AERA Endorses Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act
AERA Endorses Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act

June  2020

On June 24, a bipartisan group of six House members introduced the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R. 7308). The RISE Act would provide supplemental funding for federal research agencies which have experienced disruptions in research activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. AERA is among the scientific societies, higher education organizations, and universities that have endorsed the bill.

The legislation would provide $26 billion of supplemental funding outside the annual appropriations process to address costs from disruptions to research grants; provide financial support and flexibility for faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students; and help cover expenses required for ramping research back up when labs and research facilities reopen. Of most relevance to education researchers, the bill includes $200 million for the Institute of Education Sciences, $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, and $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health.

In addition, the RISE Act authorizes awarding of grants and cooperative agreements to institutions of higher education to conduct research on the behavioral, social, or economic effects of Covid–19 and subsequent responses to the virus.

The bill language aligns with recommendations included in a letter from the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the American Council on Education, calling for research funding support and flexibility in a Covid-19 economic stimulus package. AERA pointed to these recommendations in comments to the House Science Committee in April.  The most recent House bill to provide economic relief, the HEROES Act, did not include this funding. 

The main sponsors of the RISE Act are Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Fred Upton (R-MI), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). At this point, a Senate companion bill has not been introduced