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Advocacy Corps Urges Congress to Make Up for FY24 Science Shortfalls in FY25

Advocacy corps meeting with lalota staff

Stony Brook University’s Advocacy Corps met virtually with SBU alumna and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s DC staffer Erin Byers in addition to Rep. Nick LaLota’s Director of Operations Kate Hirzel. During the meetings, Corps members stressed the need to provide robust funding for American science.

“We are grateful to our Congressional members for passing the FY24 appropriations bills,” said Eshwin Varghese, a senior studying biology. “But science did not fare well across the board. Congress must increase federal funding to the major science agencies if the US is going to remain a leader in innovation and science.”

Advocacy corps meeting with lalota staff
SBU Advocacy Corps members meet virtually with Rep. LaLota’s Director of Operations Kate Hirzel.

Corps members expressed their concerns over the final FY24 appropriations bill cuts to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) capacity by almost $500M or more than 5% below current levels. “I was shocked to learn of the crippling cuts to NSF,” said Kristen Paravella, a senior studying political science. “NSF was highlighted by congressional leadership as a key agency in the CHIPS & Science Act, and now the essential work of NSF is being underfunded.”

In addition to highlighting the FY24 budget cuts to NSF, Corps members emphasized their deep concern regarding the lack of funding provided to other critical federal science agencies. “NASA’s funding was cut by 2% and the science programs within NASA received an almost 6% reduction. And while the Department of Energy Office of Science received $140M more than FY23, the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy received a $10M cut,” said Swaneet Jha, a junior studying biology. “This is unacceptable. Our university federally funded researchers depend on robust federal science agency budgets to develop the next-generation medical advances and technology.”

Advocacy Corps members stressed the need for Congress to make up for the FY24 cuts to science in FY25. “A new federal appropriations season full of negotiations and deliberations is already upon us,” said Rohini Guin, a second year MD-PhD student studying cancer immunology. “We urge Congress to provide strong federal investments for all science agencies in FY25 to make up for missing the target on science funding this year.”

The Advocacy Corps thanked Senator Gillibrand and Rep. LaLota for supporting SBU research and working hard to bring crucial federal funding to Long Island. Stony Brook’s Office of Federal Relations manages SBU’s Advocacy Corps and continues to work with SBU’s higher education partners and the New York congressional delegation on SBU’s federal priorities.

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