sufficient time for adjustment to any new requirements. The appropriations package also reauthorizes the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Initiative through 2029. Additionally, the bill aims to improve the experience of federal student loan borrowers, as they repay their loans, through increased financial education and loan servicing options.

The White House has indicated that President Trump will likely support the spending package, which would formally end the FY20 appropriations process. The FY21 process is scheduled to kick-off on February 3rd with the release of the president’s budget request to Congress. However, it remains to be seen if the administration will stick to that date.

Final FY20 Appropriations for Select Agencies/Programs
Dollars in thousands, except Pell Grant maximum award
FY19 Final FY19 Change
(from FY18)
FY20 President’s
Budget Request (PBR)
FY20 PBR % Change
(from FY19)
FY20 Final FY20 Final % Change
(from FY19)
Department of Defense*, RDT&E 94,896,708 7.45 102,647,545 8.2 104,431,232 10.0
DOD, 6.1 Basic Research 2,619,556 11.8 2,320,019 -11.4 2,603,345 -0.6
DOD, 6.2 Applied Research 6,068,244 6.8 5,317,204 -12.4 6,069,765 0.0
DOD, 6.3 Advanced Technology Development 7,361,970 7.7 6,497,773 -11.7 7,400,767 0.5
DOD, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency 3,432,189 11.7 3,556,221 3.6 3,458,321 0.8
Department of Education, Pell Grant 22,475,352 0 22,475,372 0.0 22,475,372 0.0
DOEd., Pell Grant Maximum 6,195 1.6 6,195 0.0 6,345 2.4
DOEd., Work Study 1,130,000 0 500,000 -55.8 1,180,000 4.4
DOEd., Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants 840,000 0 0 -100.0 865,000 3.0
DOEd., Institute of Education Science (IES) 615,462 0.3 521,600 -15.3 623,462 1.3
DOEd., IES Regional Educational Laboratories 55,423 0 0 -100.0 56,022 1.1
Department of Energy, Office of Science 6,585,000 5.2 5,500,000 -16.5 7,000,000 6.3
DOE, Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy 366,000 3.6 0 -100.0 425,000 16.1
Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Science 706,473 0 463,000 -34.5 716,449 1.4
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Science 6,905,700 11.0 6,304,000 -8.7 7,138,900 3.4
National Endowment for the Humanities 155,000 1.4 38,000 -75.5 162,250 4.7
National Institutes of Health 39,084,000 5.4 34,368,000 -12.1 41,684,000 6.7
National Institute of Standards and Technology 985,500 -17.8 686,800 -30.3 1,034,000 4.9
NIST Industrial Technology Services, Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Manufacturing USA 155,000 0 20,000 -87.1 162,000 4.5
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research 525,060 3.5 309,000 -41.1 548,384 4.4
National Science Foundation 8,075,000 4.0 7,100,000 -12.1 8,278,330 2.5
Jonathan Nurse

Congress to Seek More Time for FY20 Spending Bills

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Kristin Berkey

FY20 Begins with Temporary Funding Measure

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Jonathan Nurse

FSU Researcher Receives Naval Engineers Award

On June 19th, in a ceremony in DC, the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) officially awarded Dr. Michael (Mischa) Steurer of the FSU Center for Advanced Power Systems its Solberg Award for his leadership in electric power and energy systems research. ... Read More

Jonathan Nurse

Federal Look at Foreign Threats on College Campuses Continues

Congress and federal agencies have continued forward with an examination of campus-based threats from foreign entities. The threats of interest are largely the foreign theft of intellectual property from federally funded research groups and the spread of undemocratic ideologies through campus-based platforms. ... Read More

Laura Hall

FSU Faculty and Staff Push for FY20 Funding on Capitol Hill

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Laura Hall

Senate Holds Hearing on HEA and Sexual Assault

On Tuesday, as parts of its effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on campus sexual assault and steps to ensure student safety and rights. ... Read More

Laura Hall