Issue 19 (October 4)
COSSA in Action
- Congressional Supporters of 21st Century Cures Bill Hope for Passage by End of 114th Congress
- House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Academic Research Regulatory Relief
Federal Agency & Administration News
- ABCD Study Begins Enrollment; Congressional Briefing Highlights Study’s Potential
- GAO: Agencies Involved in the Indirect Cost Rate-Setting Process Need to Improve Controls
- NIA Council Approves Continued Support of Health and Retirement Study and Other Research Programs
- NIH Launches ECHO Program
- NIGMS/NRMN Announces New Web-Based Platform for Mentoring; Highlights Special Journal Issue on Broadening Participation
- NIGMS Director Updates Council on Second Phase of MIRA Pilot
Publications & Community Events
COSSA Member Spotlight
Congress successfully passed a stopgap funding bill on September 28 to keep the government operating into fiscal year (FY) 2017, which began October 1. The bill will fund the government until December 9 and includes a number of policy and funding provisions that have been hotly debated in recent months, including funding to combat the Zika virus and the opioid epidemic, as well as aid in response to the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan and flooding in Louisiana. The text of the Continuing Resolution is available here. Congress will reconvene following the elections in November and what happens next remains uncertain. For full details of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 spending debate as it pertains to social science research, check out COSSA’s state of play analysis.
COSSA has released the third issue of Setting the Record Straight on “Wasteful Research” (PDF available here). This series features interviews with researchers whose work has been called out in Congressional wastebooks or other attacks. Through this series, researchers are given the chance to set the record straight about the value and potential of their work–and confront misconceptions about social science research funded by the federal government. This edition features Kimberley Phillips (Trinity University), whose grant to study the effect of exercise on neurodegenerative diseases was caricatured in Sen. Jeff Flake’s 2015 “The Farce Awakens” wastebook.
A September 7 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, NIH Biomedical Research: Agencies Involved in the Indirect Cost Rate-Setting Process Need to Improve Controls (GAO-16-616), includes 12 recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Service’s Cost Allocation Services, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Financial Advisory Services, and the Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research. According to GAO, the recommendations are designed to improve controls over the agency’s indirect cost rate process. GAO was asked to “review the internal controls for overseeing the validity of indirect cost rates for NIH’s research organization.” The study was initiated by Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton (R-WI) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Tim Murphy (R-PA).
On September 28, the National Advisory Council on Aging of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) approved a concept clearance allowing the Institute to move forward with the next Health and Retirement Study (HRS) funding opportunity announcement. HRS, a longitudinal study, is the “leading source for information on the health and economic well-being of adults age 50 and older in the United States.” The Council also approved four other concept clearances related to behavioral and social research: development of socially assistive robots, pragmatic trials for dementia care, delirium and Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia, and multi-morbidity in Alzheimer’s impacts choice of ancillary treatments.
NIGMS/NRMN Announces New Web-Based Platform for Mentoring; Highlights Special Journal Issue on Broadening Participation
The fifth annual Golden Goose Award Ceremony was held on September 22 in Washington, DC to honor seemingly obscure federally-funded research that has resulted in “tremendous human and economic benefit”. Many members of Congress joined the honorees in recognizing the importance of federally-funded scientific research, including Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), the visionary behind the Golden Goose award, Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL). The honorees included the social and behavioral scientists that conducted the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). More information about the award, and complete coverage of the event can be found here.
In its September 2016 edition of Peer Review Notes, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Scientific Review (CSR) shared a recent discussion the Center had with members and staff of the American Statistical Association (ASA). According to CSR, the discussion “covered many important topics and insights… including how statisticians can (1) help improve rigor and reproducibility, (2) be key members of a research team, (3) identify common statistical issues, and (4) play valuable roles in peer review meetings.” The American Statistical Association is a COSSA Governing member.
- Future Directions in Mental Health Research: The View from Psychological Science, Washington, DC, October 4, 2016
- Summit on Social and Behavioral Sciences for National Security, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, October 4-5, 2016
- Center for Public Scholarship 35th Social Research Conference, New York, NY, October 13-14, 2016
- Evaluation 2016, American Evaluation Association, Atlanta, GA, October 22-30, 2016
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Convention, New York, NY, October 27-30, 2016
A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA webpage.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.