NSF

House Funding Panel Discusses NSF Budget, Social Science Funding

On March 17, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) held a hearing to discuss the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The hearing featured testimony from NSF Director France Córdova.

Science Subcommittee Discusses FY 2016 NSF Budget, Social Science Funding

On February 26, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research Technology held an oversight hearing to discuss the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The hearing featured testimony from NSF Director France Córdova and Daniel Arvizu, Chairman of the National Science Board.

NSF Releases Report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

The National Science Foundation (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released its biennial report, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. Mandated by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act, the report details the participation of these underrepresented groups in science and engineering. The data is organized by enrollment, field of degree, occupation, employment status, and academic employment. More information, including downloads of the report digest and data, are available on the NCSES website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NSF: Resource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate is seeking proposals to develop large-scale data resources and analytic techniques to advance fundamental SBE research. Successful proposals will aim to create databases or techniques that will enable SBE research that would not otherwise have been possible and should have impacts across multiple fields or within broad disciplinary areas. Proposals are due February 23, 2015. The full solicitation is available on the NSF website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NSF: Science of Learning Collaborative Networks

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites proposals for the creation of new research networks to address important questions in the Science of Learning (SL). The networks are intended to “foster the creation of new networks of investigators who will integrate scientific ideas across disciplines and professions to conduct novel, exploratory research that has the potential to provide transformative advances in our understanding of learning.” The solicitation and NSF’s new Science of Learning Program represent the next phase in NSF’s support for SL after the recent sunsetting of its Science of Learning Centers (SLC) program, which launched in 2003. The goals…

NSF Seeks Social Science Communications Specialist

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking candidates for a new position within the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). The Communications Specialist will “develop and implement a strategy to communicate information about the Directorate’s support of research, education, and training in the social, behavioral and economic sciences.” Among the required qualifications includes “experience with a science organization developing and implementing integrated communications strategies to promote research about social, behavioral, and economic sciences to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.” The announcement closes on January 16, 2015. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NSF Updates Transparency and Accountability Practices

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced revisions to its guidelines for program officers and principle investigators (PIs) intended to better communicate the value of the research it funds. According to an NSF press release, language added to the guidelines for program officers require that non-technical project descriptions “serve as a public justification for NSF funding by articulating how the project serves the national interest, as stated by NSF’s mission: to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; or to secure the national defense.” Training and guidelines will also assist program staff in writing…

Deadline Extended for Applications to SBE Leadership Posts

As previously reported, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) is seeking to fill a number of leadership positions. Deadlines for applications have been extended through December 31. The open positions include: Deputy Assistant Director Division Director, Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) Division Director, Social and Economic Sciences (SES) 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…

NSF Releases Report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science

The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released its biennial report, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, which provides statistical details on women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. The data in the 2013 Digest, which is released every two years as mandated by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (Public Law 96-516), are publicly accessible online and organized by the following themes: enrollment, field of degree, employment status, occupation, academic employment, and persons with disabilities. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NSF’s SBE Directorate Seeks to Fill Numerous Leadership Posts

The Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking interested applicants for several leadership posts, including directors for two SBE divisions. The open positions include: Division Director, Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), closes December 12 Division Director, Social and Economic Sciences (SES), closes December 12 Program Director in the Economics Program (SES), closes December 29 In addition, NSF recently announced that Joanne Tornow, SBE Deputy Assistant Director, will leave SBE in December to lead the NSF Office of Information and Resource Management (OIRM). A search will commence for a new SBE Deputy Assistant…

NSF: RAPID Proposals Sought to Address Ebola Crisis

The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter requesting research proposals “to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebola, educate about prophylactic behaviors, and encourage the development of products, processes, and learning that can address this global challenge.” NSF’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism will be used to fund the proposals. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Congresswoman Johnson Defends NSF’s Merit Review Process

Last week, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Ranking Member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, released a letter penned to Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) expressing concern over the chairman’s ongoing “investigation” into the merit review process at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and criticism of individual grants funded by NSF. Her letter comes as Chairman Smith has issued a third request in 18 months for NSF to provide the Committee with confidential, pre-decisional merit review documents for 30 additional grants; Smith has previously asked for documentation on a group of five grants and a second group…

White House Hosts Conference on BRAIN Initiative

On September 30, the White House hosted a conference on President Obama’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative. The Initiative is a large-scale effort to provide researchers with important insights to treat a variety of disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and traumatic brain injury, among others. Four agencies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have together committed more than $110 million to the Initiative in FY 2014 (see Update, April 7, 2014, pg. 26).

NSF Seeks Nominations for Waterman Award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting nominations until October 24 for the 2015 Alan T. Waterman Award. The Waterman Award is given annually “in recognition of the talent, creativity, and influence of a singular young researcher;” nominations are accepted for researchers from all fields of science supported by NSF. Among the requirements, candidates must be 35 years of age or younger or be not more than seven years beyond receipt of his/her Ph.D. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Coalition for National Science Funding Endorses Senate COMPETES Bill

The Coalition for National Science Funding, of which COSSA is a member, has issued a statement in support of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2757), which was introduced in the Senate by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) in July. As the statement reads, “The upward funding trajectory for [the National Science Foundation] provided in this bill would go a long way toward closing the innovation deficit that has been building with recent stagnant U.S. research budgets.” COSSA issued its own statement in support of the bill in August. More information on the America COMPETES Act can…

NSF Seeks Social Science Public Affairs Specialist

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA) is seeking to fill a position for a public affairs specialist. The agency is particularly interested in receiving applications from qualified professionals with experience in “developing and implementing integrated communications strategies to promote basic research about social, behavioral and economic sciences to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.” The opportunity closes September 19, 2014. More information can be found on USAJOBS. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Social Scientists among 2014 Golden Goose Awardees

On September 18, the scientific community and policy makers will come together to celebrate the winners of this year’s Golden Goose Award at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The Golden Goose Award honors scientists whose research funded by the federal government has yielded major benefits to society, which could not have been anticipated at the time of funding. Among the 2014 awardees is a group of scientists whose research studying the impact of maternal absence on infant rats has significantly improved the ability of premature babies to thrive and has saved billions in health care costs and a group of…

America COMPETES Reauthorization Bill Introduced in Senate

On July 31, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2757). Original co-sponsors include Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Edward Markey (D-MA).

Draft COMPETES/NSF Bill Released in the Senate

Earlier this month, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee released a draft of its America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 for public input. 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 National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and…

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