FASEB’s advocacy for increased research funding did not end with Hill Day. FASEB also sent letters to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee leadership urging a fiscal 2011 increase in the NIH budget, and signed a letter supporting a strong 302(b) allocation (the top-line budget number) for the subcommittee.
In addition to advocating for increases to the federal research budget, FASEB has been promoting improvements in scientific training. As part of an effort to develop a strategic plan for training and career development, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences solicited community input on its training portfolio this past spring. In a letter on this issue, FASEB urged the institute to broaden scientific training opportunities. FASEB believes that the goal of NIGMS training programs should be to prepare trainees for a range of scientific careers, and that scientific training should be broad-based and incorporate training in teaching and mentoring and preparation in professional skills.
FASEB noted that NIGMS could encourage training in all of these areas by expanding programs to help both trainees and established investigators acquire teaching and mentoring skills, requiring institutions to provide educational training to students and postdoctoral fellows supported on training grants and providing funding for institutions to develop professional skills workshops. In addition, NIGMS policy should allow all trainees to devote time to these activities in the course of their research training. NIGMS hopes to complete its strategic planning effort in early 2011.
Jennifer A. Hobin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is associate director for scientific affairs in the Office of Public Affairs at FASEB and Karen R. Mowrer (email@example.com) is the legislative affairs officer at FASEB OPA.