Coalition to Promote Research     


 

Member Organizations 

******

Become a Member of CPR -

download membership form (pdf)

******

******

"NSF's mission mandates attention to the entire spectrum of science. Emphasizing some sciences at the expense of others handicaps discovery and compromises innovation."

NSF Director Subra Suresh, PCAST, 1/7/11

******

"Clearly, drug addiction is a serious problem facing our country, and finding new medical treatments is a high priority," NIH director Francis Collins tells me. "I don't know if the critics want us to experiment with humans, or just give up on the problem of drug addiction, but we aren't going to do either."

NIH Director Francis Collins, 8/5/2010

******

“We are all sick because of AIDS - and we are all tested by this crisis. It is a test not only of our willingness torespond, but of our ability to look past the artificial divisions and debates that have often shaped that response. When you go to places like Africa and you see this problem up close, you realize that it's not a question of either treatment or prevention – or even what kind of prevention – it is all of the above. It is not an issue of either science or values – it is both. Yes, there must be more money spent on this disease. Bu there must also be a change in hearts and minds, in cultures and attitudes. Neither philanthropist nor scientist, neither government nor church, can solve this problem on their own - AIDS must be an all-hands-on-deck effort.”

Barack Obama, World AIDS Day Speech, Lake Forest, CA, Dec. 11, 2006

“When you look at a cursory examination of the title or an abstract [of a grant] you don’t have an idea. That’s why we have peer review...Prohibiting specific grants sets a dangerous precedent for scientific research that has progressed and advanced for decades through freedom of inquiry into a broad spectrum of subjects…second guessing peer-review in this way could compromise the fabric of our public research enterprise one thread at a time.”

Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), Chairman of the House Science Committee’s Basic Research Subcommittee on the House floor, May 2, 2007

 

"De-funding meritorious grants on the floor of Congress is unjustified scientific censorship. It undermines the historical strength of American science which is based on our world renowned, apolitical and transparent peer review process."     

  NIH Director Elias Zerhouni 6/23/05

 

******

"When we looked at the public-health relevance, there was no question that these projects should have been funded and should continue to be funded."

NIH Director Elias Zerhouni

The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/13/04

******

"I strongly urge the Members to resist the temptation to select a few grants for defunding because they do not like the sound of them based on one paragraph out of what probably was a number of pages of information. It would set a dangerous precedent and put a chill on medical research if we start to micromanage individual NIH grants.  

     This has worked well over the years. We have had enormous progress because of these grants in achieving medical knowledge and giving the public a better health care system. I do not think this body, this committee, wants to get into the process of reviewing 120,000 grants and trying to pick 40,000 out of that group for funding."

Rep. Ralph Regula -- Chairman, House

Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee,

 House floor July 11, 2003

******

"I have served on the subcommittee that deals with NIH for a long time, and the one thing I came to understand very quickly is that the day that we politicize NIH research, the day we decide which grants are going to be approved on the basis of a 10-minute horseback debate in the House of Representatives with 434 of the 435 Members in this place who do not even know what the grant is, that is the day we will ruin science research in this country. We have no business making political judgments about those kinds of issues."

Rep. David Obey -- Ranking Member, House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, House floor July 11, 2003

******

"When you look at the impact of sexually transmitted disease, you're talking about HIV/AIDS and many others that affect millions of people and their reproductive lives."

NIH Director Elias Zerhouni

USA Today, Jan. 13, 2004

 

******

"Decisions about medical research should be made by scientists, not by politicians promoting an ideological agenda.”

Democratic House Leader

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, July 2003

 

******

 

"Here we have people saying, 'I don't like how that disease was contracted, so I don't  want to study that disease.' It's equivalent to sticking your head in the sand. It's very important that the scientific community rises up and objects to the imposition of ideology in these areas."

 

Alan Leshner, President  and CEO, AAAS, Washington Post, 1/19/04

 

******

“Obviously, in areas such as HIV/AIDS, it’s a sexually-transmitted disease, it’s a disease that is transmitted by injection drug use, by a variety of other mechanisms . . . we cannot avoid addressing the issues that are at the very foundation of why millions and millions of people are getting infected. 

Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, June 2, 2004

******

"Central to the NIH peer-review process is objective evaluation based on a proposal's scientific merit. . . Many would argue that it is the scientific objectivity of this process and the fact that scientists -- not politicians, political appointees, advocacy groups, or lobbyists -- who decide what gets funded, that is in large part responsible for the nation's world leadership in science."

 

 Rep. John Edward Porter -- Former Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in JAMA September 21, 2005.

