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COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Still Time to Register!

The 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day is fast approaching. Join us on March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. The preliminary program is available here. Visit the COSSA Annual Meeting page for full details.

COSSA’s Analysis for the President’s FY 2016 Budget Request

President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress on February 2, officially kicking off the FY 2016 appropriations process. COSSA has released its analysis of the President’s budget request. The 62-page report provides funding details for all federal departments, agencies, and programs important to social and behavioral science research. It outlines the President’s funding proposals as they compare to current (FY 2015) levels. In addition, the document serves as a helpful catalog of social science programs and initiatives across the federal government.   Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Develops State by State Funding Fact Sheets

COSSA has developed a series of fact sheets describing the amount of federal funding for social and behavioral science that is provided to each state. These fact sheets are intended to illustrate the economic impact of federal investment in social and behavioral science research, including as a driver for innovation at universities across the country. While federal investment in social science research is significant ($921 million), it pales in comparison to the total amount of annual federal funding for all of science and engineering ($40.1 billion).   Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA & NDD Partners Call for End to Sequester

On February 18, COSSA joined more than 2,100 organizations on a letter to Congress calling for an end to sequestration in fiscal year (FY) 2016 and protection of nondefense discretionary (NDD) spending from additional cuts. The letter was organized by NDD United, a broad coalition of organizations that have banded together to combat cuts to NDD funding. Participants represent sectors from science and health to environment, justice, and civil rights. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Register Today!

Registration remains open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public; however, the advocacy day meetings are reserved for representatives of COSSA member organizations and institutions. The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. It provides an opportunity for COSSA members and others to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and institutions.

From the Executive Director

Happy 2015! COSSA is thrilled to kick-off the New Year with a brand new logo, look, and website. Check it out at www.cossa.org, where you will also find the latest news and analysis of policy developments impacting social and behavioral science research, archives of the COSSA Washington Update, details on the upcoming COSSA Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day (more below), information on how to become a COSSA member, and much more. We are looking forward to working with you in the year ahead to promote social and behavioral science research! Wendy A. Naus COSSA Executive Director Back to this issue’s…

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Registration now open

Registration is now open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public; however, the advocacy day meetings are reserved for representatives of COSSA member organizations and institutions. The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. It provides an opportunity for COSSA members and others to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and…

COSSA Urges Census to Maintain Field of Degree, Marriage Questions in ACS

On December 9, COSSA submitted public comment to the U.S. Department of Commerce urging the decision to remove several questions from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) be reversed. As previously reported, the ACS recently underwent a comprehensive review of its current 72 questions, which resulted in a proposal to remove questions deemed of “low benefit.” COSSA’s comments outline the importance of Person Question No. 12—Undergraduate Field of Degree—and Person Questions No. 21-23, relating to marital history, to the social science research community. The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), a COSSA sister organization, also submitted public comment. More information on the…

SAVE THE DATE: COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day

The COSSA Annual Meeting and inaugural Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day will be held in Washington, DC on March 9-10, 2015. The meeting will feature presentations from federal agency leaders and other officials and will provide an excellent opportunity to network with others from throughout the social and behavioral science research community. New in 2015 will be the first-ever Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day in which COSSA members will have an opportunity to educate their elected officials about the value of social and behavioral science research and the importance of federal funding. Additional details, including registration information, will…

Scientific Community Expresses Support for NIH and Its Peer Review Process

On December 2, the Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) sent letters to Congress expressing its “continued and strong support for the competitive peer review process used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).” The letter, signed by 128 diverse organizations, noted that the scientific community is “extremely concerned about the recent criticism of the NIH’s funding decisions and the accompanying mischaracterization of NIH-supported research in the media and by some in Congress. The ongoing targeting of specific grants produces a chilling effect across the entire scientific community. These attacks inhibit the very scientific progress the critics claim to support. Our…

COSSA and Partners Urge Support for International and Foreign Language Education for FY 2015

