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ISU Professor Maria Wong advocates for “Stand for Science: Congress Must Support All Sciences”
May, 9, 2016
POCATELLO—Maria Wong, psychology professor at Idaho State University, has been advocating for more sustained research funding for social and behavioral sciences on behalf of the American Psychology Association’s “Stand for Science: Congress Must Support All Sciences” campaign.
“Idaho has one of the lowest research funding rates among the 50 states,” Wong said. “It actually has a big impact on us if Congress decides to cut research funding because we get so little to begin with.”
More research funding would allow ISU graduates and undergraduates to carry out more research projects. In addition it would provide students with more mentoring opportunities, research equipment and graduate assistantships. Graduate assistantships allow graduate students to waive their tuition and receive a stipend for their research projects.
“It really is not possible to offer students those types of opportunities without an external grant,” Wong said. “The more people that know about this, the more Congress will listen to us.”
In September 2015, Wong attended the Rally for Medical Research in Washington, DC. to address issues on funding for the National Institutes of Health. She met with Sens. Mike Crapo and James Risch and Rep. Mike Simpson to stress the importance of such funding to Idaho. This same rally will be held in September 2016. Also, last month Wong had a meeting with Simpson's district office in Pocatello to advocate on the same issue.
“The main idea is to advocate for Congress to provide enough funding for agencies like the National Institutes of Health,” Wong said. “We want the members of Congress to not cut funding for social and behavioral sciences because there is a trend for NIH to fund more projects that are associated with physical sciences.”
The overall goal of the project is to raise funding for behavioral and social research from the National Institutes of Health. “It’s an important activity to let them know that it’s really important for us to get sustained research funding to make any advances in medicine, social issues and public health issues,” Wong said.