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Researchers Discuss Projects Targeted by Wastebooks at Capitol Hill Poster Exhibition

On April 13, the COSSA-led Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) and the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) sponsored a Congressional exhibition and reception, “Wasteful” Research? Looking Beyond the Abstract, designed to provide researchers whose work had been targeted in the various Congressional “wastebook” publications an opportunity to put their research into context for Members of Congress and their staff. The unique Congressional exhibition and reception featured nine researchers from across the disciplinary spectrum. Also presented were posters on the peer/merit review process by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Participating researchers included: Aletha Akers,…

2016 Golden Goose Awards Choose Landmark Add Health Study

The researchers behind the landmark National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health Study, otherwise known as Add Health, have been chosen to receive the first of the 2016 Golden Goose Awards. The study, conceived by Drs. Peter Bearman, Barbara Entwisle, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Ronald Rindfuss, and Richard Udry in the late 1980s and early 1990s while at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a federally-funded study designed to “illuminate the impact of social and environmental factors on adolescent health.” The Award honors “scientists whose federally-funded work may have seemed odd or obscure when it was first conducted but…

Recap of the 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting

COSSA held its 2016 Annual Meeting on March 15th in Washington, DC. Meeting sessions focused on topics like congressional attacks on federally-funded research, social science and the media, use of social and behavioral science in industry, and how to communicate the value of social and behavioral science research. In addition, participants heard updates on activities at federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Click here to read COSSA’s summary of the meeting’s sessions. You can also check out our social media recap, which covers…

Preview of the COSSA Annual Meeting, March 15-16 – Still Time to Register!

The COSSA Annual Meeting is just one week away. The agenda includes a wide range of topics impacting social and behavioral science research, from federal funding and the media’s use of social science research, to communicating science and industry interests. Here’s a snapshot of what we have in store: Peer Review, National Interest & Late Night Television: The Politics of Social Science Research In the Looking Glass: Social and Behavioral Science Communicates the Value of Social and Behavioral Science On the Record: Social Science & the Media Featuring reporters from NPR and Pacific Standard Trends in Federal Statistics Featuring Erica…

COSSA’s Analysis of the President’s FY 2017 Budget

President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request to Congress on February 9. The request proposes increases for many of the federal agencies and programs important to the COSSA community. COSSA has prepared an in-depth analysis of the request as it relates to social and behavioral science research supported by the federal government. The report includes details on the President’s proposals for the dozens of departments, agencies, and programs of interest to social and behavioral science researchers. With the release of the President’s budget, the FY 2017 appropriations process heads into high gear. The big question now is…

There’s Still Time to Register for the 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting on March 15-16!

A near-final agenda for the 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting is now available. Check out our excellent lineup of speakers and register today! Remember, if you work for a COSSA member organization, you are eligible for a discount. Contact Julia Milton for the discount code. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

President Unveils FY 2017 Budget Request, Kicks Off Annual Funding Battle

The Obama Administration has started releasing details of its final budget request to Congress. Full details of the request for fiscal year (FY) 2017 will continue to roll out over the coming days. COSSA is preparing an in-depth analysis of the request as it pertains to social science programs across the federal government. It is important to note that the President’s request for FY 2017 includes new mandatory spending at several agencies, which would largely account for the increases to these agencies. Details so far include: The National Science Foundation (NSF) would receive nearly $8 billion in FY 2017 (including…

Preliminary Agenda Released for COSSA Annual Meeting; Rates Increase February 15!

Registration rates for the 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting and 2nd Annual Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day on March 15-16 will increase on February 15.  In addition, the hotel block for out-of-town attendees closes on February 15. Register and make your reservation today! Note: Individuals who work for COSSA member organizations are eligible for a members-only registration rate. Email jmilton@cossa.org for details on how to get your member discount. A preliminary agenda for the meeting is now available. Several sessions are still under development—check back soon for a complete listing of speakers and topics. ABOUT THE COSSA MEETING – The…

NEW! University Rankings for Social Science Funding

COSSA has produced a new resource that shows how U.S. colleges and universities rank in total social and behavioral science research funding awarded each year by the federal government. We use federally collected R&D data for social science-related funding categories to present an accurate listing of the state of social science research funding. Check out how your university stacks up. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Legislative Action Freezes to a Halt

The Washington, DC region is still digging out from the historic snowfall it witnessed over the weekend. In the interest of safety, the federal government has been closed since noon last Friday. Countless hearings and events have been postponed, further contracting what is already expected to be a tight couple of months for policy making before Members of Congress head home to the campaign trails later this year. The challenging 2016 calendar coupled with new reports on the state of the federal deficit promise to further complicate the already complicated and contentious annual appropriations process. If history is any indication,…

