Issue 04 (February 23)


COSSA’s Analysis of the President’s FY 2017 Budget

President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request to Congress on February 9. The request proposes increases for many of the federal agencies and programs important to the COSSA community. COSSA has prepared an in-depth analysis of the request as it relates to social and behavioral science research supported by the federal government. The report includes details on the President’s proposals for the dozens of departments, agencies, and programs of interest to social and behavioral science researchers.

With the release of the President’s budget, the FY 2017 appropriations process heads into high gear. The big question now is whether Congress will muster the political will in this election year to pass any of the spending bills before October 1. Stay tuned to future COSSA Washington Updates for the latest developments.

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There’s Still Time to Register for the 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting on March 15-16!

A near-final agenda for the 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting is now available. Check out our excellent lineup of speakers and register today! Remember, if you work for a COSSA member organization, you are eligible for a discount. Contact Julia Milton for the discount code.

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“National Interest” Bill Passes the House

Despite opposition from many in the scientific community and a veto-threat from the White House, the House of Representatives passed the Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (H.R. 3293) on February 10 by a vote of 236-178. The bill, which is sponsored by Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX), seeks to set a definition for federally-funded research conducted in the “national interest.” The language of the bill was derived from Sec. 106 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806), which passed the House in May despite wide-spread, vocal opposition from the broad scientific research community. Smith has argued that his bill is intended to ensure that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding “only high priority research.” While the bill text itself is benign, the intent of the legislation, as exemplified by the press release issued alongside it and subsequent remarks from the Chairman, is to continue singling out grants that Smith deems unworthy of taxpayer support, many in the social sciences. While the bill has now passed in the House, there is no indication that it will be considered this year in the Senate. COSSA issued a statement on the bill in July.

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NCHS Seeks Input on Update to NHIS

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) plans to update one of its major surveys, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), in 2018. The goals of the redesign are “to improve the measurement of covered health topics, to reduce respondent burden by shortening the length of the questionnaire, to harmonize overlapping content with other federal health surveys, to establish a long-term structure of ongoing and periodic topics, and to incorporate advances in survey methodology and measurement.” NCHS welcomes input from the scientific community on the proposed survey design and content. Instructions and more information are available on the NCHS website.

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NIJ to Hold Webinars on Upcoming Solicitations

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has announced that it will be holding six webinars to discuss new or altered solicitations in 2016. Registration for the first webinar, on Elder Abuse Prevention, is currently open. The other topics to be covered by the webinars are Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Labs; Violence Against Women Consortium; DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction; Building Knowledge About Preventing Domestic Radicalization and Violent Extremism in the U.S.; and New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. More information about the webinar series is available on NIJ’s website.

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Join COSSA for a Celebration of Social and Behavioral Science on March 15

COSSA will be hosting a Capitol Hill reception on March 15 in conjunction with the COSSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the Celebration of Social and Behavioral Science from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Rayburn House Office Building. During the event, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) will be presented with the COSSA Distinguished Service Award for her steadfast support and defense of the social and behavioral sciences. RSVP is requested by March 9. The event is generously co-hosted by SAGE Publications and sponsored by the American Educational Research Association, Midwest Political Science Association, Population Association of America, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Additional sponsors are welcome.

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Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • NIJ: Research and Evaluation on Institutional Corrections (NIJ-2016-9086)
  • NIJ: Research and Evaluation in Support of the Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (NIJ-2016-9095)
  • NIJ: Research on Bias Crimes (NIJ-2016-8979)
  • NIJ: FY16 Visiting Fellows Program (NIJ-2016-8890)
  • IARPA: Crowdsourcing Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation (CREATE) (IARPA-BAA-15-11)

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Haskins, Sawhill Win 2016 Moynihan Prize

The American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS), a COSSA member, has announced the winners of the 2016 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize, which is given annually to “a leading policy-maker, social scientist or public intellectual whose career demonstrates the value of using social science evidence to advance the public good.” This year’s winners are Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill, both of the Brookings Institution, who are recognized for their influential research on inequality and poverty. They are scheduled to give a public lecture on Capitol Hill on May 12 and will be honored at an event later that evening. Congratulations!

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Events Calendar

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA website. COSSA members who have an upcoming event they would like to see listed in the Events Calendar and on our website should send an email to

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