Volume 34 (2015)

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 34 Issue 19

Featured News House Science Committee Advances “National Interest” Bill and Dyslexia Legislation Congressional News Budget Talks Progressing Slowly Amid GOP Leadership Vacuum Federal Agency & Administration News NIH/AHRQ Announce Policy Changes for Grant Applications NSF Seeks Candidates for Division Director of Social and Economic Sciences Census Bureau Marks World Statistics Day Publications & Community Events Academies Report Calls for Better Integration of Social Science into the USGCRP Funding Opportunity Announcements Events Calendar

Budget Talks Progressing Slowly Amid GOP Leadership Vacuum

Only 10 Congressional working days remain between now and the date the U.S. Treasury Department estimates the U.S. will have exhausted its “extraordinary measures” and default on its debt. Originally estimated for November 5, Treasury now says that the U.S. will reach the so-called debt limit by November 3. These developments coupled with the recent surprise withdrawal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as candidate for House Speaker further complicate and likely delay budget negotiations that many hoped would be well underway at this point. Outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) may be forced to delay his retirement, originally scheduled for the…

NIH/AHRQ Announce Policy Changes for Grant Applications

On October 13, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issued a notice (NOT-OD-16-004) outlining policy changes for grant applications, forms, and instructions beginning in 2016. According to the notice, the policy will affect the following areas: rigor and transparency in research, inclusion reporting, research training, data safety monitoring, and biosketch clarification, among others. The changes will occur in two phases. For more information about the changes see the notice. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NSF Seeks Candidates for Division Director of Social and Economic Sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting applications for the position of Division Director for the Social and Economic Sciences (SES) Division within the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE). The Division Director “provides leadership and direction for the support of research and education activities that develop and advance scientific knowledge focusing on political, economic, and social systems and how individuals and organizations function within them.” More information on the position can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter from SBE. Applications may be submitted through USAJOBS. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Census Bureau Marks World Statistics Day

The United Nations has designated October 20 World Statistics Day. To commemorate the day, the Census Bureau has released a new infographic to highlight the many ways Census data helps fulfill the 2015 Statistics Day theme, “Better Data. Better Lives.” Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Academies Report Calls for Better Integration of Social Science into the USGCRP

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, Enhancing Participation in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The report offers recommendations on broadening participation of federal agencies in the USGCRP by identifying new partnership and enhancing existing ones. As part of its recommendations on better meeting the USGCRP’s goal of advancing science related to global change, the report reiterates a call from the 2012 Academies review of the USGCRP’s strategic plan that the program “’better integrate the social and ecological sciences’ and…move toward ‘an integrated observational system that connects observations of the physical environment…

Funding Opportunity Announcements

NIH: Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Blueprint for Neuroscience Research: Training in Computational Neuroscience, From Biology to Model and Back Again (T90/R90) (NOT-DA-15-081) NINR: Personalized Strategies to Manage Symptoms of Chronic Illness (R15) (PA-16-006), (R01) (PA-16-007), (R21) (PA-16-008) Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Events Calendar

Town Hall Meeting on the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects NPRM, Washington, DC, October 20, 2015 Census Project Briefing Call on 2020 Operational Plan, October 21, 2015 Evaluation 2015, Chicago, IL, November 7-15, 2015 North American Regional Science Council Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, November 11-14, 2015 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Research Conference, Miami, FL, November 12-14, 2015 Social Science History Association Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 12-15, 2015 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, November 13-15, 2015 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 18-22, 2015 American Society…

House Science Committee Advances “National Interest” Bill and Dyslexia Legislation

On October 8, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee advanced two bills that would impact the National Science Foundation (NSF): the Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (H.R. 3293) and the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act (H.R. 3033). Read on for details. The Scientific Research in the National Interest Act, sponsored by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), was derived from Sec. 106 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806), which passed the House in May despite strong and vocal opposition from the broad scientific research community.  H.R. 3293 seeks to set a definition…

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 34 Issue 18

Featured News Government Shutdown Averted, For Now Federal Agency & Administration News NIH Associate Director for Data Science Discusses Opportunities and Challenges of Data Science National Science Board Seeks Nominations for 2016 Class Michael S. Lauer Named NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research NIH Seeks Comments on Strategic Plan to Advance Research on the Health and Well-Being of Sexual and Gender Minorities USDA Starts Collecting Data on Post-Harvest Food Safety Practices White House Holds Forum on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing; OSTP Issues Memorandum to Agencies Publications & Community Events CPR Briefing Highlights NIH Peer Review Process SBE-Funded Researchers Receive “Genius”…