Second Session of 114th Congress Gavels In, Funding Debates Quick out the Gate

The House and Senate have returned to Washington for the start of the second session of the 114th Congress. As previously reported, Congress was able to come up with a final agreement on fiscal year (FY) 2016 spending before leaving for the holiday break in December. Funding for agencies and programs important to the social and behavioral science research community was largely protected in the final bill, a positive outcome given the proposals that were floated earlier in the year. Now attention turns to FY 2017. The President will unveil his final budget request on February 9, which will officially…

Registration now OPEN for 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day

Registration is now open for the 2016 COSSA Annual Meeting and 2nd Annual Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 15-16, 2016. Click here to register today! Registration fees will increase in February. Individuals who work for COSSA member organizations may be eligible for a members-only registration rate. Email jmilton@cossa.org for details. Visit the COSSA Annual Meeting page for full details, including discounted hotel rates for those traveling to the meeting (reservations must be made by February 15!). ABOUT THE COSSA MEETING The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal…

Analysis of the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill and Implications for Social and Behavioral Science Research

On December 15, House and Senate negotiators unveiled their final fiscal year (FY) 2016 omnibus appropriations bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R. 2029), which includes all 12 of the individual appropriations bills and totals $1.15 trillion. Congress passed another short term continuing resolution (CR) on Wednesday to allow enough time for the House and Senate to pass the massive spending bill and for the President to sign it, which he has indicated he would. Policymakers now have until December 22 to achieve final passage. Assuming the House can pass the bill on Friday-which will require the support of several…

FY 2016 Funding Debate Labors On

Congress was forced to pass another funding extension last week in order to avoid a government shutdown on December 11. Policy makers have given themselves until December 16 at midnight to complete work on the fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations bills, allowing for a few more days to work through the many policy riders (dealing with Syrian refugees, Planned Parenthood, and about 40 others) that have slowed progress on the $1.1 trillion package over the last several weeks. As of the time of this writing, text of a final FY 2016 spending package (also known as an omnibus) has not…

Deadline for Comments on Common Rule NPRM Extended

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it will extend the period for public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (otherwise known as the Common Rule) by 30 days. The new deadline is January 6, 2016. A summary of the major changes to the regulations proposed in the NPRM is available here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Save the Date: COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 15-16

COSSA will hold its 2016 Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day on March 15 and 16 in Washington, DC. The meeting brings together more than 100 members of the social and behavioral science community and provides a platform for COSSA members to engage with leaders of federal agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from across the science and higher education communities. The meeting on March 15 will take place at the George Washington University Marvin Center and will feature updates from leaders at federal science agencies and panels highlighting issues impacting the social and behavioral science community. On…

With Budget Deal in the Books, Work Turns to Finalizing 2016 Spending Bills

Last week was an eventful one in Washington. In just about 72 hours, House and Senate negotiators successfully brokered a two year budget deal with the White House, effectively providing two years of relief from sequestration (i.e. the painful spending caps holding down discretionary spending) and suspending the nation’s debt limit, which would have been breached this week without Congressional action, until early 2017. Last week also ushered in a changing of the guard in the House, with the resignation of Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker and as the Representative from the 8th District of Ohio, and election of…

House Science Committee Advances “National Interest” Bill and Dyslexia Legislation

On October 8, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee advanced two bills that would impact the National Science Foundation (NSF): the Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (H.R. 3293) and the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act (H.R. 3033). Read on for details. The Scientific Research in the National Interest Act, sponsored by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), was derived from Sec. 106 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806), which passed the House in May despite strong and vocal opposition from the broad scientific research community.  H.R. 3293 seeks to set a definition…

Government Shutdown Averted, For Now

Congress was able to pass a continuing resolution (CR) on September 30, the final day of fiscal year (FY) 2015, within hours of a deadline that would result in a government shutdown. However, the CR simply kicks the can to December 11, the new deadline for coming to a final agreement on FY 2016 appropriations. While policymakers have provided themselves an additional 10 weeks to complete work on the annual spending bills, the path to the finish line remains unclear, complicated further by recent events like the announcement from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) of his retirement at the end…

White House SBS Team Issues Inaugural Report; President Signs Executive Order

On September 15, President Obama signed an Executive Order calling on federal agencies and departments to use “behavioral science insights” to “design government policies to better serve the American people.” The order comes as the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST), a team of about a dozen behavioral scientists within the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), issued its first annual report. SBST was established in 2014 as a mechanism for testing and applying social and behavioral science interventions to make government programs more efficient and more accessible. The team is chaired by the White House Office of Science and…

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