Research & development

Scientists Develop Electrocatalysts That Could Aid Long-Term Space Exploration

A new technology developed by scientists at the University of Delaware could put us one step closer to Mars and farther. This team created a silver electrocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide at a rate of 92 percent efficiency, which in turns releases oxygen.

New paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries could boost electric vehicle range

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

CT, IL, NH, TX Budget Proposals Support STEM, Workforce, Research

Governors in Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Texas revealed their budget proposals, with commonalities around STEM education, workforce development, and university research initiatives. Governors in two states, New Hampshire and Texas, made growth in the innovation economy a specific priority area of their proposed budgets.

NSF director calls for more funding to spur US innovation

Scientists know more about the entire universe and galaxy than they do the brain, which is why the National Science Foundation (NSF) wants to sink $144 million into understanding the most complex organ in the human body.

Editorial: Science has a problem

Lecturing people isn't the answer. Alan Leshner, the outgoing CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, made that clear last week. Scientists instead need to engage the public in a forthright conversation about the importance of science to society, he said. Federal funding for R&D in areas such as energy and medicine has dropped 10 percent in the past six years — and these are areas people consider important.

Seven myths about scientists debunked

Myth 1: Researchers are paid by their research institutes - A research-focused academic will be provided with excellent colleagues, space, core technical support and often some money for lab maintenance. But not always a salary. Tenure is rare and is more likely to occur in universities but usually with teaching commitments.

When scientific research can’t get federal funds, private money steps in

Philanthropy should not be seen as a replacement for federal dollars, observers say. All giving from foundations and individuals amounts to less than $4-billion a year, according to the Science Philanthropy Alliance, a group that works to increase private giving for research. That figure is a fraction of the $60-billion in science grants made by the Departments of Defense and Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation, a federal agency.

Investing in America’s Future through R&D, Innovation, and STEM Education: The President’s FY 2016 Budget

The Budget provides $67 billion for basic and applied research (the “R” in R&D), a $2 billion increase from 2015 enacted levels. The Budget increases total funding for three key basic research agencies (the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories) by $0.7 billion over the 2015 level to $13.8 billion. The Budget provides $31.3 billion to support research at the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $1 billion over 2015 enacted. The Budget also supports increases for basic research at other Federal science agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

President Obama Calls for $1B Increase in NIH Funding in 2016 Budget

Within the $4 trillion budget proposal for FY 2016, President Obama has called for the National Institutes of Health to receive $31.3 billion, a $1 billion increase over 2015 funding. According to the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, the budget provides for "increased resources for Alzheimer's, cancer, and other diseases that affect millions of Americans," and also includes $135 million for NIH's contribution to the BRAIN initiative, an effort to develop new technologies for imaging and studying the human brain and use those tools to create a much clearer picture of how this organ functions.

Funding young scientists

Dr. Harris argues that more money, in and of itself, won't necessarily solve the problem, and some of Mr. Daniels' findings back him up. For example, the Hopkins president notes that the NIH's system of grant review, while admired the world over for its rigor, may create something of an "incumbency bias" in which established researchers have an advantage not necessarily because of the quality of their scientific ideas but because of their superior understanding of NIH policies, procedures and regulations — what's known as "grantsmanship."

How Best to Hold Federal Scientific Research Accountable

The U.S. Congress is responsible for overseeing federal funding of scientific research. The question raised recently is how best to do that to ensure that government investments fund the finest science -- and promote most effectively America's economic growth and prosperity.

R&D Tax Credits Increase Resiliency of R&D-Intensive Firms

As the federal and state governments look for methods to support the creation and retention of well-paying science and tech (S&T) and manufacturing jobs, two recent reports have found that R&D tax credits play a vital role in helping keep domestic R&D-intensive firms resilient from economic downtowns and competition from emerging economics. These studies confirm the importance of R&D-intensive firms, which have taken advantage of R&D tax credits, are more likely to report a higher percentage of corporate liquidity; are less likely to cut capital expenditures and employment; and, downsize considerably less than the average firm.

Another set of ideas for fixing the funding crisis for young researchers

Daniels addresses three primary reasons why young scientists are missing out on the money. First, scientists are undergoing longer training periods, which precludes them from applying for grant money at a young age. Second, the grant process itself favors incumbent scientists over new entries. And finally, the relative imbalance of funds at universities and research laboratories has deterred young scientists from seeking faculty positions in the first place, so there’s fewer young people in a position to apply for these grants.

The importance of research funding - Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

As the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I have been fortunate over the years to meet with a wide range of individuals in academia, industry, and government. A common area of agreement among them is that federal investment in fundamental research leads to new discoveries, technologies and products.

New bill would boost NIH funding and medical research, Health Science Center president says

U.S. Reps Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, and Brian Higgins, D-New York, have introduced the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act, legislation that would allow Congress to restore NIH funding to the level it would be if the federal government had kept up with inflation since 2003.


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