The Senate is considering major expansions to research security policy as part of debate on the Endless Frontier Act, including a proposal to empower the government to block universities from accepting certain foreign gifts and contracts.
Federal agencies are expanding disclosure requirements for the scientists they fund in response to a new research security policy from the White House, but are facing pushback from university groups concerned about the scope of information sought.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 authorizes major new initiatives in advanced technologies and makes an array of policy updates aimed at bolstering U.S. private-sector innovation, the defense STEM workforce, and the environmental resilience of military infrastructure and operations.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said yesterday the Senate is preparing major competitiveness policy legislation centered around his Endless Frontier Act, which proposes to reconfigure the National Science Foundation. He also said the package could include emergency funding for a new semiconductor chip manufacturing initiative.
FYI spoke with Department of Energy Office of Science Director Chris Fall about a range of issues bearing on the national lab system, including a new “Labs of the Future” thought exercise, pandemic recovery, diversity initiatives, and research security.
This bulletin reviews provisions proposed for inclusion in Congress’ annual defense policy update that are focused on bolstering the “national security innovation base” and protecting federally funded research from exploitation by rival governments.
President Trump’s suspension of wide swaths of visa programs through the end of the year has drawn an outcry from universities and businesses, especially given the inclusion of H-1B visas granted to highly skilled workers.
A new presidential proclamation bars entry to the U.S. for many Chinese graduate students and visiting researchers if they have ever been connected to Chinese institutions deemed to have military ties. The move comes as even stricter limits on Chinese nationals studying or conducting research in STEM fields are being proposed in Congress.
France Córdova spoke with FYI about her six years leading the National Science Foundation, including how she handled criticism from lawmakers and the emergence of sexual harassment and research security as top policy concerns.
This week the top Republicans on seven House committees staked out an interest in the Department of Education’s ongoing probe into universities underreporting funding they have received from foreign entities. The move comes as the party targets ties between U.S. and Chinese research institutions as part of a hardline stance it is crafting toward China in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.