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DOD: 2015 Minerva Funding Opportunity Released

The Office of the Secretary of Defense within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has issued the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the 2015 Minerva Research Initiative. Established in 2008, Minerva is DOD‚Äôs signature social science research program that seeks to ‚Äúimprove DOD‚Äôs basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the U.S.‚ÄĚ It awards grants to university investigators and teams and funding is derived from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Army Research Office (ARO) and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Proposals are sought across…

Congress Returns this Week for Short, Packed Work Period

The House and Senate return to Washington this week from their month-long August recess. They have only a couple of weeks to address a number of major policy issues, such as immigration, the child migrant crisis on the border, and ongoing foreign conflicts, before both chambers adjourn again until after the November midterm elections. Among the to-dos in the coming weeks is consideration of a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government operating into fiscal year (FY) 2015, which begins on October 1. The outcome of the elections weighs heavily on potential end-game strategies for the FY 2015 appropriations…

COSSA Analysis of FY 2015 Senate Labor-HHS Bill

On July 24, the Senate Appropriations Committee released bill language and the accompanying Committee report for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill. The Labor-HHS Subcommittee approved the bill via voice vote in June (see Update, June 12, 2014). It is still unclear when or if the measure will be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Instead, it is all but certain that Congress will enact a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to allow time to complete the FY 2015 appropriations process after the November elections. You can read…

NIGMS Issues Challenge / Seeks Input on Proposed New Grant Program

Two requests from the¬†National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) give social and behavioral scientists the opportunity to provide input: To highlight discoveries and breakthroughs that have been enabled by funding from the Institute, and Respond to ¬†its time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI) to assist the Institute in its planning for a potential new program tentatively called Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA).

Draft COMPETES/NSF Bill Released in the Senate

Late last week, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee released a draft of its¬†America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014.¬†¬†The Committee is seeking comment from interested organizations by this Friday, July 25, which can be sent to¬†committee staff. COSSA intends to support the legislation. The America COMPETES Act is bipartisan legislation originally enacted in 2007 and reauthorized in 2010 to revitalize the U.S. scientific enterprise by making critical investments in U.S. basic science agencies.¬† These investments were intended to ensure the U.S.’s continued standing as the global leader in science and technology innovation. ¬†COMPETES serves as authorizing legislation for the…

FY 2015 Spending Bills May Wait for the Lame Duck

As the Congressional August recess approaches in just a few weeks, it has become all but certain that a continuing resolution (CR) will be enacted to push work on the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills to after the November midterm elections. The House and Senate are likely to be consumed with the President’s proposals for supplemental funding to address the migrant child crisis and wildfires out west during the scant remaining summer workdays, leaving little time to advance any of the FY 2015 spending measures before the new fiscal year begins on October 1. Despite Senate leadership’s promise to…

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