In recent years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has initiated many new programs and funding mechanisms to support clinical and translational researchers. This investment reflects an emerging interest by NIH and policymakers in Congress to fund the full spectrum of medical research. NIH is increasingly viewed as a key stakeholder in efforts to develop new therapies, improve the quality of healthcare, and lower healthcare-related expenses through innovation and best-practices.
While meaningful investments in clinical and translational research activities have been made, the overall NIH budget has remained relatively flat. It is difficult for Congress to provide NIH with annual funding increases and, as a result, pay lines for grants have risen and scientific opportunities are being lost. Key Senators would like to end the trend of level-funding and put NIH back on a path of stable, noteworthy growth. Appropriators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) have formed an NIH Caucus in the Senate to fight for both immediate and long-term funding increases. The more Senators that join the NIH Caucus, the more support NIH funding will have as Congress works to balance spending priorities each year. To ensure your Senators join the NIH Caucus and work to increase NIH funding, please reach out to their offices and ask for their support.
To identify the contact information for your Senators, go to www.Senate.gov and select your state from the drop down list (only reach out to your two Senators).
Call the Washington, DC, office and ask the receptionist for the Health Legislative Assistant or Health LA (you will likely receive their voicemail).
Prepare to leave a brief message, that includes your name, where you are from, your interest in this area, and the following statement:
I hope your office will join the new NIH Caucus by contacting Jessica-Phillips Tyson in the office of Senator Lindsey Graham at 4-9162 or Elise Ackley in the office of Senator Richard Durbin at 4-5519 and indicating the Senator’s interest in the opportunity.
If you would prefer to send an email, please contact Joe Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will provide you with the email address of the appropriate staffer (as opposed to sending the email to the congressional office’s general email account where it is less likely to be read).
Be persistent and follow up a couple times.
You can ask the receptions for the Health LA’s e-mail address and craft the aforementioned message into a brief e-mail.
If you would like any assistance engaging your Senate office, reaching out, or following up, please e-mail Joe Stewart at email@example.com or Millie Birr at firstname.lastname@example.org