FASEB Supports Legislation to Improve Career Opportunities for Younger Researchers
Created by host on 11/07/2013

By Jennifer Zeitzer
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is supporting legislationintroduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in September to improve career opportunities for younger researchers. The Next Generation Research Act (S 1552) authorizes the Office of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director to establish a “Next Generation Research Initiative,” through which all NIH policies and programs aimed at promoting and providing opportunities for new researchers will be coordinated.
The Initiative will continue existing efforts within NIH (including the Pathway to Independence Awards and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Awards) to help early-stage investigators secure grant funding. NIH is encouraged to implement the recommendations of the Biomedical Workforce and Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce working groups. In addition, the legislation calls for a National Academy of Sciences study and report to evaluate factors affecting early-stage/new investigators’ ability to enter the biomedical research workforce. Although the bill does not include any new funding for NIH, it authorizes “such sums as may be necessary” to implement the Initiative. A summary of Baldwin’s legislation is available on her website
Senator Baldwin introduced the bill after touring the NIH campus and meeting with NIH Director Francis Collins earlier this year. In August, the Senator visited the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research where she met with faculty and students to discuss how flat funding and the sequestration cuts are affecting the next generation of researchers. Baldwin also traveled to the University of Wisconsin Madison in late October to learn more about the importance of university-based research. "In order for America to out-innovate the rest of the world and create an economy built to last, we must protect and strengthen our investments in research, science, and innovation," she said in a press releaseannouncing the bill.

The introduction of the Next Generation Research Act continues Senator Baldwin’s long standing efforts to strengthen the federal commitment to NIH. Her interest in biomedical research is driven by the economic benefit NIH funding brings to Wisconsin, as well as through a personal connection. Her grandfather previously ran a lab at the University of Wisconsin Madison and her aunt is a researcher.

Senator Tammy Baldwin meets with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on July 15, 2013, in Bethesda, MD. Photo Credit: Senator Baldwin’s office. 

Senator Tammy Baldwin visits with Dr. Bruce Klein at the University of Wisconsin Madison on October 22, 2013. Photo Credit: Senator Baldwin’s office.