Rep. Pocan’s Next Generation Researchers Act Passes Senate, Heads to President’s Desk To Be Signed Into Law
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement after the Next Generation Researchers Act passed the House & Senate as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The Next Generation Researchers Act directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to promote and provide new opportunities for new researchers and earlier research independence.
“I was proud to see the Next Generation Researchers Act pass the House & Senate as part of the 21st Century Cures Act today,” Rep. Pocan said. “This bill reaffirms our commitment to help early career researchers and young innovators pursue their research and ensures the U.S. continues to be the global leader in science research and development. With one of the country’s greatest research universities in my own District, I have heard directly from graduate researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about the need for investment, coordination and promotion of policies focused on the future of the research workforce in the United States. By providing our young scientists and researchers with more funding opportunities and focused policies they have the support necessary to tackling the challenges of tomorrow. I want to thank Senator Baldwin for her work on this initiative and the countless advocates who worked to get this legislation passed.”
The legislation authorizes NIH to establish a “Next Generation of Researchers Initiative” within the NIH Office of the Director to develop and coordinate policies and programs related to young scientists, such as funding opportunities, training and mentorship programs, and policies to enhance workforce diversity. It also funds a study by the National Academies of Science to review career barriers for biomedical researchers, which the NIH will subsequently use to continue to focus and pursue effectively policies promoting the future of the research workforce.
"We are deeply grateful to Congressman Pocan for his dedication and leadership in advancing the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes the Next Generation Researchers Act, which he authored to ensure that we continue our progress in biomedical research," said Robert Golden, Dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. "This legislation provides critical support for the development of young researchers, many of whom are working on new cures and therapies right here in Wisconsin.”
“As a world class research institution, UW-Madison is home to many researchers who are early in their careers and can benefit from the passage of the Next Generation of Researchers Initiative in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We are extremely grateful to Representative Pocan for introducing this legislation and shepherding it through bipartisan approval as an investment in the next generation of researchers,” said Marsha Mailick, UW-Madison’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. “Our researchers in the growing biomedical and behavioral research areas are eager for opportunities like this initiative, which seeks to enhance training, provide mentorship programs, and jump start much needed funding for those early in their careers who have great potential to conduct transformative research at UW-Madison.”
“Ensuring young researchers have opportunities to pursue their dreams and contribute to faster medical progress is crucial to sustaining our global competitiveness in the life sciences arena, and to the national imperative of faster medical progress,” said Mary Wooley, President and CEO of Research! America. “The inclusion of the “NextGen” Act in the 21st Century Cures bill will help ensure those opportunities proliferate. We are grateful to Representative Pocan, Senator Baldwin, Senator Collins, and the bill’s other champions for their vision and leadership in championing this strategically important initiative.”
“The Next Generation Research Act will enhance career opportunities for younger researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences,” said Howard Garrison, Director of Public Affairs of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). “We are grateful for Representative Pocan’s support for the biomedical research community and are pleased that this important legislation was included in the 21st Century Cures Act.”
Rep. Pocan introduced the Next Generations Researches Act in September 2015 and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced companion bill in the Senate. Rep. Pocan previously introduced this legislation in the 113th Congress as well.
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