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. 

Catch Up on COSSA’s May Headlines Webinar

Did you miss our May Headlines Webinar on Recent Developments at the U.S. Census Bureau? You can catch up on the recording here featuring special guest Dr. Robert L. Santos, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau! Watch for additional COSSA Headlines announcements and view previous webinar recordings on the COSSA website.

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…

House Appropriations Committee Releases Subcommittee Allocations and Bill Mark-Up Schedule

Earlier this month, the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), newly appointed in April, released subcommittee allocations and a preliminary schedule for the fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget. The subcommittee allocations were approved on May 23 with a vote of 30-22. While defense would see an increase of nearly $9 billion in funding, the total allocation to the non-defense discretionary funding would see a decrease of approximately 6 percent. This decrease, however, would not be evenly distributed across the twelve bills, with some subcommittees receiving significant cuts, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) subcommittee which…

Senate LHHS Subcommittee Holds NIH FY 2025 Budget Hearing

On May 23, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a budget hearing on the National institutes of Health (NIH) fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget request. Witnesses included NIH Director Monica Bertagnolli as well as directors of the following NIH institutes and centers: National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The hearing focused on advancements in medical research and treatment on topics such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, mental health,…

Bipartisan Senate AI Working Group Releases Blueprint on AI Policy

The Bipartisan Senate Artificial Intelligence (AI) Working Group led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Mike Rounds, Senator Martin Heinrich, and Senator Todd Young, recently released a report, Driving U.S. Innovation in Artificial Intelligence: A Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Policy in the United States Senate. As AI becomes a topical issue in virtually all aspects of life, the Senate working group held a series of forums dedicated to understanding the benefits and detriments of potential uses of AI technology prior to the release of this report (see COSSA’s previous coverage on AI). The report recommends committees continue to collaborate on…

NIMH Releases RFI on Improving Research Frameworks on Studying Racism on Brain and Behavioral Health

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a request for information (RFI) seeking input on ways to improve research frameworks on studying racism on brain and behavioral health. The RFI seeks input on identifying and addressing gaps in the impact of structural racism on brain, cognitive, and behavioral function, and the role of structural and systemic racism on the conduct of brain and behavioral health research. Comments will be accepted through June 14, 2024. Submissions can be made here. 

NIH Releases Strategic Plan on Research on Health of Women

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in partnership with the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) housed within the agency, has released a NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for the Research on the Health of Women. The strategic plan outlines five goals, including: Further, the report underscores the importance of utilizing behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR) when addressing women’s health by affirming that “continued and expanded support for BSSR can enhance understanding of factors that influence the health of women and can facilitate the development of actionable interventions that address health disparities and advance equity for women.” More information about the…

Senate HELP Ranking Member Cassidy Releases White Paper on Recommendations to Improve the NIH

On May 9, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released a white paper titled NIH in the 21 Century: Ensuring Transparency and American Biomedical Leadership. The white paper was released following the collection of comments from a request for information (RFI) from Cassidy’s office on reforming the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (see previous COSSA coverage). In the white paper, Cassidy underscored the importance of NIH-funded research, citing that “every dollar NIH spends on research generates $2.46 in economic activity” and the “FY 23 investments provided support for over 400,000 jobs and generated…

NIH Releases RFI on the Development of the FY 2026-2030 Strategic Plan for Sexual & Gender Minority Health Research

On May 9, the Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for information (RFI). The RFI invites feedback from the community on the development of the Fiscal Years 2026-2030 NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research. The plan will describe future directions in sexual and gender minority health and research to optimize NIH’s research investments. Comments must be received by June 26, 2024. All responses should be submitted here.

Introducing SRCD’s Child Policy Hub

On May 10, the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) announced the launch of their Child Policy Hub. Child Policy Hub was designed with leading policy and academic experts with the goal to transform SRCD’s policy programs. The Hub, exclusive to SRCD members, includes a suite of policy trainings and programs that will give members new ways to improve evidence-based policymaking. Members will be able to answer policymakers’ research questions, access new trainings, network with policymakers, hear from esteemed scholars, submit ideas for policy briefs, and more. To learn more, visit here. SRCD is a COSSA member organization.

