Issue 12 (June 14)


Senate Presses Forward on 2017 Spending Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee has been making progress over the last several weeks on its fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bills in an effort to pass as many of the bills as possible before heading home in mid-July for the party conventions and August recess (follow all of the developments on the COSSA website).  The FY 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill, which made it out of Committee on April 21, is expected to be on the Senate floor later this week. Stay tuned – COSSA will be closely monitoring the floor debate as this is when we could see amendments that could harm social science research accounts.

In addition, on June 9, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill. This bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations 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), as well as many other federal departments and agencies. Committee members noted that this bill represents the first bipartisan Senate Labor-HHS bill in seven years; this tends to be one of the more controversial and divisive of the 12 appropriations bills given that it provides funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and sections of the Affordable Care Act. The House has yet to release its version of the bill, but is rumored to have something ready by the end of the month.

Check out COSSA’s in-depth analysis for full details.

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Lawmakers Call for CDC Gun Research

On May 31, 146 Members of Congress signed a letter in support of eliminating appropriations riders that have prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from conducting research on gun violence prevention since 1996 (the “Dickey amendment”). The bipartisan letter, led by Rep. David Price (D-NC) states, “Although Members of Congress may disagree about how best to respond to the high incidence of gun violence, we should all be able to agree that our response should be informed by sound scientific evidence,” and argues that Congress should “allow the research community to investigate evidence-based solutions that could help prevent gun violence while still protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.” A letter in the Senate circulated in March by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) also called for the CDC to conduct gun violence prevention research. In April, COSSA joined more than 100 other societies and organizations in calling for an end to the ban.

The gun control debate has been renewed with greater urgency after this weekend’s tragic mass shooting in Orlando. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised to force votes on loopholes allowing individuals on the terrorist watch list to purchase guns as part of the debate on the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill this week (for more on CJS, see related story).

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Senate Committee Approves Librarian of Congress Nominee

On June 9, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration approved Carla D. Hayden’s nomination for Librarian of Congress. If approved by a vote of the full Senate, Hayden will be the first African-American and the first women to lead the Library of Congress. Hayden currently heads the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and has previously worked at the Chicago Public Library. Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) said he expects her nomination to move to the Senate floor later this month. If her nomination is approved, Hayden will also be the first term-limited Librarian of Congress, limited to a term of ten years according to a new law passed last fall.

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NIJ to Host Seminar on Violence Against Indigenous Adults

On June 23, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will host a Research for the Real World seminar on violence against indigenous adults to help improve awareness and understanding of American Indian and Alaska Native victims of crime. André Rosay, University of Alaska Anchorage, will present on a large-scale survey that examined violence and victimization experienced by American Indian and Alaska Native women and men. The seminar will be moderated by NIJ Director Nancy Rodriguez and a panel on policy and practice implications will include Carrie Bettinger-Lopez, Advisor on Violence Against Women in the Office of the Vice President; Joye Frost, the Director of the Office for Victims of Crime at the Department of Justice; and Bea Hanson, the Principal Deputy Director in the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice. More information and registration can be found here.

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NIGMS Seeks Input on “Strategies for Modernizing Biomedical Graduate Education”

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a Request for Information (RFI): Strategies for Modernizing Biomedical Graduate Education (NOT-GM-16-109) seeking the input of the scientific community and the general public “on how to catalyze the modernization of biomedical graduate education through NIGMS’s institutional predoctoral training grants program.” The Institute would like to receive input on such topics addressing changes that assure that future researchers have the knowledge, skills and abilities to navigate biomedical research; major barriers to pursuing this training through NIGMS training programs; and the key skills needed by individuals to “become outstanding biomedical scientists,” along with any topic individuals feel are important for the institute to consider. Responses to the RFI are due August 5, 2016.

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Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network: Advancing Basic Behavioral and Social Research on Resilience — An Integrative Science Approach (UG3/UH3) (PAR-16-326) [NCI, NCCIH, NIA, NIAAA, NIAMS, NIDA, NIEHS, NIGMS, NIMH, OBSSR]
  • NICHD: Characterization of the Adolescent Reproductive Transition (R01) (PA-16-314), (R21) (PA-16-315), (R03) (PA-16-316)
  • NCI: Intervening with Cancer Caregivers to Improve Patient Health Outcomes and Optimize Health Care Utilization (R01) (PAR-16-317), (R21) (PAR-16-318)
  • NIDCD: Mentored Career Development Award for Postdoctorate Au.D./Ph.D. Audiologists (K01) (PAR-16-320)
  • NIDCR: Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Diversity in the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (K01) (PAR-16-321)

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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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