Volume 40 (2021)

White House Outlines R&D Budget Priorities for FY 2023

The White House has published a memorandum on Research & Development Priorities for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Budget, a document that lays out the Administration‚Äôs priorities for federal research agencies to consider when drafting their budget requests. This memo, which is traditionally released annually by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), is the first such memo released by the Biden Administration. It outlines five cross-cutting themes for agencies to consider for their budgets: pandemic readiness and prevention; tackling climate change; research and innovation in emerging technologies; innovation in…

COSSA Launches New Website

We’re pleased to share COSSA’s new website, which we’ve redesigned from the ground-up to put the information and resources you need right at your fingertips. In addition to a refreshed, cleaner look, the new site has tons of new features and functionality to make engaging with COSSA easier than ever, including: Better browsing for Washington Update articles, All our policy information in one place, Easy-to-use action center, Visual advocacy resource library, New hub for past COSSA trainings & briefings, and Homepage for Advocacy Day. You can explore the new features for yourself at www.cossa.org.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Things Have Changed (September 24, 2001)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news. It is the morning after President Bush’s speech to the joint session of Congress, ten days after the terrorist attacks. Once again Washington, and indeed the world, is a changed place. The disputed presidential election and lingering doubts about the legitimacy of this presidency‚ÄĒgone. The switch of Jim Jeffords to give Democrats control of the U.S. Senate‚ÄĒancient history. Concern about using the social security surplus to pay for government spending‚ÄĒevaporated. Partisan bickering over…

House Science Committee Approves NSF Spending in Reconciliation Package

On September 9, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee met to pass a set of spending recommendations that allocate $45.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2022 spending as part of the House Democrats‚Äô wide-reaching ‚ÄúBuild Back Better‚ÄĚ plan. The $3.5 trillion in total proposed spending (over 5-10 years) would be passed as part of the budget reconciliation process (which removes several procedural hurdles to passing such legislation) and would be in addition to regular FY 2022 appropriations (see COSSA‚Äôs analysis of the House‚Äôs FY 2022 appropriations bills here). The Science Committee‚Äôs recommendations would provide the National Science Foundation (NSF)…

White House Releases Pandemic Preparedness Plan

On September 3, the Biden Administration released a Pandemic Preparedness Plan that identifies five key areas of opportunity to protect the U.S. against future biological threats: (1) ‚ÄúTransforming our Medical Defenses, (2) Ensuring Situational Awareness, (3) Strengthening Public Health Systems, (4) Building Core Capabilities, and (5) Managing the Mission.‚Ä̬† The plan includes a total of $65.3 billion in increased funding over 7-10 years, some of which has already been requested as part of the budget reconciliation package currently under consideration in Congress. The full plan is available here.

NSF Awards ‚ÄúAmerica‚Äôs Data Hub‚ÄĚ Contract

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a contract to establish the America‚Äôs Data Hub Consortium, a network intended to ‚Äústrengthen, support, and advance the NCSES mission by engaging in ground-breaking activities related to data access and sharing, infrastructure, and analysis across the broad landscape of the science and engineering enterprise.‚ÄĚ The contract was awarded to Advanced Technology International, a nonprofit R&D collaboration firm. The Consortium‚Äôs primary objectives are to ‚ÄúDevelop new ways of acquiring and linking data to yield valuable insights into critical issues Support cutting-edge data infrastructure Build…

DBASSE Launches Search for Next Executive Director

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) has launched a search for the next Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). The next Executive Director will succeed Mary Ellen O‚ÄôConnell upon her retirement. The DBASSE Executive Director is responsible for executing a modern vision that maximizes DBASSE‚Äôs impact in society by expanding the base of sponsors, growing funding and support for programs, enabling the division‚Äôs projects to maximize their potential for impact, and fostering innovation to meet changing sponsor needs.‚ÄĚ Full details on the position and how to apply are available here.

OSTP Prepares Upcoming Research Security Guidance

On August 10, Dr. Eric Lander, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the Biden Administration‚Äôs intent to develop guidance for federal agencies to implement research security provisions over the following 90 days. The guidance would provide clear rules for federal agencies to comply with the National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM-33), issued in the final days of the Trump Administration. Among other provisions, NSPM-33 recommends standard research security measures across federal research agencies and clarifies disclosure requirements of foreign support for federally-funded scientists (see previous COSSA coverage for more details). In addition, on August…

