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Table Set for FY20-21 Increase in Spending Caps

The White House and congressional leaders have agreed on a two-year (FY20-21) budget framework, which will prevent a return of the deep cuts associated with the sequestration policy that was first implemented by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The deal to raise spending caps by $321 billion over two years will accompany a suspension of the debt limit until July 2021. Federal discretionary spending over the two-year period will increase by 4% as opposed to being cut by roughly 10%. Research and student aid line-items would fare relatively well with the new higher spending caps. The agreement must still pass both chambers of Congress and be signed by President Trump. The bill is likely but not certain to succeed.

Should the new budget agreement become law, the Senate would be able to begin moving their spending bills for the coming fiscal year, which starts on October 1. The House has largely utilized artificial spending caps to create and approve its versions of the FY20 spending bills. 

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 

Jonathan Nurse

NSF and NIH Steps to Protect Research

This week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) reminded the research community of existing policies intended to protect research from foreign threats, as well as suggested new processes for facilitating employee/grantee/applicant compliance.

The NIH Notice (NOT-OD-19-114) highlights required disclosure of "all financial resources, whether Federal, non-Federal, commercial or institutional, available in direct support of an individual's research endeavors, including, but not limited to, research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and/or institutional awards to ensure no scientific, budgetary or commitment overlap." The notice also outlines the requirement for disclosure of relevant activities that include a foreign component and any financial conflicts of interest.

The NSF Dear Colleague Letter on research protection acknowledges the importance of international collaboration; however, it also mentions increased risks of foreign theft of NSF funded research. The letter mentions renewed effort to make certain that existing requirements to disclose current and pending support information are known, understood and followed. NSF is also proposing use of an electronic format for submitting biosketches and launching an independent review of its practices related to open science and security. The NSF invites feedback to be sent to 

In the months ahead, Congress and the federal research agencies will continue to advance proposals, regulations, and new processes to address foreign threats to research. The higher education advocacy community, including FSU, is working closely with policymakers to make certain that both academic freedom and security of federally funded research are given appropriate consideration. 

Jonathan Nurse

FSU Researcher Receives Naval Engineers Award

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. His research team focuses primarily on hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) real-time simulation and modeling of integrated power systems for all-electric ships and future terrestrial power systems. His research has been described as vital to the advancement of future Navy systems.

According to ASNE, "The Solberg Award, presented annually since 1967, is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to naval engineering through personal research during the past three years."

View the event video.

Read the full citation

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

Over the last few weeks, FSU Federal Relations welcomed faculty/staff to DC for funding and policy meetings on Capitol Hill. Members of the FSU community visiting the Hill included: Director of Financial Aid Somnath Chatterjee, Drs. Barbara Foorman and John Hughes who lead the FSU-based Regional Education Lab Southeast, Dr. Teng Ma from the Department of Medical and Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Richard Liang who heads the High Performance Materials Institute, and Vice President for Research Dr. Gary Ostrander. ... Read More

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

FY19 Appropriations Process Concludes

Today marks the end of the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process in DC, which began over a year ago when President Trump released his budget request to Congress for federal agencies and programs. ... Read More

Jonathan Nurse

White House Science Adviser Confirmed

In the final hours of the 115th Congress, the United State Senate confirmed the nomination of University of Oklahoma Vice President for Research, Kelvin Droegemeier to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. ... Read More

Jonathan Nurse

NSF Releases Shutdown Guidance

The National Science Foundation has released guidance for proposers and grantees regarding its operational status during the partial government shutdown. ... Read More

Jonathan Nurse

Partial Federal Government Shutdown Looms

Federal agencies that have yet to receive full year appropriations for 2019 will cease non-essential operations at midnight unless the White House and Congress forge a last minute agreement, which appears highly unlikely at this point. ... Read More

Jonathan Nurse