Issue 19 (October 25)


NIH Releases UNITE Progress Report for 2021-2022

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released the inaugural progress report covering fiscal years (FY) 2021-2022 for the UNITE Initiative, the agency-wide program comprised of five committees charged with identifying and addressing structural racism within the NIH research community and the greater biomedical research enterprise (see previous COSSA coverage). This progress report is the first such report on the UNITE Initiative and aims to describe NIH’s actions since the Initiative’s establishment in 2021 in identifying and addressing structural racism as well as areas that still need to be addressed. The report cites actions that have been taken to address four focus areas that the UNITE Initiative has selected as priorities:

  • Elevating health disparities research and minority health research across institutes and centers;
  • Promoting equity in the NIH-supported biomedical research ecosystem;
  • Promoting equity in the internal NIH workforce; and
  • Improving the accuracy and transparency of racial and ethnic equity data.

The report states that NIH intends to “expand UNITE’s efforts in the coming years – from new funding opportunities, to expanding educational programs, to enhanced data transparency.” NIH also indicated it intends to publish future progress reports as the UNITE Initiative continues to induce changes in the NIH research environment. The report is available in full on the NIH website.

November Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on 2022 Election

Join COSSA for our quarterly COSSA Headlines webinar to catch up on important social and behavioral science news and answer your questions. This quarter’s discussion will feature an analysis of the 2022 midterm elections and its implications for social science in the new Congress. Register for the webinar here.

NIH Creates New Scientific Diversity Advisor Position

The Division Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) within the Office of the Director (OD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking to fill a new role, Scientific Diversity Advisor. This position will be tasked with leading the development and implementation of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives. The ideal candidate should have a Ph.D., experience identifying and addressing DEIA gaps, and prior scientific and/or policy knowledge of biomedical, behavioral, or social science research relevant to DEIA. Details about the position are available at USA JOBS.

NSF Launches Workforce Development Program for Emerging Technologies

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced it is seeking applications for the new Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) Program. This program, which will be administered jointly by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) and the new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP), seeks to develop workforce opportunities for individuals interested in gaining career experience in emerging technology areas such as artificial intelligence, microelectronics, and more. The program offers three pathways for individuals at different career levels and STEM experience:

  • Pivots: For current professionals in any field looking to pivot into a career in an emerging technology.
  • Beginnings: For individuals with limited STEM training looking to gain deeper experience in a career in an emerging technology.
  • Explorations: For individuals with no prior STEM experience looking to gain knowledge and interest to explore potential careers in an emerging technology.

Proposals for the ExLENT program are due March 2, 2023. More information is available on the NSF website.

CNSTAT Releases Report on a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) recently released the report Toward a 21st Century National Data Infrastructure: Mobilizing Information for the Common Good. The report offers an ambitious vision and roadmap for bringing the U.S. data infrastructure in line with the nation’s need for reliable, accessible statistics and social and economic research. During a recent seminar celebrating CNSTAT’s 50th anniversary, CNSTAT Chair Robert Groves of Georgetown University offered additional context for the report, noting the convergence of increasing survey costs, all-time low response rates, and the unprecedented amount of digital data now available across the globe. These factors, offered Groves, call for a new culture of data collection and a national data infrastructure that will allow for blending of data from sources of all kinds. CNSTAT has created an interactive website where you can peruse the report and its recommendations.

National Academies Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education Release Year Three Annual Report

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released the Year Three Annual Report for the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education and held the Fourth Annual Public Summit last week. The report builds off of the 2018 report, Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (see previous COSSA coverage). The Action Collaborative focuses on raising awareness, sharing evidence-based policies and strategies, developing standards for measuring progress, and setting shared research agenda related to eradicating harassment in higher education settings. The Year Three Annual Report highlights the improvements the National Academies and partner organizations have made towards preventing sexual harassment in academia. It includes a Rubric on Areas of Work for Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education that aids organizations in identifying areas for improvement and new opportunities to prevent sexual harassment, including sections on prevention, response, remediation, evaluation, and approaches. The National Academies will continue to release annual reports on their progress and recommendations.

American Academy of Political and Social Science Inducts 2022 Fellows

The American Academy of Political and Social Science, a member of COSSA, inducted its 2022 cohort of Fellows at an event in Philadelphia on October 19. The Fellows’ research “showcases the importance of the social sciences in addressing issues ranging from racial and economic inequality to extremism in political parties”, Marta Tienda, president of AAPSS, says. Fellows include communications and behavior scholar Dolores Albarracín (University of Pennsylvania); economist William “Sandy” Darity, Jr. (Duke University); historian Earl Lewis (University of Michigan); economist Glenn Loury (Brown University); political scientist Paul Pierson (University of California at Berkeley); social psychologist Jennifer Richeson (Yale University); and sociologist and political scientist Theda Skocpol (Harvard University). COSSA congratulates these notable individuals on their accomplishment. Click here to read more about the 2022 class. 

This article was contributed by COSSA intern Rachel Chen of the University of Texas-Austin.

Midwest Political Science Association Calls for Conference Submissions

The Midwest Political Science Association is accepting proposal submissions for their 80th Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference (see previous COSSA coverage). The conference will take place April 13-16, 2023, in Chicago. The submission deadline has been extended to December 2, 2022.


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