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More federal dollars coming to UNR after passage of science act signed by President Biden

By Eric Marks
Published: Last Updated on

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) this week joined University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval, and a select group of UNR representatives, at the university’s Center for Applied Research. Masto was there to tour the facility and discuss the federal support she helped secure for Nevada’s research institutions.

The group toured several of the campus’ laboratories and met with students and researchers who are some of the recipients from the CHIPS and Science Act, which was signed into law Aug. 9, 2022 by President Joe Biden. 

Cortez Masto led a bipartisan provision in the legislation to set aside  20% of National Science Foundation (NSF) research dollars and scholarships for states that have historically received a lower share. 

According to Cortez Masto’s staff, six larger states receive nearly half of NSF’s funding. Now, tens of millions of dollars more will head to Nevada universities each year to advance science and technology efforts.  

“When we passed the CHIPS and Science Act, we had put in legislation funding to support … applied science [and] research states like Nevada [in order to] double the funding through the National Science Foundation and through the Department of Energy,” Cortez Masto said. “We had to fight to keep the funding in, not only to benefit Nevada, but several other smaller states.”

She said the act was crucial to states like Nevada and the nation as a whole to accelerate the ability to “innovate new technology, bring us smart transportation, clean energy and so much more.”

Sandoval said he was grateful for the extra funding.

“Her recent efforts to secure support for Nevada’s research institutions … will train students for innovative careers, conduct research that grows our economy and help create jobs in Nevada,” he said. 

The senator said she was excited to see firsthand how the funds were supporting technology such as drone collision safety systems and medical applications.

About $170 billion was authorized in the act for research and development over the next five years. Of that, $20 billion was allocated to the NSF, which in turn will award grants to institutes such as UNR.

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