The RISE Act would authorize $26 billion in relief for research workforce and institutions


Washington (July 23, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) today introduced the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act to authorize $26 billion in support to U.S. researchers who have been impacted by the pandemic. Although coronavirus-related research is a current federal government priority, most other research has slowed or stopped due to closures of campuses and laboratories. The people who comprise the research workforce – graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, and technical support staff – face financial and other hardships from the disruption of their research activities. The RISE Act will provide necessary relief to preserve current scientific workforce and ensure that the United States is prepared to continue our global scientific leadership once this crisis ends.


“The research enterprise and the researchers who contribute to it every day are vital to every states economy,” said Senator Markey. “We must act now to preserve our current scientific workforce and ensure that the U.S. is prepared to continue our global scientific leadership once this crisis ends.”


“North Carolina and the United States have world-class medical researchers, scientists, research institutions and labs working tirelessly to improve the health of the country and they are critical for our economic growth, global competitiveness, and ability to continue delivering innovative medical and scientific solutions,” said Senator Tillis. “We need to move quickly to protect our nation’s research investments and workforce pipeline so that the medical and scientific research community can resume operations and restore progress to pre-pandemic levels.”


“The pandemic has delayed important cutting-edge research across Michigan—including vital medical studies,” said Senator Peters. “We must ensure that the United States does not fall behind our global competitors in scientific innovation – both during and after this pandemic. I’m pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan bill that will ensure our nation can continue being at the forefront of innovation.”


“Research institutions in Colorado have faced serious challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Gardner. “This bipartisan legislation will help ensure that the United States remains a global leader in scientific research and development. America is at its best when it empowers our innovators with the tools they need to keep our country competitive, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to provide additional support for our nation’s scientific research and development initiatives.”


A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.


Representatives Diana DeGette (CO-01), Fred Upton (MI-06), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Frank Lucas (OK-03), Anna A. Eshoo (CA-18) and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) first introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives in late June. That bill currently has 81 co-sponsors, and more than 300 organizations endorsing, including the Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).


In May, Senators Markey and Tillis sent a letter to Senate leadership with 31 of their Senate colleagues calling for $26 billion in relief for America’s research community. The RISE Act builds on that advocacy by specifically authorizing $26 billion in emergency relief for federal science agencies – such as the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation and others – to provide awards to research universities, independent institutions, and national laboratories to continue working on federally-funded research projects.