Issue 23 (November 27)


Save the Date: Social Science Advocacy Day 2019

COSSA’s annual Social Science Advocacy Day, the only annual, coordinated advocacy day in support of all of the social and behavioral sciences, will take place on April 30 and May 1, 2019. Open exclusively to participants affiliated with COSSA member organizations and universities, Social Science Advocacy Day brings together social scientists and other science advocates from across the country to engage with policymakers in Washington, DC.

COSSA provides in-depth training and logistical support (including scheduling meetings with Congressional offices and providing an on-call expert to answer day-of policy questions), as well as polished, up-to-date materials to help advocates bring their message to Capitol Hill. Participants are teamed up with other advocates from their area and partnered with experienced government relations professionals who will guide them through their meetings with members of Congress and staff. Watch for more details in the COSSA Washington Update and on the Advocacy Day webpage.

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Linguist Claudia Brugman Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThe latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Claudia Brugman, Research Scientist and Technical Director for Language in Social Systems at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language, who writes about how the social sciences help make our nation more secure. Read it here and subscribe.

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Rep. Johnson Seeks Science Chairmanship, Announces Priorities for the New Congress

On November 6, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) announced her interest in seeking the chairmanship of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Johnson has served as the Ranking Minority Member of the Science Committee since 2010, and, should she be elected chair—which is expected—she will become the first woman and the first person of color to lead the committee. In her announcement she included three priorities for the committee in the coming year, including: ensuring the United States remains the global leader in innovation, addressing the challenge of climate change, and restoring the “credibility of the Science Committee as a place where science is respected and recognized as a crucial input to good policymaking.” Committee assignments will come in the early months of 2019; COSSA will report on the details as they become available.

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Office of Evaluation Sciences Seeks Fellows

The Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) at the General Services Administration is currently accepting applications for one-year fellowships beginning in October 2019. OES is a team of applied researchers that work to build insights from the social and behavioral sciences into federal programs. OES designs, implements, and analyzes evidence-based interventions and randomized evaluations. Fellows shape their own high-impact portfolio of work, design and direct projects, and author academic publications. The deadline to submit applications is December 30. More information can be found on the OES website.

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NEH Releases 2019 Summer Programs for Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has released information about its 2019 tuition-free summer programs, which it offers each year to provide an opportunity for K-12, college, and university educators to study a variety of humanities topics. These programs focus on specific topics, texts, and questions in the humanities and promote connections between teaching and research in the humanities. Additionally, the NEH offers stipends to help cover the cost of travel and living expenses for these one- to four-week programs. The applications for summer 2019 programs are due March 1, 2019. More information and a list of topics is available here.

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National Academies Establishes Standing Committee on Science Communication Research and Practice

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced on November 21 the establishment of a new standing committee to bring together science communication practitioners and researchers. The Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice will engage broad networks of stakeholders from across sectors to advance science communication around the goals of building a coherent knowledge base about communicating science, making it easier for science communicators to access research, and support organizations and individuals communicating science outside the science enterprise. More information about the standing committee and a list of members can be found at the NASEM website.

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National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research Seeks Recommendations for Areas of Study

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, an effort backed by philanthropic donors, will issue the first of four annual requests for proposals in January 2019 and is seeking input from researchers on areas of focus for gun-policy research funding. The annual request for proposals will be comprised of $20 million to $50 million awarded over a five-year period, with up to $10 million in research grant funding and dissertation research awards available in the first round. Researchers who would like to suggest areas of focus for gun-policy research funding can email and those interested in receiving alerts about funding opportunities can sign up at

The collaborative was launched by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and is administered by the RAND foundation under the direction of an independent advisory committee that will set research priorities and make all decisions on grant awards.

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Academies Releases “Science and Engineering for Grades 6-12”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a new consensus study report, Science and Engineering for Grades 6-12: Investigation and Design at the Center. The report revisits the National Research Council’s 2006 America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science and reviews relevant research with a focus on how to engage today’s middle and high school students in science and engineering.

This report provides guidance for teachers, administrators, creators of instructional resources, and leaders in teacher professional learning on how to support students. Recommendations center around changing science and engineering instruction to focus on investigation and design through new instructional resources and professional learning opportunities for teachers, instruction on how to provide multiple opportunities for students to engage in science projects, and guidance for administrators to account for historical inequities by implementing science investigation and engineering design for all students.

The full report is available for download on the National Academies ’s website.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s fall intern, Victoria Deck of Emerson College.

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