Jul 24 2020

The RISE Act would authorize $26 billion in relief for research workforce and institutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, bipartisan legislation that would authorize $26 billion in support to U.S. researchers who have been impacted by the pandemic.

Although coronavirus-related research is a current federal government priority, most other research has slowed or stopped due to closures of campuses and laboratories. The people who comprise the research workforce – graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, and technical support staff – face financial and other hardships from the disruption of their research activities. The RISE Act will provide necessary relief to preserve current scientific workforce and ensure that the United States is prepared to continue our global scientific leadership once this crisis ends.

“North Carolina and the United States have world-class medical researchers, scientists, research institutions and labs working tirelessly to improve the health of the country and they are critical for our economic growth, global competitiveness, and ability to continue delivering innovative medical and scientific solutions,” said Senator Tillis. “We need to move quickly to protect our nation’s research investments and workforce pipeline so that the medical and scientific research community can resume operations and restore progress to pre-pandemic levels.”

In May, Senators Tillis and Markey sent a letter to Senate leadership with 31 of their Senate colleagues calling for $26 billion in relief for America’s research community. The RISE Act builds on that advocacy by specifically authorizing $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 provide awards to research universities, independent institutions, and national laboratories to continue working on federally-funded research projects.

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.