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Congressional Campaign on NIH Stipend Freeze
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The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) recently sent a letter to the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), expressing our concern about the stipend freeze for FY2008. It is not too late to prevent a further erosion of stipend levels in FY2009. The President has submitted a budget request to Congress that includes a one percent stipend increase for the NRSA program next year. The NPA believes this amount needs to be greater, in order to provide for the basic economic needs of postdocs, while also maintaining the prestige of this national award.

The NPA encourages those who are concerned about postdoctoral stipend levels to contact their U.S. Representatives and Senators in Congress. We have sent a similar version of a sample letter (see below) to the Chair and Ranking Minority Members of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, and the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

We have also provided a sample letter which you can adapt and personalize for maximum impact. Please be sure to use your own words to avoid the perception that this is a form letter. We encourage you to include a personal story about how the NIH stipend freeze has impacted you and your colleagues. Please be advised that e-mails sent to Congress do not receive individual replies, and do not come close to carrying the same influence as U.S. mail. Please take a few extra moments to use this more powerful communications tool.

If you do not know who your individual U.S. Representative and Senators in Congress are, you can find the appropriate contact information through a zip code feature on their respective websites:

Find your Senator

Find your Representative

You may also send letters to members of the Appropriations Subcommittees who review the NIH budget in detail (see links above).

Congress may take action on the NIH budget at any time, so please act now before the budget debate is over.

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