A coalition of more than 200 scientific and academic stakeholder groups, including AIBS, have asked President Biden to champion the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R.869, S.289) and support full funding for the initiatives the legislation would create.
“The widespread, detrimental impact of COVID-19 on research and researchers, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, runs counter to the never more visible need for a strong and prolific research & development (R&D) ecosystem,” noted the groups. “According to a 2020 report from the Council on Government Relations, projected research output loss due to COVID-19 ranges between 20 to 40 percent, with a ‘potential impact approaching tens of billions of dollars across the entire U.S. research enterprise’.”
If enacted, the bipartisan RISE Act would provide $25 billion in emergency supplemental funding to federal science agencies to address COVID-19 related disruptions to research. According to the letter, the measure would “help restore our nation’s research capacity to its pre-pandemic strength, prevent setbacks against the formidable challenges our nation faces, and further the goal of a robust, diverse, and inclusive STEM workforce.” The groups also requested that “federal research agencies act quickly to provide maximum administrative flexibility and supplements, as well as clear guidance on these flexibilities, to immediately begin to address the unique challenges posed by the pandemic.”