Issue 22 (November 14)
The U.S. House of Representatives is voting this week on fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills that fund social and behavioral science research. The bills in the House propose massive cuts to discretionary spending, including for research.
Write to your members of Congress TODAY and urge them to reject these proposals.
For more details, follow COSSA’s FY 2024 coverage here.
Visit COSSA’s TAKE ACTION page to send a quick message to your Senators and Representatives and tell them why they must reject cuts to science funding in FY 2024.
COSSA’s tenth annual Social Science Advocacy Day will be taking place on April 8-9, 2024 in Washington, DC! Our signature, members-only event will bring together social and behavioral science researchers, faculty, students, association professionals, and other advocates from across the country to meet with their elected officials in Congress to discuss the value of our sciences and the importance of federal funding.
Stay tuned for additional details, early bird registration will be opening in a few weeks! Until then, save the date and share this exciting opportunity with your colleagues.
We hope to see you in Washington, DC in April 2024!
On November 11, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) unveiled a potential stopgap funding deal that would extend the current continuing resolution (CR) beyond the current November 17 deadline. The Speaker’s proposal includes “tiered deadlines;” some bills would be extended to mid-January and others to early February (see previous COSSA coverage). Under the draft bill, agencies within the Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Energy-Water and Transportation-HUD bills would receive an extension to January 19 while all remaining bills – including those that fund the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health – would be extended to February 2. The bill would also include a one-year extension for the expired 2018 farm bill but would not address the $106 billion in emergency funding requested by the Biden Administration (see previous COSSA coverage). With the slim majority in the House, Johnson’s stopgap would need nearly full support from the Republicans to pass. Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and minority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have both expressed that the Senate would consider Johnson’s CR if passed in the House.
Despite uncertainties regarding the appropriations deadline, both chambers are moving forward with funding bills. On November 14, the House considered the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) funding bill despite not having held a full appropriations committee markup for the contentious bill. As previously reported, the LHHS bill has a 28 percent cut to funding levels, and in the recently released report, would cut gun violence prevention research funding in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), eliminate funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), citing that “similar work is done by several agencies funding in this bill,” and provide cuts to diversity and inclusion initiatives within various agencies. The House is also expected to consider the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) funding bill before the end of the week. As previously reported, the CJS bill would also result in massive cuts to FY 2023 funding levels (see previous COSSA coverage). Watch for COSSA’s in-depth analysis on the LHHS and CJS funding bills.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to COSSA’s continued appropriations coverage.
On November 7, Dr. Monica Bertagnolli was confirmed by the Senate as the new National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director in a bipartisan 62-36 vote after having been nominated by the Biden Administration in May and experiencing several deterrents from Senators, including Chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who requested Bertagnolli address pharmaceutical drug prices (see previous COSSA coverage). Despite her challenging confirmation process, Bertagnolli will be the 17th Director of the NIH following a two-year gap in leadership with Dr. Lawrence Tabak as Acting Director (see previous COSSA coverage).
Following her confirmation, Bertagnolli stated, “As a physician-scientist for more than 30 years, I have seen the transformative power of NIH research to produce results that save lives, including my own treatment for breast cancer. As NIH director, I look forward to ensuring that NIH continues to be the steward of our nation’s medical research while engaging all people and communities in the research effort that includes informing medical practice that drives equitable access to health care for all.”
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced an open call for public comment on draft memorandum “Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).” This initiative seeks to establish new requirements for federal agencies in AI governance, innovation, and risk management.
The proposed memorandum is designed to direct agencies towards adopting specific minimum risk management practices, particularly for AI applications that could impact public safety and individual rights. OMB encourages feedback on various aspects, such as recommending roles and responsibilities for Chief AI Officers across federal agencies, effective coordination methods for AI Governance Bodies, and creating effective strategies for advancing responsible AI innovation. Interested individuals can review the full text of the draft memorandum here.
Written comments must be submitted by December 5 here.
Special Assistant Appointed to the NSF Director for Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention and Response Implementation
On November 2, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the appointment of Renée V. Ferranti as the special assistant to the NSF director for sexual assault and harassment prevention and response implementation. In this new role, Ferranti will lead cross-agency efforts, implement sexual assault prevention policies, and recommend organizational improvements by providing expert evaluation of existing policies, procedures, and resources. Establishing this role is the most recent measure in the agency’s ongoing initiatives to address and prevent sexual assault and harassment (see previous COSSA coverage).
Ferranti has over 25 years of experience in sexual assault prevention and response. She previously served as the director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program at the Peace Corps and in various roles within the Department of Defense SAPR program, including victim advocate, sexual assault response coordinator, and program manager across multiple military installations.
Ferranti holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and a master’s degree in psychology.
Nominate your colleagues, collaborators, and role models for a 2024 Golden Goose Award!
The Award honors federally funded researchers whose work may sound silly, odd, obscure, wasteful of taxpayer funding, or serendipitous, but has had a major positive impact on society. The purpose of the Award is to demonstrate the human and/or economic benefits of federally funded scientific research. It’s intended to demonstrate that scientific outcomes build upon each other and that the technological advances that flow from them cannot easily be predicted at the outset of a particular scientific research project.
Nominations for the 2024 Award are being accepted through December 15. More information and the nomination form can be found here.
On October 16, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) unveiled their new State of Research report designed to help anyone interested in leveraging personality and social psychology research to address societal challenges. SPSP is a COSSA governing member.
The State of the Research resources offers easy summaries of personality and social psychology research findings that can inform practical policy solutions. The report focuses on the following key priority areas:
- Addressing systemic racism and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Battling the disinformation epidemic
- Promoting societal health and well-being
- Promoting sustainable behavior and pro-environmental action
- Tackling ideological polarization
The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a COSSA member, has announced a new criminal justice fellowship program with support from Arnold Ventures. The Arnold Ventures Criminal Justice Innovation Fellowships will support five post-doctoral fellows who are pursuing policy-relevant causal research designed to innovate and evaluate cost-effective and scalable policy solutions that advance the efficacy and equity of criminal justice practices.
The Fellowships will begin in September 2024, are available for up to three years, and will provide salaries of $120,000 with full benefits and annual increases. Applications are due January 15. More information about the program can be found here.