Revisions #1 - 125397_washington update

A staple since COSSA’s earliest days, the biweekly COSSA Washington Update newsletter provides members and the public with comprehensive coverage of policy developments impacting social and behavioral science research. 

Kellina Craig-Henderson Tapped to Lead Social Science Directorate at NSF

On June 16, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that Dr. Kellina Craig-Henderson has been selected to serve as the Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. Craig-Henderson, who has been serving as Acting Assistant Director of SBE since January, was the Deputy Assistant Director of SBE under Dr. Arthur “Skip” Lupia, the previous Assistant Director of SBE whose term expired last year. Craig-Henderson assumes the role with extensive experience as a professor of psychology and in other leadership roles at NSF. She was previously a Psychology and Afro-American Studies faculty member at the University of…

Congress Gets Moving on FY 2023 Appropriations Bills

Last week, half of the subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee marked up their respective spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2023; the remaining bills—including those of particular interest to the research community—are scheduled for consideration this week. In the next couple of days, the House Commerce, Justice, Science and the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Subcommittees will consider their respective bills. The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the bills individually in the coming weeks with a goal of bringing as many to the House floor as possible before the August month-long recess. Despite…

President Biden Expected to Nominate Former DARPA Director, Physicist to OSTP Post

On June 21, President Biden is expected to nominate Dr. Arati Prabhakar as the next Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Presidential Science Advisor. As previously reported, Dr. Alondra Nelson was named in February as the interim director of OSTP following the resignation of Eric Lander who stepped down after less than a year in the position amid allegations of workplace bullying. Dr. Francis Collins, former Director of the National Institutes of Health, has been serving as the interim science advisor to the President. Upon Prabahaker’s confirmation, which is required for the OSTP…

NIJ Director Nancy La Vigne Shares Strategic Vision

Dr. Nancy La Vigne, the newly appointed Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), recently shared her strategic vision for research and programs at the agency. In the vision, La Vigne cites several key priorities for NIJ to consider including fostering rigorous and inclusive research, elevating studies that apply a lens of racial equity, using implementation science components in technology research, and encouraging interdisciplinary research when possible. La Vigne also cited the prevalence of disinformation and the lack of trust in scientific evidence, stating that “the onus is on us to be as clear as possible about the research…

NIMH Releases 2022 Update to Strategic Plan for Research

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently made updates to its Strategic Plan for Research, the planning document released every five years to outline the agency’s research priorities and strategize future agency activities. In addition to the development of a new strategic plan every five years, NIMH treats it as a “living document” by making routine updates as needed. The strategic plan incorporates updates into four high-level goals to guide the Institute: Define the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Complex Behaviors Examine Mental Illness Trajectories Across the Lifespan Strive for Prevention and Cures Strengthen…

National Academies Release New Report on Ontologies in the Behavioral Sciences

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has released a new consensus study report titled Ontologies in the Behavioral Sciences: Accelerating Research and the Spread of Knowledge. The report offers a description of ontologies, or frameworks for organizing existing knowledge, and ways they can be used to support behavioral science. In addition, the report offers several recommendations for science stakeholders to best use ontologies to advance behavioral science research, including federal agencies and professional organizations. Some of these recommendations include: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) should create agendas for advancing behavioral science…

COSSA is Hiring

Headlines Moving to Quarterly Schedule

Busy June Ahead for Lawmakers

Congress returns from Memorial Day recess with renewed pressure to enact legislation to stem gun violence in the United States following the most recent mass shootings over the last few weeks. House leaders have promised a vote on one such package (H.R. 7910) later this week; however, the Senate requires a super majority (60 votes) in order to pass such a bill, making the bill a much bigger lift. In addition, as previously reported, Congress is also steeped in the annual appropriations process for fiscal year (FY) 2023. While earlier in the year it was hinted that markups on the…

Adam H. Russell Named ARPA-H Acting Deputy Director

On May 25, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra formally announced the establishment of the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) along with the appointment of Adam H. Russell, Ph.D. as the Acting Deputy Director of ARPA-H. Russell comes to ARPA-H from the University of Maryland’s Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security and brings more than a decade of experience as a Program Manager at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Russell also has an extensive…

National Academies Seeking Director for Board on Human-Systems Integration

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has announced the search for a new director for the Board on Human-Systems Integration (BOHSI), a major program housed in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). The director of BOHSI is responsible for managing all programs under the Board’s purview including human capital management, cybersecurity, and other human factors research. In addition, the director is responsible for leading communications, managing staff, and fostering partnerships with federal agencies, industry, and professional associations. More information on how to apply is available on the NASEM website.

