The American Political Science Association (APSA) Advocacy Program advances the discipline of political science by educating policy makers and the citizenry about political science scholarship and education. We seek to increase federal support for basic and applied political science research and to promote independent peer review. Our activities address funding priorities across the discipline. The APSA is a member of the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the National Humanities Alliance, the Coalition for International Education, and the Coalition for National Science Funding.
Visit the following pages for funding updates, information on APSA advocacy activities, and resources for getting involved.
For information on APSA statements and letters pertaining to the rights and freedoms of political scientists and scholars, please visit this page.
Congress Passes Continuing Resolution.
On December 9, Congress passed a continuing resolution that extends funding for the government at FY16 funding levels through April 28, 2017. The following day, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2028
, the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, into law. The legislation follows an earlier continuing resolution passed in late September and leaves work on finalizing FY 2017 appropriations—including funding for programs that support political science and other academic research—to the incoming Congress.
- Congress Passes American
Innovation and Competitiveness Act.
On December 10, the Senate passed the American Innovation
and Competitiveness Act
which addresses support for federal science research. The House of Representatives passed the bill under
suspension of the rules during a pro forma session on December 16. President Barack Obama signed S.3084 into law on January 6, 2017. The compromise bill follows a previous version in the
Senate and a bill in the House that would have authorized appropriations for
the National Science Foundation. The earlier version of S. 3084 that passed the
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in June included a four
percent increase in NSF authorizations from FY 2017 ($7.51 billion) to FY 2018
($7.81 billion). The bill also included language supporting the NSF’s merit
review process. In contrast, the America COMPETES Act (
which passed the House in May 2015, included directorate-specific authorization
levels, with heavy cuts to the Social,
Behavioral and Economic Sciences directorate. The compromise bill that
passed this December did not include authorization levels. It retained language
supporting the NSF merit review process. Authorization for the NSF expired in
- Congress Approves Continuing Appropriations Act. On September 28 the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution extending FY 16 funding levels until December 9, 10 weeks beyond the end of the fiscal year. President Obama signed the legislation (H.R. 5325) the next day, approving a small across-the-board cut to accommodate budget caps and additional funding for research on the Zika virus and flood relief. Passage of the continuing resolution extends the time for Congress to complete work on earlier appropriations bills, including those affecting funding programs for political science and other academic research.
- House Appropriations Committee Passes International Education Spending Bill. On July 14, 2016, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. The bill includes $7.1 million for Fulbright-Hays, which is the same as the FY16 enacted level and $4.9 million over the FY17 budget request. The bill also includes $65.1 million in Title VI funding, which is the same as the FY16 enacted level and the same as the FY17 budget request. Learn more here.
- Senate Commerce Committee Passes NSF Reauthorization. The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, bipartisan legislation which reauthorizes the National Science Foundation, was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on June 29, 2016. The legislation, introduced by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI), includes a four percent increase in NSF authorization from FY 2017 ($7.51 billion) to FY 2018 ($7.81 billion). The bill also includes language supporting the NSF’s merit review process. The Consortium of Social Science Associations has published a detailed analysis of the bill, available here.
- Senate Bill Threatens Grave Cuts to Fulbright-Hays. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill on June 9, 2016. The bill includes a $4.89 million cut to Fulbright-Hays that would result in no new grant competitions in the next year. The reduction in funding represents a 69% cut compared to FY16 as enacted. The bill includes flat funding for Title VI. Learn more and access an action alert here.
- House Appropriations Committee Passes NSF Spending Bill. On May 24, 2016, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The legislation funds NSF at $7.4 billion, a decrease of $57 million compared to FY16 as enacted. NSF’s Research and Related Activities account is increased by $46 million above FY16 as enacted. Report language for the bill includes positive language in support of research “across all scientific disciplines” and does not mention any directorates for specific funding levels or cuts, as some past bills have. Read more about FY17 funding developments here.
- Senate Appropriations Committee Passes NSF Spending Bill. On April 19, 2016, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies approved a FY17 spending bill which includes $7.509 billion for NSF. This figure represents roughly flat funding compared to FY16 levels as enacted. On April 21, 2016, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill.