NCSES To Include Questions about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for Survey of Earned Doctorates

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its intention to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in their annual Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). The survey collects data on Ph.D. recipients, including gender, race, disability status, educational background, and career plans, and allows researchers and policymakers to track diversity in the U.S. STEM pipeline. NSF released a report, 2024 Survey of Earned Doctorates SOGI Data Collection Experiment Summary, which outlines the process the agency took to come to the conclusion to include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity to modernize the survey. The data collection for SED is expected to begin shortly with…

Congressional Committees Review NSF’s FY 2025 Budget

Earlier this month, two Congressional committees heard testimony on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget request. On May 23, the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee heard testimony from the NSF Director and the Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the agencies’ budget requests for fiscal year (FY) 2025. In her opening remarks, Chairwoman Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) expressed her interest in the committee working on a bipartisan CJS appropriations bill again this year; however, she noted the challenging budget environment, specifically the cuts taken to federal science agencies in FY 2024 as a result of the…

Congress to Review Key Agency Budget Requests Amid More Supplemental Funding Discussions 

Over the past few weeks, Congress has been holding budget oversight hearings on various agencies, working through the fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget process. On May 16, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is scheduled to review the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) priorities in the hearing, Oversight and Examination of the National Science Foundation’s Priorities for 2025 and Beyond. COSSA will continue to update on the budget hearings of key agencies as they are held.   Following emergency supplemental funding passed in late April, Congress is still in discussions regarding foreign aid supplemental packages, with attention split between these…

NSF Seeks Nominations for Advisory Committees

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued its annual call for recommendations for membership to its various advisory committees and technical boards. These committees advise NSF’s offices and directorates on program management, research direction, and policies impacting the agency.  Committees of particular interest to the COSSA community include the Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) and the Advisory Committee for STEM Education (EDU). Guidelines for recommendations and committee contact information can be found here. Recommendations for membership are maintained for 12 months.  

NCSES Issues RFI on Use Cases to Inform a Future National Secure Data Service

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), housed within the National Science Foundation (NSF), has issued a request for information (RFI) on Use Cases to Inform a Future National Secure Data Service (NSDS) (see previous COSSA coverage). NSDS is intended to inform the ongoing work to improve the governments’ data infrastructure system, including new ways of collecting and linking data. NCSES requests information on research, policy, program, and education use cases as well as challenges and barriers that could be addressed using an NSDS for the development of a future NSDS.  Comments are requested by June 14 and can be…

SBE Releases Dear Colleague Letter Encouraging EPSCoR Submissions

The Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) housed within the National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a Dear Colleague Letter encouraging submissions to already established NSF funding opportunities from the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). EPSCoR was developed to target specific areas in the U.S. with increased opportunity to study and join the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce to improve geographic and institutional diversity. As directed by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, NSF is in the process of dedicating more funding towards the EPSCoR jurisdictions. The letter reaffirms SBE’s commitment to support research in the social and…

New JASON Report Advocates for Project-by-Project Approach to Sensitive Research Security

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has commissioned a new report from JASON, an independent scientific advisory group, on the implications of imposing broad controls on sensitive research security. The report reaffirms a longstanding policy that fundamental research should remain largely unrestricted unless specific sensitivities require classification. JASON suggests the need for updated research security measures in ways that do not stifle innovation and openness. The report evaluates international collaborations, especially highlighting concerns with the Chinese government’s approach to fundamental research for military needs and restrictions on information flow. The report recommends a nuanced method where the NSF collaborates with Principal Investigators and…

NCSES Requests Responses to Data Tools Survey

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), housed within the National Science Foundation (NSF), is requesting responses to a new survey intended to improve NCSES data tools. ï»żAs previously reported by COSSA, NCSES has been working to expand accessibility to their collected data through developing new resources, including the Knowledge Base, in an effort to modernize their data tools. Responses to this survey are confidential and would be used to improve these efforts. Submit comments and feedback here.

NSF selects Kaye Husbands Fealing to lead the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate

On February 29, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that Kaye Husbands Fealing has been selected to lead the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). Her appointment will begin on April 22. Husbands Fealing is dean of the Georgia Institute of Technology Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and former chair of the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy. She specializes in the science of science and innovation policy, the public value of research expenditures and the underrepresentation of women and minorities in STEM fields and the workforce. Husbands Fealing developed and was the inaugural program director for NSF’s Science…

Headlines Webinars continue March 27

COSSA’s 2024 Headlines Webinar series will continue to feature discussions with leaders of federal science agencies, providing opportunities for the social and behavioral science community to learn about agency research programs, funding opportunities, and priorities. Upcoming Webinars: Did you miss February’s webinar? You can watch the recording now to catch up on our discussion about the research and data activities within the National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics. Headlines is a webinar series available to COSSA member organizations.

