U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Tammy Baldwin’s Legislation Supporting Young Researchers Signed into Law

Next Generation Researchers Act was included in major bipartisan health care innovation legislation passed by Congress last week

Washington, D.C. — Today bipartisan legislation supporting young researchers authored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) was signed into law by President Obama. Senators Collins and Baldwin introduced the Next Generation Researchers Act to build opportunities for new researchers, address the debt burden that young researchers face today, and invest in the future of research, science, and innovation. The bipartisan legislation was included in the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed Congress last week.

“Maintaining our nation’s competitive edge in both research and innovation depends greatly on the strength of our commitment to attracting, cultivating, and equipping world-class scientific minds,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan legislation strengthens our nation’s commitment to the next generation of cutting-edge researchers. This critical investment will help to empower these young innovative researchers in Maine and across our country with the resources they need to continue to lead the world in groundbreaking scientific research and development.”

“In order for America to out-innovate the rest of the world and create an economy built to last, we must protect and strengthen our investments in research, science, and innovation,” said Senator Baldwin. “We can’t accomplish this without supporting and investing in the next generation of researchers. Our best and brightest minds deserve to know that our country stands with them. This new law will make a strong commitment to our young scientists, who are being held back by state and federal budget cuts and are in need of greater support to pursue life-saving research and discover the next medical breakthrough.”

The Next Generation Researchers Act will establish the Next Generation of Researchers Initiative within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of the Director to coordinate all current and new NIH policies to promote opportunities for our new scientists and earlier research independence. This measure will also improve NIH’s loan repayment programs by increasing the amount of loans that NIH can forgive for trainees, from $35,000 a year to $50,000.

The Next Generation Researchers Act was also supported by: AcademyHealth, American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), American Association for Dental Researchers (AADR), American Heart Association, American Society of Transplantation (AST), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), BioForward, Inc., and Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).