Government Shutdown Averted, For Now

Congress was able to pass a continuing resolution (CR) on September 30, the final day of fiscal year (FY) 2015, within hours of a deadline that would result in a government shutdown. However, the CR simply kicks the can to December 11, the new deadline for coming to a final agreement on FY 2016 appropriations. While policymakers have provided themselves an additional 10 weeks to complete work on the annual spending bills, the path to the finish line remains unclear, complicated further by recent events like the announcement from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) of his retirement at the end…

NAS Releases New Reports on Immigrants, Forensic Science

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has recently released two noteworthy reports. The first, The Integration of Immigrants into American Society, compiles the available evidence on “how immigrants and their descendants are integrating into American society in a range of areas such as education, occupations, health, and language. The second report, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), examined NIJ’s efforts to advance forensic science research and recommend ways to improve its research program. The report, Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice, finds, “NIJ has made progress in the past…

Funding Opportunity Announcements

NEA: Research: Art Works (2016-NEA-ORA) NIJ: Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes (NIJ-2016-4305) NIFA: Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program (USDA-NIFA-FINI-005395) IES: Low-Cost, Short Duration Evaluation of Education Interventions (84.305L) IES: Low-Cost, Short Duration Evaluation of Special Education Interventions (84.324L) Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Events Calendar

Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO, October 15-18, 2015 Town Hall Meeting on the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects NPRM, Washington, DC, October 20, 2015 Evaluation 2015, Chicago, IL, November 7-15, 2015 North American Regional Science Council Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, November 11-14, 2015 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Research Conference, Miami, FL, November 12-14, 2015 Social Science History Association Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 12-15, 2015 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, November 13-15, 2015 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 18-22, 2015…

Friends of IES Briefing Highlights Research on Improving Early Math Education

The Friends of the Institute of Education Science (IES), of which COSSA is a member, held a congressional briefing on September 25 on “Building Strength in Numbers: How Do Early Interventions in Math Instruction Add Up?” The briefing highlighted IES-funded research into how to improve math education for young children. It featured presentations from Prentice Starkey, WestEd; Douglas Clements, University of Denver; and Hirokazu Yoshikawa, New York University. Deborah Phillips, Georgetown, introduced the topic and moderated the session, and Taniesha A. Woods, NYC Administration for Children’s Services, made concluding remarks. The briefing was a follow-up to one held the previous…

USDA Starts Collecting Data on Post-Harvest Food Safety Practices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), under an agreement with the Economic Research Service (ERS), has begun collecting data on food safety practices from fruit and vegetable packers and processors. The survey, the 2015 Produce Post-Harvest Microbial Food Safety Practices Survey, marks the first time since 1998 that USDA has collected such data. Information from the survey will be used to understand how businesses are implementing the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In addition, ERS will use the data to document changes in food safety practices, examine costs associated with compliance with the FSMA,…

White House Holds Forum on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing; OSTP Issues Memorandum to Agencies

On September 30, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) hosted a live-webcast forum on citizen science and crowdsourcing. The forum, Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People, recognized that a small portion of Americans are formally trained as “scientists;” however, citizen science and crowdsourcing can “educate, engage, and empower the public to apply their curiosity and talents to a wide range of real-world problems.” Participants in the forum included citizen-science professionals, researchers, and stakeholders from Federal, state, local, and Tribal governments. It also included…

SRCD Seeks Applications for 2016-2017 Policy Fellowships

The Society for Research and Child Development (SRCD), a COSSA governing member, is accepting applications for its 2016-2017 Policy Fellowship. The fellowship provides an opportunity for scientists to use their research skills in child development to inform public policy by working as resident scholars in congressional offices or executive branch agencies. Applications are due by December 15, 2015. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

SBE-Funded Researchers Receive “Genius” Grants

Two of the recipients of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (the so-called “genius” grants) are social scientists whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The fellowship is awarded to individuals in any field “who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Fellows receive a no-strings-attached cash prize to pursue their work as they see fit. Matthew Desmond is an urban sociologist at Harvard University whose work focuses on “the impact of eviction on poor families and the role of housing…

NIH Seeks Comments on Strategic Plan to Advance Research on the Health and Well-Being of Sexual and Gender Minorities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking comments on its FY 2016-2020 Strategic Plan To Advance Research on the Health and Well-Being of Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM). The agency is developing a strategic plan to guide its efforts and priorities in SGM research over the next five years. The plan was developed after substantive analysis and integration of portfolio analyses, community input, inter- and intra-agency collaborations, and recommendations from the NIH-commissioned Institute of Medicine report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding, released in 2011 (see Update, April 18, 2011)….

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