Issue 02 (January 27)


COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 ā€“ Register Today!

Registration remains open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC.Ā 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 MeetingĀ 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. (more…)

Congressional Committees Take Shape

Congressional committees with oversight for funding and policy issues impacting social and behavioral science have continued to take shape over the last few weeks. The 114th Congress was sworn in on January 6, though not all of the committees have officially chosen their chairs and ranking members. A number of committee organizational meetings are occurring this week, at which time the membership rolls and leadership appointments will be approved. You can stay apprised of the most current committee leadership appointments here.

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Presidentā€™s FY 2016 Budget Request Expected February 2

Reminder: the Presidentā€™s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress will be released on Monday, February 2. The release of the Presidentā€™s budget serves as the unofficial kick-off to the annual appropriations process. Following its release, the next several weeks and months will see a flurry of Congressional hearings featuring Executive Branch officials on the details of the budget. COSSA will release its analysis of the request as it relates to federal agencies and programs of interest to the social and behavioral science community in the coming weeks.

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Rebecca Blank Named 2015 Moynihan Prize Winner

The American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS), a COSSA member, has named Rebecca Blank, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, winner of the 2015 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize. The prize is awarded annually to individuals ā€œwho use sound analysis and social science research to inform public policy, while also contributing to the public discourse on societyā€™s most pressing issues.ā€ Among her many contributions, Blank is being recognized for her work at the U.S. Department of Commerce, as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Clinton Administration, and during her various faculty positions. Blank will give a public lecture in Washington, DC on May 7.

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NRC Committee on Law and Justice Seeks New Director

The National Academiesā€™ National Research Council (NRC) is conducting a search for a new board director for its Committee on Law and Justice. Established in 1975, the Committeeā€™s mission is to ā€œimprove research methods and information to inform and support the development of national and state-level criminal justice policy, and to extend and help advance criminological and criminal justice research.ā€ The director will work with the Committee Chair, senior staff, and Committee members to ā€œprovide intellectual leadership by identifying current and emerging issues in criminal justice; develop workshops, conferences, and studies by separate panels of experts; and seek funds for these activities from Federal Government agencies and public and private foundations.ā€ Qualified candidates will have substantial experience working at the intersection of research, policy, and practice. More information about the position is available here.

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Nominations Sought for Science Communication Awards

The National Academiesā€™ Keck Futures Initiative has issued a call for nominations for its 2015 Communication Awards. Prizes in the amount of $20,000 are given to individuals or teams ā€œwho have developed creative, original works that address issues and advances in science, engineering and/or medicine for the general publicā€ in four categories: book, film/radio/television, magazine/newspaper, and online. More information, including nomination instructions and eligibility criteria, is available on the Futures Initiative website. The deadline for nominations is February 9, 2015.

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NSF: Resource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences

The National Science Foundationā€™s (NSF) Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate is seeking proposals to develop large-scale data resources and analytic techniques to advance fundamental SBE research. Successful proposals will aim to create databases or techniques that will enable SBE research that would not otherwise have been possible and should have impacts across multiple fields or within broad disciplinary areas. Proposals are due February 23, 2015. The full solicitation is available on the NSF website.

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APA Seeks New Executive Director for Science

The American Psychological Association (APA), a COSSA Governing Member, is looking for its next Executive Director for Science (see here). Former COSSA Executive Committee Chair Steven Breckler vacated the position and left APA in late 2014; Howard Kurtzman, current deputy, is serving as the acting executive director until the new head is named. The position oversees the APA Science Directorate. Applications are sought by March 13.

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Events Calendar

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

American Psychosomatic Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Savannah, GA, March 18-21, 2015

Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, March 19-21, 2015

Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 25-29, 2015

Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, March 26-29, 2015

Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MO, March 26-29, 2015

A list of COSSA membersā€™ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA web page.

COSSA members who have an upcomingĀ eventĀ they would like to see listed in theĀ EventsĀ Calendar and on our website should send an email toĀ

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NIH: Four Opportunities in the Science of Behavior Change

Human behavior accounts for approximately 40 percent of the risk associated with preventable premature deaths in the U.S. Researchers are beginning to make progress in understanding some of the basic mechanisms that account for less-than-optimal initiation and maintenance of behavior change. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) via its Common Fund supports a Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) program initiative that ā€œseeks to promote basic research on the initiation, personalization and maintenance of behavior changeā€ (see Update, February 10, 2014). By integrating work across disciplines, the agency believes that this effort will lead to an improved understanding of the underlying principles of behavior change. Phase I of the SOBC program identified three domains with promising behavior change targets, given strong evidence for their central role in health behaviors relevant to multiple clinical endpoints. The domains include: (1) self-regulation, (2) stress reactivity and stress resilience, and (3) interpersonal and social processes.

The NIH recently released four new SOBC Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) with the goal to ā€œimplement a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research and to develop the tools required to implement such an approach.ā€ (more…)

Science and Human Rights Coalition Explores the Risks and Promise of Big Data

The AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, of which COSSA is a member, held its biannual meeting on January 15, focusing on the connections between Big Data and Human Rights. The Coalition brings together organizations and individuals who recognized a role for scientists and engineers in human rights. (more…)


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