Science Funding Advocacy

By forming a union, Mount Sinai Postdoctoral Researchers can more effectively advocate for increased funding for science and research on the state and federal level by joining with postdoctoral researchers at Columbia University in NYC, at the University of California, University of Washington, University of Connecticut, and at the University of Massachusetts, and graduate employees at the the same institutions in addition to New York University and California State University. For all of us there is a direct connection between federal support for education and research and our career progress, wages, benefits and job security.

Already, UAW Academic Workers are in regular contact with state legislators and members of Congress, educating them on the issues we face and our positions on various legislation. In addition to lobbying for research funding, UAW Academic Workers were also instrumental in securing the inclusion of Postdocs in federal overtime regulations and turning back the Grad Tax.

    Columbia University Postdocs and Student Workers meeting with Congresswoman Grace Meng, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee that oversees national science funding.

    Most recently, UAW Academic Workers across the country mounted a joint campaign to call for increased research funding in light of COVID-19, to support the ability of universities to emerge from the crisis and continue performing leading-edge research. In April 2020, President of the UAW wrote to Congressional leadership urging action to protect researchers and research funding in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, while unionized academic workers like the Columbia Postdocs (UAW 4100) called on local representatives for increased funding support. These were among the demands to Congress:

    • Increased federal funding to NIH, NSF, DOE, NASA, USDA and other agencies to keep research going until operations return to full speed, including maintaining all lab personnel.
    • More early-career funding, including extension of existing fellowships and increased fellowships available.

    The UAW was proud to be a national sponsor of the March for Science. On April 22, 2017 UAW members joined tens of thousands of scientists and science supporters in more than 600 cities around the world to advocate for the protection of science and science funding. We marched because science is critical to our health, economies, food security, and safety. We marched to defend the role of science in policy and society. At Columbia University as well as across the country, researchers participated in one of the largest national days of action to support and protect science funding.

    Columbia University Postdocs have participated in the March for Science since it started in 2017 to hold elected officials accountable for protecting research funding and ensuring that policies that affect scientists are transparent and fair.