NIH

NIMHD to Celebrate 10th Anniversary with Scientific Symposium

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is hosting a scientific symposium titled Innovations to Promote Health Equity in honor of the institute’s 10th anniversary. The symposium will highlight new discoveries in minority health and health disparities research and will feature four panels focused on the following issue areas: Integrative Biological and Behavioral Sciences Community Health and Population Sciences Clinical and Health Services Research Multidisciplinary Intramural Research at NIMHD The symposium will take place at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland on March 3, 2020 and will be webcast live…

House Passes Bill on Suicide Prevention Research

On January 27, the House of Representatives passed the Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act (H.R. 4704) by a vote of 385 to 8. The bill, sponsored by freshman Member Ben McAdams (D-UT), would direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund cross-disciplinary research—including research in the social and behavioral sciences—focused on preventing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Additionally, the bill enables NSF to collaborate with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund research grants on suicide prevention and promote the professional development of suicide prevention researchers. Although the bill was passed by the Democrat-controlled House, it is unlikely to…

NIMHD Names Psychologist Monica Webb Hooper Deputy Director

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the selection of Dr. Monica Webb Hooper as its new Deputy Director. Dr. Webb Hooper comes from Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine, where she is a professor of oncology, family medicine, and psychological sciences. She has also served as Associate Director for Cancer Disparities Research and Director of the Office of Cancer Disparities Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. She comes to NIMHD with years of expertise in minority health and cancer-related health disparities spanning multiple disadvantaged populations….

National Institute of Mental Health Requests Information on Draft 2020 Strategic Plan

In December 2019, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting public feedback on its draft Strategic Plan for Research. NIMH publishes a strategic plan for research every five years with updates to the Institute’s stated research priorities. The deadline to submit feedback has been extended to January 15, 2020. The draft of the strategic plan and more information can be found on the NIH website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Seeking Comments on Inclusion Across the Lifespan II Workshop

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder input on a planned workshop on Inclusion Across the Lifespan, a policy intended to encourage inclusion of underrepresented participants in clinical studies. The Inclusion Across the Lifespan II Workshop is a follow-up to a 2017 workshop mandated by Congress in the 21st Century Cures Act. Comments will remain open until February 15, 2020. More information can be found in the NIH guide notice. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Updates Diversity Statement

On November 22, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a notice updating the agency’s official statement on diversity in research settings. In a blog post by Deputy Director for Extramural Research at NIH Dr. Mike Lauer, the main reason for the updated statement was to expand the criteria for qualifying as an individual from a low socio-economic background. In the post, Lauer claims “this revised definition should better capture many scientists with a disadvantaged background, and be relatively easy to assess, ensuring we continue enhancing the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.” The updated diversity statement and the previous…

Members of Congress Request Feedback on Cures 2.0 Legislation

On November 22, Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) released a statement detailing a vision for an updated version of the 21st Century Cures Act and calling for stakeholder input. The proposed legislation, colloquially known as “Cures 2.0,” would provide funding for research into cures for several life-threatening diseases. The Members will accept stakeholder comments until December 16. Information on how to submit comments can be found in the Members’ statement. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Requesting Comments on Newly Released Draft Policy for Data Management and Sharing

On November 6, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a draft of the new NIH Policy on Data Management and Sharing. The policy is intended to clarify rules on the handling and sharing of potentially sensitive NIH data while allowing access to the data to be more available for use in research. The draft policy requires all NIH-funded research resulting in the generation of scientific data to be submitted alongside a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlining any potential restrictions or limitations of data management. NIH is accepting public comments on the draft policy until January 10, 2020. More…

NIH to Host 2019 Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is hosting the 2019 NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival on December 6 on NIH’s main campus in Bethesda, MD. The festival brings together researchers from around NIH and will feature three plenary sessions. Chanita Hughes-Halbert from the Medical University of South Carolina will serve as a keynote presenter and Alia Crum from Stanford University will serve as a featured presenter. Registration details and more information about the festival may be found on the OBSSR website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

OBSSR Seeks Nominations for Matilda White Riley Keynote Lecture

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting nominations for an social or behavioral scientist to delivery the keynote address at the Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Science Honors on June 8, 2020. Nominees should have a research career that has “advanced behavioral and social scientific knowledge in areas within NIH’s mission and Dr. White Riley’s vision.” More information is available here. Nominations may be emailed to Erica Spotts by November 15, 2019. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Senate Makes Progress on FY 2020 Appropriations for NSF, Census, NIH, Education, USDA

With the passage of a continuing resolution through Thanksgiving giving Congress some breathing room to complete fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations, the Senate Appropriations Committee has finally made progress in approving a number of its annual appropriations bills. COSSA has released analyses of three Senate bills that fund agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and Census Bureau Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which funds the National Institutes of…

NICHD Releases 2020 Strategic Plan

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) released their 2020 strategic plan, a guiding document laying out the institute’s research priorities for the next five years. Earlier this year, COSSA submitted comments on behalf of the social and behavioral science community addressing a draft version of the strategic plan. The NICHD strategic plan lays out five main research objectives: Understanding the molecular, cellular, and structural basis of development; Promoting gynecologic, andrologic, and reproductive health; Setting the foundation for healthy pregnancies and lifelong wellness; Improving child and adolescent health and the transition to adulthood; Advancing…

NIH Evaluates Strategy on Countering Foreign Influence in Research

On September 25, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released three reports addressing efforts to combat the prevalence of foreign influence in research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The OIG reports evaluate three tactics used in NIH’s strategy in securing research from foreign influence in institutional reporting of foreign financial interests and affiliations, reviewing financial conflicts of interest in extramural research, and securing the peer review process from foreign influence. The OIG reports each provide several recommendations to the NIH on how to improve these initiatives. The strategy…

NIH Extends Enforcement Delay of Clinical Trials Policy Until September 2021

On July 24, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a notice announcing a further delay of enforcement of clinical trials reporting requirements for NIH-funded research designated as “basic experimental studies with humans.” The enforcement date, originally extended to September of this year, has been pushed to September 24, 2021. A blog post from the NIH Office of Science Policy describes the extension as necessary to address the challenges of reporting requirements for some researchers by continuing to search for common ground with the basic science community. The notice is the latest iteration of NIH statements relating to changes to…

NIH Establishes Research Network on Opioid Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice System

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced the awarding of 12 grants to form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN), a network of institutions performing research on opioid use disorder in criminal justice settings. JCOIN will connect researchers, many of whom are social and behavioral scientists, with criminal justice stakeholders to help improve practices in responding to opioid abuse in high risk criminal justice institutions. The research institutions in JCOIN include treatment centers and universities – some of which are COSSA members. The network includes the following institutions: New York State…

Administration Releases Updated Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Plan

On June 21, the Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) released a 2019 update to its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research and Development Plan. The first national AI R&D plan was released in 2016 and has been updated to include strategic priorities and accounts for new research and technologies in AI. The new strategic priorities include: making long-term investments in AI research; developing effective methods for human-AI collaboration; understanding and addressing the ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI; ensuring the safety and security of AI systems; developing shared public datasets and environments for…

COSSA Submits Testimony to Senate in Support of Funding for NIH, CDC, ED, BLS

As it does each year, COSSA submitted outside witness testimony to the Congressional Appropriations subcommittees responsible for funding federal agencies important to the social sciences. On June 3, COSSA submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies calling for increased fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Institute for Education Sciences (IES), and International Education and Foreign Language Programs (Title VI and…

House Committee Approves FY 2020 Spending for NIH, CDC, BLS, AHRQ, ED

On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill; the Labor-HHS Subcommittee advanced the bill on April 30. This bill contains annual funding proposals for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Education (ED), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), among other federal departments and agencies. In a departure from what has become regular practice, the Labor-HHS bill was one of the first out the gate this year; the…

OBSSR Releases Revised Definition of “Behavioral and Social Sciences Research”

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has completed its revision of NIH’s definition of “behavioral and social sciences research” (BSSR) (see previous coverage) after crowdsourcing input from stakeholders. The new definition begins: “Behavioral and social sciences research at the National Institutes of Health involves the systematic study of behavioral1 and social2 phenomena relevant to health3. 1“Behavioral phenomena” refers to the observable actions of individuals or groups and to mental phenomena such as knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, motivations, perceptions, cognitions, and emotions. 2“Social phenomena” refers to the interactions between and among individuals, and to…

OBSSR Seeks Examples of Behavioral and Social Science Accomplishments

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking contributions from the stakeholder community of examples of noteworthy advances in health that would not have been possible without the behavioral and social sciences. The project will be hosted on a crowdsourcing platform that will allow anyone to contribute an idea or vote on the best submissions. OBSSR is seeking as broad a list as possible—achievements do not need to have been funded by NIH or represent recent advances. More details are available in a blog post from OBSSR Director Bill Riley….

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