The bipartisan, bicameral RISE Act aims to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 to the U.S. research enterprise by authorizing $25 billion in emergency relief dollars to ten federal research agencies, including a $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address research recovery. Such recovery funds would be used to cover unanticipated expenses to research resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including salaries of idled workers, costs to retrofit labs for safety and to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), replacement of lost samples, and no-cost extensions for extra time to complete projects.
COVID-19 has had a widespread, detrimental impact on basic and clinical research, including scientists and trainees and particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. At the height of the pandemic, many laboratories engaged in basic and clinical research, including clinical trials, had to shut down or scale back operations significantly and all efforts were directed toward COVID-19. Even as laboratories begin to reopen, physical capacity is limited due to social distancing, supplies have been scarce and research projects have been significantly affected due to delayed or halted timelines. According to a 2020 report from the Council on Government Relations, projected research output loss due to COVID-19 ranges between 20 to 40 percent, with a “potential impact approaching tens of billions of dollars across the entire U.S. research enterprise.”
The RISE Act provides the funds necessary to address research recovery to help make up for the lost time advancements and discoveries related to disease types such as cancer, Alzheimer's and diabetes have endured.