 

******

 

****************

 

For more information about the Coalition contact:

 

Angela Sharpe (COSSA) at alsharpe@cossa.org, (202) 842-3525

 

or           

 

Karen Studwell (APA)) at kstudwell@apa.org, (202) 336-5585

 

 

VOTE "NO" on Issa Amendment

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) plans to offer an amendment to the House FY 2010 Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill which is scheduled to come to the House floor tomorrow.  The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet this afternoon at 3pm to decide which amendments will be considered.  We understand that it will be one of the amendments that will be allowed for consideration when the House begins debating the bill tomorrow, Friday, July 24th.  The amendment would rescind the funding for the following three currently funded, peer-reviewed grants that that focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, as an example of wasteful spending.

 

1)    Substance Abuse Use and HIV Risk Among Thai Women Grant Number: 1R21DA026324-01A1

 

The proposed collaboration study between Ms. Usaneya Perngparn, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and Dr. Nemoto, Public Health Institute, California, will investigate the sociocultural contexts of HIV risk behaviors and drug use among Thai female and male-to-female transgender (kathoey) sex workers in Bangkok. Research is currently needed to develop and adapt HIV prevention models that take into account sociocultural factors so that the further transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections can be averted.  Participation in these types of studies also can provide a way for persons suffering from the health consequences of illicit sexual activity to receive treatment while contributing to our knowledge of prevention and treatment outcomes in these populations.

 

2) HIV Prevention for Hospitalized Russian Alcoholics Grant Number:  5R01AA016059-03

 

Investigators are adapting a prevention approach that has been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing high-risk HIV related behaviors in the U.S. for use in Russia, a country with a rapidly expanding incidence of HIV.  The approach, called Health Relationships Intervention, involves the development of a plan of action for each client to increase social support and reduce high-risk behaviors.  This includes the disclosure of information to family and friends on the client’s health, social needs and condition thereby assisting the client in maintaining low risk behaviors.

 

3) Venue-based HIV and Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Among Female Sex Workers in China

Grant Number: 1R01AA018090-01

 

Research has provided evidence linking alcohol-related, high risk sexual behavior with HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections.  Research has also provided rich descriptions of social, cultural, and economic contexts in which people engage in alcohol-related sexual risk behaviors.  More specifically, alcohol use characteristics (e.g., binge drinking) have been linked with sexual risk-taking that occurs in a range of high risk environments. The investigators have proposed a 5-year study to develop, implement, and evaluate a theory-guided, multiple components, and venue-based HIV and alcohol use risk reduction intervention among commercial sex workers (FSWs) in China.

 

Given that HIV/AIDS is a global epidemic that has already killed more than 25 million men, women, and children and 33 million are currently living with HIV, it is clear that prevention of HIV infection should be a priority area of research funding. The research is easy to ridicule if it is taken out of its public health context.  The fact is, scientists need to explore a range of research avenues in vulnerable populations around the world to learn the best ways to control the transmission of HIV.

 

How Does NIH Decide to Fund These Grants?

 

The NIH uses a rigorous peer review process to determine which grant applications to fund. NIH’s scientific peer review process is the gold standard for determining the quality and relevance of grant proposals.  Thousands of scientists each year submit applications to the NIH requesting funding for their scientific proposals. Applications are evaluated initially by the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review and peer review groups composed of scientific experts from around the U.S. and the world.  These groups (also called “study sections”) assess and rate the scientific and technical merit of the proposed research or training projects.  Projects reviewed in a particular session are scored and ranked in relation to each other.  The applications are then assigned to one of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH.  A second level of peer review is conducted by the NIH National Advisory Councils of the respective funding Institutes or Centers, which are composed of both scientists from the research community and public representatives.  These councils ensure that the NIH receives advice from a cross-section of the U.S. population in its deliberation and decision-making.

 

This system ensures that research conducted and supported with taxpayer dollars is scientifically meritorious and serves to improve the lives of all people equally. Approximately 70 percent of meritorious, scientifically valid proposals do not receive funding through this process.   The grants that receive funding, however, are the best in their fields.

 

In response to previous congressional concerns about whether sexual health research should be funded by the agency, NIH reviewed the entire NIH sexuality portfolio in 2004. That investigation found that all of the NIH grants in areas of sexual health met the rigorous standards of scientific and ethical quality, that they were not funded out of proportion to the public health burden of these diseases, and that the merit review system had been followed. 

 

Talking points from the NIH regarding the public health relevance of the grants being targeted.

Talking Points Regarding Substance Use and HIV Risk among Thai Women

Information on studies funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) on Venue-Based Interventions for HIV/AIDS and Alcohol Use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: July 28, 2009