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NEWS ARCHIVES ACROSS THEMES  
  News archives across months
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Grants and other research fundings
 


AAAS celebrates federal spending increases for scientific research
- 26 Mar 2018

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) applauded President Donald Trump for signing into law a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 spending measure that delivers significant increases for science and technology programs and scientific research endeavours.

The catch-all spending measure carries significant spending increases for most of the federal government's major scientific agencies, including biomedical health, energy, space, defence, geological and agricultural research programs.

An analysis by AAAS' R&D Budget and Policy Program stated that under the measure, basic and applied research funding would receive its largest year-over-year increase since the FY 2009 Recovery Act.

Big winners included the National Institutes of Health, which secured a $3 billion or 8.7% increase and the Department of Energy's science programs, which received a $6.26 billion or 16.1% increase over fiscal 2017 spending levels. Science agencies also averted many of the double-digit percentage reductions Trump had requested in his fiscal 2018 budget blueprint.

The measure also removes barriers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

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Congress Funds $5 million open textbook grant program in 2018 spending bill
- 22 Mar 2018

In a landmark victory for the Open Education movement, the U.S. Congress has included funding for a $5 million open textbook grant program in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill. This marks the first major investment by Congress explicitly in open educational resources (OER) as a solution to the high cost of college textbooks, and underscores that course materials are a significant factor in making higher education affordable. The FY18 omnibus is expected to proceed swiftly to votes in the House and Senate and get signed into law this week.

The $5 million investment is the result of a grassroots campaign organised by SPARC and coalition partner U.S. PIRG over the last month. SPARC coordinated a letter to Congressional leadership signed by more than 60 of its member libraries from 30 states, along with phone calls and tweets to key lawmakers from members of the SPARC and OpenCon communities. U.S. PIRG coordinated with student activists to generate calls and tweets on campus, and organised a letter signed by more than 50 student governments. Senator Dick Durbin (Illinois) and Congressman Jared Polis (Colorado) championed the provision inside the beltway.

The $5 million will be awarded as competitive grants to institutions of higher education through the U.S. Department of Education. Open textbooks created under the bill will be released under a permissive open license, ensuring everyone can freely use, share and build upon the content.

Providing this funding for open textbooks is the most significant action Congress has taken in support of OER to date, and builds on a strong track record of state-level programs. States including Georgia and North Dakota have funded open textbook grant programs that have ultimately saved students more than ten times the amount invested. As such, the $5 million Congress included in the FY18 bill could save students $50 million or more.

As the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2018 comes to a close, Congress will now turn to negotiations for Fiscal Year 2019 ahead of the September 30 deadline. This year's open textbook funding is part of a $2 billion FY18 commitment to programs that aid college affordability and completion in the two-year budget deal Congress struck in February. Another $2 billion will be available in FY19, and SPARC has already begun advocacy efforts to ensure that Congress directs more funding toward open textbooks.

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Applications for 2018 Altmetric Annual Research Grant now open
- 14 Mar 2018

Alternative metrics provider Altmetric has opened the call for applications for its 2018 Annual Research Grant.

First awarded in 2016, the grant provides up to 1,500 ($1,900 USD) to support research studies that explore different facets of altmetrics or a related topic that impacts the research ecosystem.

Previous winners of the grant, which aims to support projects that would not otherwise receive the necessary funding, include Dr Lauren Cadwallader of the University of Cambridge and Dr Evan Goldstein from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr Cadwallader and Dr Goldstein conducted projects that focused on where, how and why academic articles were referenced in public policy and on Wikipedia.

For the 2018 grant, Altmetric is encouraging applications from academics, researchers and librarians globally that offer new insight into the data. The review panel is particularly interested to receive ideas which focus on lesser-studied attention sources and move beyond examining correlations between altmetrics and citations.

All applications for the 2018 grant will be reviewed by a panel of research experts that includes Simon Porter, VP of Academic Relationships&Knowledge Architecture at Digital Science; Mike Taylor, Head of Metrics Development at Digital Science; Euan Adie, Founder of Altmetric; and Stacy Konkiel, Director of Research&Education at Altmetric. Grantees will be announced on May 8, 2018.

The deadline for applications is 11pm GMT on April 20, 2018. Interested parties may visit https://www.altmetric.com/research-grant/ for more information on how to apply and to submit a proposal.

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Funding for scientific research marks new Canadian federal budget
- 08 Mar 2018

The Canadian federal government recently released its annual budget, including a nearly-$4 billion (US $3.1 billion) increase in funding for science over the next five years. A sizeable amount of the funding will go directly to Canada's three granting councils, a critical recognition on behalf of the government of the importance of fundamental research.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council will both receive $354.7 million (Canadian), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council will receive $215.5 million. Another $275 million will be allocated to the three councils together to support 'international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking and higher-risk' research, and most of this funding will be directed at early and mid-career researchers. This budgetary boost for fundamental research contrasts strongly with previous years' budgets which focused on funding for specific research projects. In addition, $21 million will be directed to increase diversity in science.

In 2016, SPIE collaborated with the Canadian Photonic Industry Consortium and provided $20,000 in funding to help with the CPIC report on the national photonics industry, 'Light Technologies: A Strategic Economic Asset.'

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Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services makes first funding appeal aimed at securing the future of open science
- 01 Dec 2017

In an effort to strengthen and secure the network of non-commercial services that underpin the burgeoning field of Open Science, a newly-formed coalition of international organisations is spearheading an unconventional appeal.

The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), which formed just over a year ago, is making its first funding appeal to the global academic and research communities. The appeal is a request to support two widely used services - the Directory of Open Access Journals and SHERPA RoMEO. The former is an online index of open access journals while the latter is an online resource providing analyses of publisher open access policies, along with summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of authors rights on a journal-by-journal basis.

To assess each candidate, SCOSS reviewed the data they provided regarding their technical competence, costs, details of governance, and future plans. Each made a strong case for the value of their service to various scholarly communications communities; and neither currently has long-term funding ensuring their viability. The aim is to gain three-year funding commitments from a voluntary network of institutions - the core user-base of the services.

While DOAJ and SHERPA RoMEO represent the first services to be presented for community funding, SCOSS plans to accept applications from qualified services twice a year. The next call for applications will be held in early 2018.

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