FY19 Coalition Letter Detailing The Effects of the Government Shutdown On The National Science Foundation (NSF)

2019-06-10T14:42:22+00:00 January 23, 2019|

January 23, 2019

President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                           The Honorable Charles Schumer
Senate Republican Leader                                    Senate Democratic Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building                       322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510                                        Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                 The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Speaker of the House                                            Republican Leader
1236 Longworth House Office Building                  2468 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                        Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear President Trump and Congressional Leaders:

As members of the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) – a broad-based group of professional organizations, businesses, universities, and scientific societies that advocate for sustained, robust federal support for the National Science Foundation (NSF) – we are writing to express our serious concerns about the impact of the government shutdown on America’s research enterprise.

CNSF urges you to end the government shutdown and enact a Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill with at least $8.175 billion in funding for the NSF.

NSF-funded research has been invaluable to ensuring that the United States remains a leader globally in science and innovation, fueling the nation’s economy. The government shutdown is already starting to have an impact on the NSF-funded research conducted at the nation’s universities and research institutions. A further prolonged government shutdown will have additional serious, detrimental, and long-lasting consequences for the nation’s scientific enterprise and will threaten investments made toward advancing research and education.

NSF’s merit review process remains the gold standard for selecting the most innovative research projects across all disciplines of science. Since December 21, 2018, however, more than 70 scheduled review panels have been either cancelled or postponed because of the shutdown. This significant disruption in the review process means that new research projects will not get started, undergraduate and graduate students will not get funded, and the mission of the Foundation will be put on hold. Furthermore, NSF-funded major user facilities such as the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) will approach the limits of available funding should this shutdown continue. These and other NSF-funded user facilities are essential to the research conducted by the scientific community, which includes users from other agencies such as the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.

This shutdown is personally impacting members of the scientific community. Senior scientists are questioning how to pay their postdoctoral researchers, and some postdocs and fellows, many of whom are early in their careers, are not getting paid at all. Indeed, the shutdown is not only affecting the overall research enterprise but is taking a personal toll on those who are vital to its success.

A government shutdown greatly impedes the agency’s ability to make funding decisions, suspends new and ongoing research projects and slows the development of training the next generation of scientists and engineers. If the government shutdown continues it will have a cascading effect on the nation’s security and economy, endangering years of critical investments. It is important for the president and Congress to expeditiously reopen the government and complete the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process.

Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF)

American Anthropological Association
American Association for Dental Research
American Association of Geographers
American Association of Physics Teachers
American Astronomical Society
American Chemical Society
American Educational Research Association
American Geophysical Union
American Geosciences Institute
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Institute of Physics
American Mathematical Society
American Physical Society
American Physiological Society
American Political Science Association
American Psychological Association
American Society for Engineering Education
American Society for Microbiology
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Sociological Association
American Statistical Association
Arafune Government Relations, LLC
Archaeological Institute of America
Associated Universities, Inc.
Association for Psychological Science
Association for Women in Mathematics
Association for Women in Science
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of American Universities
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Association of Research Libraries
Association of Science-Technology Centers
Biophysical Society
Boise State University
Bose Washington Partners, LLC
Boston University
Brandeis University
Brown University
California Institute of Technology
Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Associates, LLC
Computing Research Association
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science Inc.
Cornell University
Council of Graduate Schools
Council On Governmental Relations
Council on Undergraduate Research
Crop Science Society of America
Duke University
Ecological Society of America
Entomological Society of America
Eversole Associates
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences
Florida State University
Geological Society of America
George Mason University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Harvard University
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
Indiana University
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA
Lehigh University
Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
Linguistic Society of America
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Research Society
Mathematical Association of America
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
Museum of Science, Boston
National Association of Marine Laboratories
National Communication Association
National Postdoctoral Association
National Science Teachers Association
Northern Illinois University
Northwestern University
Oregon State University
OSA, The Optical Society
Pennsylvania State University
Population Association of America/ Association of Population Centers
Princeton University
Psychonomic Society
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Research! America
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
SAGE Publishing
Saint Louis University
Seismological Society of America
Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science
Society for American Archaeology
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Society for Neuroscience
Society for Research in Child Development
Soil Science Society of America
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stony Brook, The State University of New York
Texas Tech University
The Ohio State University
The State University of New York System
The University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of California System
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Florida
University of Illinois System
University of Iowa
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
Vanderbilt University
Washington State University
West Virginia University
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Read the full letter here.