September Headlines to Feature Deep Dive with IES Director

COSSA members can sign up for the monthly Headlines webchat to catch up on the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answer your questions. Stick around for our deep dive discussion on the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), with IES Director Mark Schneider. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: House, Senate Agree to Kill Technology Office (July 31, 1995)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news. A House-Senate conference committee on the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill has agreed to kill the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). The House had voted to move OT A’s functions to the Congressional Research Service and provided $15 million of Library of Congress appropriations for that purpose. OT A’s budget in FY 1995 was $22 million. An attempt by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) to save the Office during Senate consideration of the appropriations bill…

OSTP and NSF Request Input on National Resource for Artificial Intelligence Research

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have issued a request for information (RFI) developing an implementation roadmap for a shared artificial intelligence (AI) research infrastructure. The RFI was issued through the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force, which was directed by Congress to establish a ‚Äúshared research infrastructure that would provide Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers and students across scientific disciplines with access to computational resources, high-quality data, educational tools, and user support.‚ÄĚ More information about the RFI is available in the Federal Register notice. Comments are due by October…

Census Nominee Receives Committee Approval as Delayed 2020 Data Released

On August 4, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted (10-4) to advance the nomination of Dr. Robert Santos to lead the Census Bureau (see previous coverage). Santos now moves to consideration by the full Senate, but the timing of a vote to confirm him remains unclear. Ron Jarmin remains Acting Director of the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau released redistricting data from the 2020 Census on August 14, the second major data release from the decennial census. Compared with the previously released apportionment data, the redistricting data paints a much more detailed geographic and demographic picture…

National Academies Seeking Director for the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced a position opening for the Board Director of the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS). The Director is responsible for leading the cross-disciplinary body supporting programs, sponsorships, employee development within the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). More information is available on the NASEM website.

NSF Seeks Candidates for SBE Leadership Positions

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated a national search for its next Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. Dr. Arthur Lupia has served in this position since 2018. The Assistant Director for SBE oversees the directorate, which includes the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, the Division of Social and Economic Sciences, the SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities, and the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. The search committee will be led by Robert Groves, Executive Vice President and Provost at Georgetown University, and is seeking candidates with outstanding leadership capabilities; a deep…

‚ÄúWhy Social Science‚ÄĚ Can Help Plan for Returning to In-Person Work

The latest Why Social Science? post comes from Sunita Sah, of the University of Cambridge, who writes about how understanding anxiety and decision-making can help organizations plan for returning to the office while minimizing their employees’ anxiety. Read it here and subscribe.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: NSF Creates New Education and Human Resources Directorate (June 1, 1990)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news. Throughout his tenure as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Erich Bloch has touted “education and human resources” as a major justification for increasing NSF funding. Now, with two months to go in office, Bloch has decided to reorganize the foundation’s science and engineering education efforts by creating a new Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR). The new directorate will be headed by current NSF Senior Science Advisor Luther Williams. The old…

House Passes Funding Bills for Labor-HHS-Education, Agriculture

On July 29, the House of Representatives passed a six-bill package of spending legislation for the next fiscal year (FY), FY 2022. The package (H.R. 4502) included both the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education and Agriculture appropriations bills (see COSSA‚Äôs analysis). As it breaks for August recess, the House has passed nine of its 13 annual spending bills. Among the bills left to pass are the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill (which funds the National Science Foundation) and the Department of Defense appropriations bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, has started marking up its bills this week….

New House Social Determinants of Health Caucus Seeks Stakeholder Input

A newly formed Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus is seeking the public‚Äôs input on challenges and opportunities related to social determinants of health. The bipartisan caucus, which held a launch event on July 21, is co-chaired by Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Tom Cole (R-OK), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). The caucus ‚Äúwill explore opportunities to improve the impact of services delivered to address social determinants with the support of federal funding‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúwork to amplify evidence-based approaches to holistic well-being.‚ÄĚ The request for information asks stakeholders to respond to a list of questions relating to how to…

NIH Releases 2021-2025 Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its agency-wide Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2021-2025,¬† a roadmap outlining key objectives and themes for the agency for the next five years. The plan organizes its strategy into three major objectives for the agency: Advancing Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences; Developing, Maintaining, and Renewing Scientific Research Capacity; and Exemplifying and Promoting the Highest Level of Scientific Integrity, Public Accountability, and Social Responsibility in the Conduct of Science. The Strategic Plan also outlines five cross-cutting themes that run through each of the three major objectives and all aspects of the agency‚Äôs strategy:…

Biden Nominates ARS Administrator to lead USDA Research

The Biden Administration has announced the nomination of Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young to serve as the Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE). The REE Under Secretary oversees the Department’s science and research activities, including the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Dr. Jacobs-Young is currently the Administrator of another REE agency, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and has also been serving as Acting REE Under Secretary. A Senate confirmation hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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