NSF Announces Partnership with SSRC’s Mercury Project

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a COSSA member, recently announced a new partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate and SSRC’s Mercury Project, a research initiative focusing on the impacts of and preventing the spread of public health misinformation. This partnership, called “Advance Scientific Knowledge about the Impact of Public Health Guidance,” will help advance evidence to inform decision making related to public health, especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of the hallmark programs within the SBE Directorate are participating in the partnership including Cultural Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, and…

Congress Begins Marathon of Conferencing Work for Innovation & Competitiveness Package

On May 12, 107 members of the House and Senate comprising the conference committee for U.S. innovation legislation held their first meeting to begin work on reconciling their bills. As previously reported, the House of Representatives passed the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521) in February. The nearly 3,000-page package is comprised of several bills and other provisions related to advancing the U.S. STEM enterprise and shoring up U.S. scientific competitiveness, especially with respect to China. The COMPETES bill is the House’s response to the U.S. Innovation and Competition…

NCFR President Norma J. Bond Burgess Answers “Why Social Science?”

COSSA Seeks Assistant Director of Government Relations

The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) is seeking to fill one position for Assistant Director of Government Relations. The desired candidate will have at least three (3) to five (5) years of professional advocacy, policy or related experience. Previous lobbying experience or experience working on Capitol Hill is preferred. Interested applicants should check the listing here.

House Committee Marks Up ARPA-H Authorization Legislation, Advances to House Floor

On May 18, the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee marked up several pieces of legislation including the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H) Act (H.R. 5585), authorization legislation for the newly established health research agency. During the markup, the bill championed by the E&C Health Subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-CA) was amended to explicitly state that ARPA-H would be established as an “independent operating division within the Department of Health and Human Services” and directs the Biden Administration to transfer ARPA-H away from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), pushing back on the Administration’s recent move to house…

Congress Holds FY 2023 Budget Hearings for NIH

Over the past few weeks, the House and the Senate held their respective budget hearings for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for fiscal year (FY) 2023, hearings that typically feature the NIH director and several of the directors of NIH’s institutes and centers (ICs). On May 11, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) held its hearing led by Full Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK). Witnesses included Acting Director of NIH Larry Tabak, Director of the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development…

NIH Council Approves Report on Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Integration

During the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils Meeting on May 19-20, a report on the  Working Group on Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) Integration was presented and approved by the Council. The report, which was presented by Acting Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and Acting Associate Director for BSSR at NIH Dr. Christine Hunter, is the work of the working group chartered by the Council of Councils and charged with examining the proportion of NIH research with a significant social or behavioral component and the representation of BSSR in the…

National Academies Release Report on Improving Representation in Clinical Trials and Research

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) have released a report titled Improving Representation in Clinical Trials and Research: Building Research Equity for Women and Underrepresented Groups, which aims to identify existing challenges and potential solutions to the lack of representation of populations such as women and ethnic minority groups in clinical research studies. According to the report, the underrepresentation of populations in clinical trials and research does much to harm the clinical research enterprise by compromising research findings’ usefulness to the whole population, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, hindering innovation and effective health discoveries, and undermining…

Social, Behavioral, and Economic COVID Coordinating Center Launches New Website & Resources

The Social, Behavioral, and Economic COVID Coordinating Center (SBE CCC), an effort led by the University of Michigan’s Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently developed a new website with a host of resources on coordinating research efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.  The SBE CCC acts as an information hub for communication about COVID-19 research, information-sharing between researchers, and sharing opportunities among the social, behavioral, and economic sciences community. Among the resources available on the new website are breaking news stories about COVID-19 research, podcasts and webinars, and publications…

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