2024 Social Science Advocates Answer “Why Social Science?” 

This month’s Why Social Science? post comes from three participants from this year’s Social Science Advocacy Day who reflected upon their advocacy experiences and the importance of advocating for the social sciences.  Read on for more. 

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…

PCAST Releases Report on Supercharging Research: Harnessing AI to Meet Global Challenges

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) announced a new report on Supercharging Research: Harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Meet Global Challenges. The report was developed in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence (see previous COSSA coverage) and explores the positive and negative impacts of AI technologies. PCAST emphasizes the importance of AI being used as a tool, not a replacement, for workers. PCAST included the following recommendations for the Biden Administration in the report:  The full report can be viewed here in addition to PCAST’s letter to the President and the Executive Summary of…

NIMH Workshop: Discrimination as a Social Determinant of Mental Health Disparities

On June 6, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be hosting a one-day workshop with expert investigators, NIH staff, and the public to discuss the science of discrimination and mental health disparities, and to identify research gaps and opportunities in mental health disparities research.  Register to attend here. 

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.  

DBASSE Announces Hauser 2024 Spring Webinar Series

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) has announced their Hauser 2024 Spring Webinar Series titled, “Navigating the Era of Artificial Intelligence: Achieving Human-AI Harmony“.  The two-part webinar series will explore DBASSE’s expertise in artificial intelligence and highlight the value of social and behavioral science perspectives. This first webinar will expand on insights from the 2022 report, Human-AI Teaming: State-of-the-Art and Research Needs, to focus on how the presence of artificial intelligence systems affects the ways people work in teams. The session will explore the efficiencies and inefficiencies created by integrated…

NEW ACTION ALERT: Write to Congress TODAY to Urge Support for FY 2025 Science Funding

Deadlines in the House of Representatives for FY 2025 funding requests are this week. It is critical that lawmakers hear from you TODAY to urge their support for federal science agencies. One way that Members of Congress can express their support for science funding is by signing a “Dear Colleague Letter.” These letters, which are sponsored by one or more Members of Congress, are circulated to all Congressional offices to solicit additional signatures. The final letters are sent to the Appropriations Committees and typically urge the committee to include a specific funding level for an agency or program in the…

REGISTER NOW: May 22 Webinar to Feature Census Director – Register Now!

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. The next webinar will be taking place on May 22, featuring a discussion with the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, Robert L. Santos. RSVP here. Did you miss April’s webinar? You can watch the recording now to catch up on our discussion about the behavioral and social science priorities at the National Institutes of Health with Dr. Jane M. Simoni. Headlines is a webinar series available to COSSA member organizations.

Congress Approves Emergency Supplemental Funding with FY 2025 Appropriations Underway

As previously reported, Congress has begun working on the fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget process with hearings for federal agencies underway. In preparation for drafting appropriations legislation, the House Appropriations Committee released guidance on submitting programmatic and report language requests for members with a deadline of May 1. However, with Congress looking towards the upcoming elections in November, it’s unclear whether they will complete any of the bills prior to the October 1 deadline. On April 24, emergency funding was signed into law by President Biden to provide supplemental funding to the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy science programs, the National Nuclear Security…

House Oversight Committee Holds Hearing on Government Influence Over Scientific Journals

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability’s Select Committee on the Coronavirus held a hearing on Academic Malpractice: Examining the Relationship Between Scientific Journals, the Government, and Peer Review with Dr. Holden Thorp, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Science. Thorp was one of several individuals invited to testify but the only one to attend. During the opening remarks for the hearing, Chair Dr. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) described the relationship between scientific journals and the government during the coronavirus pandemic as a negative source of government and political influence on scientific research. However, Dr. Thorp reiterated the in-depth process of developing scientific journals, including the…

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