8 September 2020

Action Alert: Support Research Relief Today and Tomorrow

COVID-19 has caused lab and user facility closures, withdrawn job offers, canceled conferences, caused equipment delays, and increased costs for ongoing research. We can counter these threats to research and education by joining 23 professional societies to support passage of the RISE Act authorization bill (H.R. 7308, S. 4286). 

RISE Act authorization bill (H.R. 7308, S. 4286)


Contact your congressional delegation via email and/or social media to encourage passage of the RISE Act (H.R. 7308, S. 4286). 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Learn More about the RISE Act (H.R. 7308S. 4286) and why Research Relief is important. Read the CRS report and a report by COGR on the impacts. A recent AIP FYI post on the RISE Act contains a short summary of the Act.
  • Spread the Word: Use social media platforms to promote a September 9th House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on impacts of COVID-19 on research universities. See details below.
  • September 8th: Directly contact your Senators and Representative encouraging them to sponsor and pass the RISE Act. See details below. (Note that calling the office is not recommended right now due to office staffing issues during the pandemic.)
  • September 9th: Watch the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing. Use social media to encourage passage of the RISE Act and to highlight key messages from the hearing. 
  • Say Thank You: Send an email or use social media to thank Reps. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) and Jim Baird (@RepJimBaird), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Research and Technology Subcommittee (@HouseScience), for holding the hearing and thank the Members of the Committee for participating. If you member(s) of Congress have co-sponsored the RISE Act, thank them for doing so.


Joel Bregman
AAS Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy

Send an Email to Congress:

1. Find the contact information for your members of Congress. 

  • There are many websites to help you do this. We like GovTrack: enter your address and information for your two Senators and one Representative will appear, including twitter handle and a link to the official website for contacting each of them.
  • The Congress.gov links to the RISE Act (H.R. 7308S. 4286) will show current Act co-sponsors so you can research whether your reps have acted already.
  • Nearly every member of Congress uses webform submission tools rather than general email inboxes. Please go to their website and follow the prompts to contact them.
  • Note: If you live in a US district or territory, you have one person (a non-voting Delegate) to contact. If you live in Puerto Rico, you could also contact Congressman José Serrano (D-NY), who not only offers himself as a voice for Puerto Rico in Congress, but is also the chairman of the House Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations subcommittee.

2. Use the sample language below and personalize your message by sharing your story about how your research and education have been impacted by COVID-19. If your member is a cosponsor, make sure that you thank them; if not, urge them to become a cosponsor.

Subject Line: Constituent Request: Support RISE Act (H.R. 7308, S. 4286)

As your constituent and a member of the scientific community, I <<FILL IN DEPENDING ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY’VE CO-SPONSORED THE BILL>>

NOT A COSPONSOR: [urge you to cosponsor the Research Investment to Secure the Economy Act (RISE Act; H.R. 7308, S. 4286) — a bipartisan bill to support US scientists and engineers negatively impacted by the pandemic.]

COSPONSOR: [want to thank you for cosponsoring the Research Investment to Secure the Economy Act (RISE Act; H.R. 7308, S. 4286).]

COVID-19 has disrupted or suspended research activities across the country. It is critical that Congress take steps to fully restore our nation’s valuable research enterprise, which has led us to be a global leader in innovation, improved the health of our citizens, and strengthened our economy and national security. 

[Personalize your message here about you and share your story of impact.]

The RISE Act would help relieve the strains our federal science agencies are facing and maintain leadership in an increasingly competitive global research ecosystem. It would provide supplemental funding for grant extensions, enabling the completion of disrupted research, training extensions to shield grad students and other early career researchers from the unpredictable job market, shared facility operations, and replacement or refurbishment of lab equipment. For example, between 2018-19 research at US universities supported more than 560,000 people on campuses across the country.



Send Tweets Before and During the House Science, Space, and Technology Hearing tomorrow (September 9th):

Identify the twitter handles for your member(s) of Congress at GovTrack or another search tool of your liking.

Use the following hashtags in your tweets: #ResearchRelief and #RISEAct

When #coronavirus hit, research labs across the country shut down for weeks. Scientific societies are calling for lawmakers to support the #RISEAct to sustain our nation’s research infrastructure. #ResearchRelief

Grad students and postdocs worry that #coronavirus-related lab closures will delay career progress. #ResearchRelief will help them take their science careers to the next level. Support the #RISEAct.

Researchers are eager to make up for time lost due to #coronavirus disruptions. #ResearchRelief is needed to help scientists get back on track. #RISEAct

#ResearchRelief provided in the #RISEAct will help scientists from trainees to PIs continue progress on critical research questions. Thanks to [LEGISLATOR HANDLES] for supporting science! 

The #RISEAct provides critical #ResearchRelief to help federally funded scientists resume work in their labs. Thank you to [LEGISLATOR HANDLES] for supporting this important legislation.

The US research enterprise contributes to public health, national security, and economic growth. #ResearchRelief should be included in future COVID relief legislation. #RISEAct

The research enterprise, including its workforce and capabilities, has been put under enormous strain due to pandemic-induced closures of labs and facilities. [LEGISLATOR HANDLES], please support #ResearchRelief. #RISEAct

The #COVID19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the critical role science plays in the public health of our nation. We need #ResearchRelief to restore depleted research funding and the promise of science. #RISEAct

The #RiseAct authorization of $26B would not only improve US competitiveness and pandemic preparedness but would also provide critical support for the nation’s economy. Learn more [https://degette.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/degette-introduces-bipartisan-legislation-to-support-us-research] #ResearchRelief

With the advent of COVID-19 and the continuing climate change crisis, science research is more important than ever. Support for the #RISEAct ensures that critically needed funding streams remain open. #ResearchRelief

We cannot afford to backslide on important research progress. Reach out to your members of Congress today and urge them to support #ResearchRelief! Find your lawmakers: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative #RISEAct