All posts by Jyotsna Pandey

HR 1237: COAST Research Act of 2019

The bill amends the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 to establish an Ocean Acidification Advisory Board, to expand and improve the research on Ocean Acidification and Coastal Acidification, to establish and maintain a data archive system for Ocean Acidification data and Coastal Acidification data, and for other purposes.

The bill was passed by the House on June 5, 2019.

HR 627: STEM Research and Education Effectiveness and Transparency Act

This bill directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to report on the effectiveness of all NSF research and education programs intended to broaden the participation of women and other historically underrepresented individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines and careers.

Each federal agency that expended at least $100 million on research and development in FY2017 shall annually submit to the NSF standardized record-level information on demographics, primary field, award type, review rating, budget request, funding outcome, and awarded budget for all applications for merit-reviewed research and development grants to institutions of higher education and federal laboratories. The first submission must include comparable record-level data for the five previous years.

The NSF shall publish statistical summaries of the data in conjunction with the required biennial reports on the participation of men and women in scientific and engineering positions.

S.910: National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2019

The bill would reauthorize through FY2025 and revise the National Sea Grant College Program, through which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supports university-based programs that focus on studying, conserving, and effectively using U.S. coastal resources.

Among other things, the bill requires NOAA to award Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships. Currently, NOAA has discretion in awarding such fellowships. The fellowships support the placement of graduate students in fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources in positions with the executive and legislative branches.

The bill reauthorizes through FY2025 grants for (1) university research on the biology, prevention, and control of aquatic nonnative species; (2) university research on oyster diseases, oyster restoration, and oyster-related human health risks; (3) university research on the biology, prevention, and forecasting of harmful algal blooms; and (4) fishery extension activities conducted by sea grant colleges or sea grant institutes to enhance existing core program funding.

The bill authorizes grants for (1) priority issues identified in the National Sea Grant Program’s strategic plan, and (2) university research on sustainable aquaculture techniques and technologies.

The bill has been approved by the House Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

HR 36: Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2019

This bill addresses sexual harassment in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields by supporting sexual harassment research and efforts to prevent and respond to sexual harassment.

This bill directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award grants to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations (or their consortia) to

  • expand research into sexual harassment in the STEM workforce, including students and trainees; and
  • examine interventions for reducing the incidence and negative consequences of such harassment.

The NSF must convene a working group composed of representatives of federal statistical agencies to develop questions on sexual harassment in STEM departments in order to gather national data on the prevalence, nature, and implications of such harassment in institutions of higher education.

The NSF shall enter into agreements with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to (1) update a responsible conduct guide issued by the National Academies, and (2) study the influence of sexual harassment in institutions of higher education on the career advancement of individuals in the STEM workforce.

The National Science and Technology Council shall establish an interagency working group to coordinate the federal science agencies’ efforts to reduce the prevalence of sexual harassment involving grant personnel.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy must develop a uniform set of policy guidelines for such agencies to prevent and respond to reports of sexual harassment.