“The American research enterprise has been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and is facing never-before-seen challenges,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “Without targeted and immediate support, we’ll lose valuable R&D and fall behind on scientific and technological progress and could begin losing our STEM workforce pipeline. This is a commonsense issue with bipartisan support, so I’m disappointed that the 2021 appropriations bill failed to include funds to restart American Research. I’ll keep working with my colleagues to push for the RISE Act and support our scientists and labs.”

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The Research Investment to Secure the Economy (RISE) Act authorizes approximately $26 billion in emergency relief for federal science agencies — such as the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation and others — to award to research universities, independent institutions, and national laboratories to continue working on federally-funded research projects.

This funding could, among other things, enable graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and Principal Investigators to complete work that was disrupted by COVID-19, or extend the training or employment of researchers on an existing research project for up to two years because of the disruption of the job market.

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The RISE Act would also allow certain federal agencies to award research grants and cooperative agreements to colleges or universities to conduct research on the behavioral, social or economic effects of COVID-19 and the responses to the disease, as well as the effectiveness of such responses.

Not only would the funding seek to improve U.S. research competitiveness and pandemic preparedness, but it would also provide critical support to the nation’s economy. According to IRS data, American universities used research funds to pay more than 560,000 people on campuses across the country in fiscal year 2018–2019. The RISE Act will help ensure that this important sector of the economy continues to thrive even after the pandemic subsides.