On November 19, COSSA joined a Coalition for International Education letter to House and Senate appropriators in support of strong funding levels for the Department of Education’s international and foreign language education programs (Title VI and Fulbright-Hays) as Congress attempts to wrap up funding for fiscal year (FY) 2015. As the letter notes, “Title VI and Fulbright-Hays are the nation’s longest-serving, most comprehensive programs that develop and maintain a strong, world-class foundation for international education and foreign language studies.” Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA & Partners Urge Congress to Complete FY 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill

On November 12, COSSA joined the biomedical and behavioral science community in signing the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research letter to Congress. The letter, which was signed by 303 organizations, urges Congress to “complete an omnibus spending package [that] includes a Labor-HHS-Education bill that restores funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to at least pre-sequestration levels.” The letter also notes, “An omnibus spending bill with a Labor-HHS appropriation restoring NIH to at least pre-sequester funding levels would mark an important step toward a more sustainable, predictable research environment for patients and their families, as well as for…

Scientific Community to Congress: Close the Innovation Deficit

On November 12, COSSA joined 133 partners throughout the scientific, higher education, business and patient communities on a letter to Congress urging passage of an omnibus fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills addresses the “innovation deficit” by including increased investments for scientific research and higher education. As the letter states, “the innovation deficit is the widening gap between the actual level of federal government funding for research and higher education and what the investment needs to be if the United States is to remain the world’s innovation leader… [T]oday, our leadership faces a serious challenge from other nations that are…

COSSA Weighs in on National Children’s Study Framework

On October 26, COSSA sent a letter to the National Children’s Study (NCS) Working Group, a subgroup of the National Institutes of Health Advisory Council to the Director, outlining concerns with the NCS framework and raising other issues for consideration as the working group progresses with its review the program. As the letter states, “the NCS has the potential to become an invaluable resource, yielding new insights into the complex linkages between social, genetic, and environmental factors and how these factors interact to influence health, growth and development across the life course. To ensure the study produces meaningful data, the…

COSSA Joins Community in Opposing Conference Accountability Act of 2014

On September 8, COSSA joined 122 organizations representing health care providers, public health leaders, and medical researchers and the patients that benefit from their work on a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging them to oppose S. 1347, the Conference Accountability Act of 2014.

Science Community Expresses Concern about Secret Science Reform Act

COSSA is among 43 organizations, led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), who sent letters to the House and Senate expressing concern about the Secret Science Reform Act (H.R. 4012), which is legislation seeking to “prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such action is specifically identified and publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.” While staying neutral on the political issues that surround EPA’s rule-making process, which…

COSSA Endorses AAAS Statement on Disabilities Treaty Ratification

COSSA has endorsed the statement of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Board of Directors urging the Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Adopted in 2006 by the United Nations General Assembly, the CRPD has been ratified by 146 countries. The U.S. was a signatory on the treaty, but previous attempts to ratify it in the Senate have failed. The Convention may again be brought to the Senate as early as this summer.

COSSA Urges Increased Funding for Transportation Statistics Agency

On July 15, COSSA joined several other national associations on a letter to Transportation Committee chairs and ranking members in the House and Senate urging increased funding for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) at the U.S. Department of Transportation in fiscal year (FY) 2015. As the letter reads, “The BTS is the principal source of timely, accurate, and objective information on the current state, safety, and performance of highway, rail, air, maritime, and pipeline transportation systems.” Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Joins Partners to Urge Senate Support for IES

On July 9, COSSA joined with a number of its member associations and sister coalitions on a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee expressing concern with the House-passed Strengthening Education through Research Act (H.R. 4366), which is legislation to reauthorize the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Department of Education. As currently written, the bill would “diminish the autonomy, authority, and stature of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)” within IES. The letter urges the Senate to amend the bill “to ensure that NCES data and statistics are objective, independent, and relevant to education…

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