HBCU RISE Act Incorporated into National Defense Authorization Act

Jan. 5, 2023

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 23, includes provisions from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Research, Innovation, Security and Excellence (HBCU RISE) Act. 

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology commends U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C, for their hard work to ensure that the vital research funding for HBCUs was incorporated in the final version of the NDAA. The society enthusiastically endorsed this bill in April and applauds policymakers who recognize the need for initiatives like this to support minority-serving institutions. It is bipartisan and bicameral work like this that propels the American STEM enterprise and pushes the scientific workforce closer to achieving equity. 

HBCUs significantly expand the science, technology, engineering, and math workforce by increasing retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM. However, not one HBCU is classified as a “very high research activity,” or R1, institution. 

A pilot project included in this bill will provide funding to increase research capacity at HBCUs by funding lab equipment and instrumentation as well as construction and modernization of research facilities. Additionally, the ASBMB is pleased to see that the funds allow for faculty professional development and stipends for undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. 

The ASBMB applauds Congress for including this transformative project in the NDAA and is encouraged by efforts like this that will strengthen the STEM enterprise and will improve diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM.