Issue 01 (January 13)


From the Executive Director

Happy 2015! COSSA is thrilled to kick-off the New Year with a brand new logo, look, and website. Check it out at, where you will also find the latest news and analysis of policy developments impacting social and behavioral science research, archives of the COSSA Washington Update, details on the upcoming COSSA Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day (more below), information on how to become a COSSA member, and much more.

We are looking forward to working with you in the year ahead to promote social and behavioral science research!


Wendy A. Naus
COSSA Executive Director

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COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Registration now open

Registration is now open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public; however, the advocacy day meetings are reserved for representatives of COSSA member organizations and institutions.

The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. It provides an opportunity for COSSA members and others to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and institutions.

Confirmed speakers to date include France Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation, Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Erin Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative.

NEW THIS YEAR – Coinciding with the Annual Meeting on March 10 will be the first-ever Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day. This event offers COSSA members an opportunity to meet with their elected officials to discuss the importance of federal funding for social and behavioral science research.

Visit the COSSA Annual Meeting page for full details, including hotel information for out-of-town attendees. Register today (rates increase after February 10)!

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114th Congress Gavels In; Committee Leaders Appointed

The 114th Congress was officially sworn in on January 6. The new Congress includes a freshman class of 52 Representatives (36 Republicans and 16 Democrats) and 12 Senators (11 Republicans and 1 Democrat), as well as a new GOP majority in the Senate. The party split now stands at 246 Republicans to 188 Democrats (and 1 vacancy) in the House and 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 2 Independents in the Senate. (more…)

President’s FY 2016 Budget Request to Be Released February 2

In an effort to promote a return of the annual appropriations process to “regular order,” the White House announced that it will release its fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress by the legally-mandated deadline of the first Monday in February (February 2). This will be the first time in five years that the request is submitted on time; the request was released several weeks late in previous years.

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SACHRP Seeks Nominations for New Members

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP), the advisory body of the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), is seeking nominations to fill two spots that will become vacant in July 2015. The Committee provides guidance on matters “relating to the responsible conduct of research involving human subjects with particular emphasis on special populations such as neonates and children, prisoners, the decisionally impaired, pregnant women, embryos and fetuses, individuals and populations in international studies, populations in which there are individually identifiable samples, data or information; and investigator conflicts of interest.”

Qualified candidates will possess expertise and experience in a field relevant to human subjects protection, including “public health and medicine, behavioral and social sciences, health administration, and biomedical ethics.” Nominations should consist of a letter of nomination as well as the candidate’s CV and contact information. They must be received by February 12, 2015. More information is available in the Federal Register notice.

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Public Comment Sought for Death Master File Certification Program

On December 30, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register for the establishment of a certification program to “certify” persons to access Death Master File (DMF) information about an individual within three years of that individual’s death. The new program would replace the temporary certification program in place since 2013. The deadline for comments has been extended to March 30.

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Profile of New BEA Director in Amstat News

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Director Brian Moyer was recently profiled in Amstat News, the membership newsletter of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The piece gives readers a closer look at the new BEA head, whose tenure began in September 2014, as well as a deeper understanding of the agency itself.

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NRC Roundtable Discusses Need for Improved Public Understanding of Social Science Research

On January 8, the National Research Council (NRC) Roundtable on the Application of Social and Behavioral Science Research convened its first meeting. Chaired by Arthur “Skip” Lupia from the University of Michigan, the Roundtable brings together a diverse set of stakeholders in the social and behavioral science community to discuss ways to improve public understanding of social science research as well as the research community’s understanding of the uses of research by various sectors, such as industry, military, or public health. Membership includes “those who create SBS research, those who use it, and those who know how to communicate about it.” COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus made a presentation to the Roundtable at the January meeting, setting the political context for social and behavioral science research, particularly in the Congress.

COSSA members including the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and the Institute for Social Research are sponsors of the Roundtable.

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NSF: Science of Learning Collaborative Networks

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites proposals for the creation of new research networks to address important questions in the Science of Learning (SL). The networks are intended to “foster the creation of new networks of investigators who will integrate scientific ideas across disciplines and professions to conduct novel, exploratory research that has the potential to provide transformative advances in our understanding of learning.”

The solicitation and NSF’s new Science of Learning Program represent the next phase in NSF’s support for SL after the recent sunsetting of its Science of Learning Centers (SLC) program, which launched in 2003. The goals the SL Program are to “advance fundamental knowledge about learning through integrated research; connect the research to specific scientific, technological, educational, and workforce challenges; and enable research communities to capitalize on new opportunities and discoveries.” Letters of intent must be received by February 6, 2015; full proposals are due on March 18, 2015. More information can be found on NSF’s website.

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NIH: BD2K Biomedical Science Training Coordination Center

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications for a coordination center designed to narrow the gap between the availability of biomedical big data and the ability of biomedical scientists to utilize such data accurately, effectively, and efficiently. The funding opportunity announcement, NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Biomedical Science Training Coordination Center (RFA-ES-15-004), responds to increasingly large, diverse, and complex biomedical datasets. These datasets tax conventional methods for sharing, managing, and analyzing data. Researchers’ abilities to capitalize on biomedical big data science-based approaches are limited by poor data accessibility and interoperability, the lack of appropriate tools, and insufficient training. (more…)

NIH: BD2K MOOC on Data Management for Biomedical Big Data

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications designed to develop an open, online educational course that complements and/or enhances the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Data Management (RFA-LM-15-001), focuses on curriculum or methods development. (more…)

NIJ: Forensic Science and Elder Abuse

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has issued a solicitation for proposals on research and development in forensic science for criminal justice purposes. The agency is looking to fund research that will “(1) Increase the body of knowledge to guide and inform forensic science policy and practice or; (2) Result in the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods that have the potential for forensic application.” Proposals examining human factors as they relate to specific disciplines within forensic science will be accepted. More information is available in the full solicitation. The deadline for proposals is April 8, 2015. (more…)

COSSA Welcomes New Members in 2015

COSSA welcomes two new members this year. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) has joined as COSSA’s 19th Governing Member association. As a Governing Member, SPSP holds a seat on the COSSA Board of Directors. SPSP is the largest organization of social psychologists and personality psychologists, with more than 5,500 members.

COSSA is also pleased to welcome the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research (OIBR) at the University of Georgia as a new member in the Centers and Institutes category. OIBR strives to “catalyze high-impact interdisciplinary research” in the social and behavioral sciences across the university.

COSSA’s full membership list can be viewed here.

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Events Calendar

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, January 14-18, 2015

Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, January 15-17, 2015

Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, February 26-28, 2015

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 3-7, 2015

Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations Annual Meeting, New Brunswick, NJ, March 5-7, 2015

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, Washington, DC, March 9-10, 2015

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA webpage.

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