The National Medal of Science Nominations are Open

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has officially announced the Call for Nominations for the National Medal of Science. The National Medal of Science is the highest recognition the nation can bestow on scientists and engineers. The presidential award is given to individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or social and behavioral sciences, in service to the Nation. Nominate colleagues and peers who have made extraordinary contributions that have advanced the scientific enterprise. Nominations are due by May 3. Learn more about the nomination and review process here.

NSF Releases Dear Colleague Letter Opportunity for Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination

The Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate within the National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) encouraging research dedicated to understanding and mitigating issues of bias, prejudice, and discrimination (BPD). The DCL highlights three interests for SBE programs, including investigations of BPD in under-studied populations, the effects of environmental factors on BPD, and the development and origins of BPD. A list of participating NSF programs can be found here. Any questions about the DCL should be directed to bpd@nsf.gov.

NSF Launches New National AI Research Resource Pilot

On January 24, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with various agencies, launched the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot. This initiative takes a first step towards creating a research infrastructure aimed at both strengthening and democratizing access to the essential resources required for responsible AI discovery and innovation. The NAIRR pilot is designed to equip U.S.-based researchers and educators with access to advanced computing power, extensive datasets, sophisticated models, cutting-edge software, and comprehensive training and support. By fostering collaboration across academia, industry, the nonprofit sector, and government, the program intends to utilize cross-sector partnerships. According to NSF,…

NSF Announces New ReDDDoT Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched the Responsible Design, Development, and Deployment of Technologies (ReDDDoT) program, calling for multidisciplinary, multi-sector teams to explore responsible technological innovation. This program aims to embed ethical, legal, and societal considerations into the lifecycle of technology development, with an emphasis on the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 goal of fostering partnerships across academia, industry, and non-profits (see previous COSSA coverage). With a budget of $16 million, subject to the availability of funds, the NSF anticipates making 28 to 36 awards through this program. If interested in participating, learn more here.

NCSES Releases Knowledge Base to Improve Understanding of Data

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) in the National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a Knowledge Base, a new user resource on NCSES tools and data. The website provides robust information on how to understand and use NCSES data as well as answers to frequently asked questions and a glossary for commonly used terms. The Knowledge Base is intended to help people navigate NCSES data while simultaneously providing support in an easy and accessible way. This resource comes as NCSES works towards making their data more available for public use. Questions can be sent to ncsesdata@nsf.gov. 

Tess deBlanc-Knowles Appointed as Special Assistant to the Director for AI at NSF

On December 12, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the appointment of Tess deBlanc-Knowles as the new Special Assistant to the Director for Artificial Intelligence. Alongside this role, she’ll continue her duties within NSF’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships as Strategic Advisor for Technology Policy and Strategy. As a former OSTP Senior Policy Advisor, deBlanc-Knowles led policy efforts to strengthen the nation’s AI innovation by co-chairing the National AI Research Resource Task Force, oversaw the the National AI Research and Development Strategic Plan: 2023 Update and led the process in crafting the nation’s first strategy to advance privacy-enhancing technologies. Now, as the lead in the…

NSF Unveils First-Ever Accelerating Research Translation Awards to Boost Economic Growth Through Academic Research

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced its first-ever investment in the Accelerating Research Translation (ART) initiative. More than $100 million will be dedicated to 18 teams at academic institutions nationwide to accelerate the pace and scale of translational research aimed to foster economic growth across the nation. The ART program is set to award up to $6 million over four years to each selected institution. These funds will be used to identify and develop academic research with potential for technology transfer, ensure the availability of staff with technology transfer expertise, and support the education and training of entrepreneurial faculty…

NCSES Opens Applications for Two New Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has announced two new postdoctoral fellowships. These fellowships are designed to support recent doctoral graduates interested in the study of ethical and responsible research. Each program offers one slot for a dedicated and passionate fellow: Applications are due January 24 and can be submitted here.

NSF Announces EducateAI for Nationwide AI Education

The National Science Foundation (NSF) launched EducateAI, an initiative aimed at enhancing artificial intelligence (AI) education across the United States. This program targets a broad audience, from K-12 to graduate students and adults seeking formal AI training. The initiative’s core objective is to empower educators and students with essential AI knowledge and skills, fostering an inclusive environment for learning about AI technology. The initiative’s first step involves publishing the EducateAI Dear Colleague Letter, calling for proposals that advance inclusive computing education and integrate innovative AI-focused curricula. Funded by NSF’s CISE and STEM Education directorates, the call for proposals seeks to develop comprehensive…

NSF Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

On November 14, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The agreement is intended to foster a collaborative research partnership between the United States and Canada on various subjects including artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare, climate change, and more, through building on current projects and developing new opportunities. Some of these current projects include the NSF-led Global Centers, the NSERC-NSF AI/Quantum Lead Agency Opportunity, and the Canadian-led New Frontiers in Research Fund. Stay tuned to COSSA for continued coverage. 


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