AAI Public Affairs

The AAI public affairs program advocates on behalf of AAI members by identifying critically important issues in immunology and biomedical research, providing recommendations to relevant federal officials [including those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)], and urging Congress and the Administration to increase funding for NIH and other key agencies/programs.

  • NIH Receives $2 Billion Funding Increase for FY 2019
    On September 26, the House of Representatives approved (by a vote of 361-61) an appropriations bill that includes a $2 billion (5.4 percent) funding increase for NIH for fiscal year (FY) 2019...
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  • AAI Participates in Rally for Medical Research Hill Day
    The sixth annual Rally for Medical Research Hill Day (Rally Hill Day) took place on September 13, 2018. AAI was pleased to once again co-sponsor the event as a Bronze Supporter, and to support...
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  • NIH Efforts to Protect the Integrity of Biomedical Research
    NIH Director Francis Collins recently sent a letter to more than 10,000 U.S. research institutions and released a statement on “protecting the integrity of U.S. biomedical research” in response...
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  • Trump Administration Releases New National Biodefense Strategy
    President Trump recently issued a national biodefense strategy and signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum. In a statement, Trump said that the plan “will strengthen our Nation’s defenses...
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  • President Trump Nominates OSTP Director
    President Trump recently nominated meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, Ph.D., to be the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The OSTP Director also typically...
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  • Dr. Flynn’s Message to Membership Regarding Trump Administration Travel Ban
    AAI President JoAnne L. Flynn, Ph.D., recently issued a statement to the AAI membership regarding the Trump Administration policy that largely prohibits foreign nationals from seven countries from traveling to the U.S. In the statement, Flynn reaffirms the AAI belief “that all scientists of good will who are working to advance the field and benefit humankind should be permitted to travel freely, share ideas, and collaborate.”
    Read Dr. Flynn's Full Statement »
  • NIH ACD Working Group Releases Interim Recommendations on Next Generation Researchers Initiative
    During the June meeting of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), the ACD Working Group on the NGRI presented its interim report. The Working Group, which is charged with providing...
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  • AAI Submits Comments to NIH on Reducing Regulatory Burden in Animal Research
    AAI recently submitted comments in response to a Request for Information (RFI) by NIH entitled “Animal Care and Use in Research” (Notice NOT-OD-18-152). The RFI was issued because...
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  • National Academies Report Finds Sexual Harassment “Common” in Science; NIH Discusses Own Policies at ACD Meeting
    A new report from The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has found sexual harassment of women to be “common” in science, engineering, and medicine....
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AAI Public Affairs Activities

Apply now for the 2019-20 AAI Public Policy Fellows Program

AAI is now accepting applications for the 2019-20 Public Policy Fellows Program (PPFP). The AAI PPFP engages early career researchers, including postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors, in a year-long program that teaches how federal legislative action and agency activities affect the conduct and funding of biomedical research – and how AAI works on behalf of its members for the best possible outcome. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill to advocate for biomedical research and will participate in AAI public affairs activities at the AAI annual meeting. Except for these two experiences, Fellows will not need to travel or leave their institutions or labs.

Deadline: January 22, 2019
Please contact Jake Schumacher, AAI Manager of Science Policy and Legislative Affairs, with any questions (jschumacher@aai.org).

AAI Submits Comments to NIAID on its Proposed New Innovator Award

In late December, AAI submitted comments to NIAID regarding its proposal to pilot a New Innovator Awards (DP2) program. This pilot is based on the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, which supports “exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects.” Applicants must be Early Stage Investigators and do not need to have a lot of preliminary data. The proposed NIAID DP2 would differ from the NIH-wide award in two key ways: it would be available to non-citizens and to those still in their fellowship training, and the $1.5 million in direct costs would be allocated to the awardee over five years (as opposed to one).

AAI supports the NIAID effort to pilot this new funding mechanism, but believes that more clarity is needed in a number of areas, including helping applicants understand what is meant by “little preliminary data” and clearly defining the various funding opportunities available to early-career researchers (and publishing the expected paylines/success rates for those opportunities).

89 AAI Members Visit Congress to Advocate for Biomedical Research

Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI, 6th; pictured right) with AAI members Thomas Rothstein and Nichol Holodick
In conjunction with IMMUNOLOGY 2017™, AAI held its largest-ever Capitol Hill Day on May 16. Eighty-nine AAI members from 21 states met with Members of Congress or staff from 85 Congressional offices.

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