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Office of the Vice President for Research

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Weekly Research Update: Thursday, August 20, 2020

White House updates national research and development priorities

On Friday, August 14, the White House released (pdf) its annual R&D priorities memorandum, which will shape federal agencies’ budget submissions for fiscal year 2022. The priorities include a new focus on public health R&D in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The memo states that areas connected to “Industries of the Future,” such as artificial intelligence and quantum information science, “remain the administration’s top R&D priority.” Other items highlighted in the priorities memo are earth system predictability, disaster resilience, microelectronics, advanced military capabilities, ocean mapping, early-stage energy R&D and space exploration.


Postdoc fellowship bill seeks to blunt pandemic effects

Leaders of the House Science Committee introduced bipartisan legislation on Friday, August 14, that would authorize the National Science Foundation to create a fellowship program specifically designed to help postdoctoral researchers weather the pandemic’s effects on job opportunities. The two-year pilot program would award grants to “highly qualified early-career investigators to carry out an independent research program at the institution of higher education chosen by such investigator,” and the bill recommends Congress appropriate $500 million for the program over two years.


New articles discuss challenges faced by underrepresented minority researchers

  • A new article from Scientific American examines how Women in Science May Suffer Lasting Career Damage from COVID-19, noting “They bear a greater proportion of childcare and household responsibilities, making it much harder for them to publish their work and get ahead.”
  • Science magazine shared news of a new initiative of House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson to scrutinize racism in science. The article notes that the new study differs from past ones “by asking the community to examine long-standing beliefs and practices that have marginalized many individuals and skewed decisions on what topics are worthy of support.”


Sign up for big data webinar on new pattern methodologies for COVID-19 patient data

On Wednesday, August 26, at 11:00 a.m., UofSC’s Big Data Health Science Center (BDHSC) will host a Zoom webinar on Novel Pattern Identification Methodologies for COVID-19 Medical Patient Data. Through this web-based science event, Dr. Joseph E. Johnson and Dr. Dezhi Wu will share information on the cloud-based clustering system they are designing to host large medical data submissions from multiple users and provide tools to help users analyze this data. Visit the event web page for complete event details and registration.


20 August 2020

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.