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. 

Biden Administration Names Nancy La Vigne, Criminologist & COSSA Board Member, to Lead National Institute of Justice

On May 4, it was announced that President Biden has appointed Dr. Nancy La Vigne to be the next Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). La Vigne, a distinguished criminal justice researcher, brings a wealth of experience in criminal justice policy, research, and non-profit leadership. Formerly a senior fellow at the Council on Criminal Justice, La Vigne holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas-Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Smith College. She has over a decade…

May Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Science

Biden Administration Names DOD’s Karin Orvis as Chief Statistician

On April 29, it was announced that President Biden would name Karin Orvis as the permanent Chief Statistician of the United States at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a position that has been vacant for more than two years. Orvis comes to OMB with experience from the Department of Defense (DOD), having previously served as the director of DOD’s Defense Suicide Prevention Office, as acting principal director of military community and family policy, and as director of DOD’s Transition to Veterans Program Office. The role of Chief Statistician has not had a permanent director since Nancy…

Biden Reappoints Two NSB Members, More Appointments yet to be Announced

On May 4, President Biden announced his intention to reappoint two members to the National Science Board (NSB) for the 2022-2028 term. Vice President for Research at the University of the District of Columbia and NSB Vice-Chair Dr. Victor McReary and Executive Emeritus of Sandia National Laboratories Dr. Julia Phillips are both sitting members of NSB and will now serve a second six-year term starting on May 10. Six other NSB members will have their terms expire on May 10 and President Biden has not indicated whom he intends to fill the vacancies. Of the departing members, three have served…

NSF Launches Regional Innovation Engines Program at New Directorate

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) has announced the establishment of a new program and funding opportunity called the NSF Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines. This new program – touting its three core functions as use-inspired research, translation of innovation results to society, and workforce development – aims to develop technology and innovation hubs throughout regions of the United States to bolster economic growth and address societal challenges. The NSF Engines program will provide up to $160 million for up to 10 years to establish each Engine and embed them within the ecosystem…

Office of Justice Programs Releases New Podcast

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the Department of Justice has developed a new official podcast called Justice Today, which covers topics related to the criminal justice system and research, including preventing crime, assisting victims of crime, and disseminating criminal justice research and data. Some of the episodes that have been produced so far include: April 22, 2022 – An Introduction to Justice Today April 25, 2022 – Desistance: It’s a Process, Not an Event April 27, 2022 – Making Second Chances Work; Reentry from Incarceration April 28, 2022 – Chris Poulos: Making the Most of Second Chances You…

National Academies to Hold Seminar on the Future of Work

On May 31, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will hold a public seminar on the Future of Work during the meeting of the Board on Human-Systems Integration. This seminar, which will feature speakers from scientific societies and federal agencies, will focus on various systems-based issues related to the future of work such as building resilience to threats in the future workplace, understanding how human behavior influences algorithmic bias in workplace decision-making, and understanding how to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion in the future workplace. Registration for the event is available here.

White House Compiles Federal Equity Action Plans

The White House has published a list of equity action plans that have been developed by various federal agencies in order to comply with President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (E.O. 13985) issued on the first day of his term (see previous coverage for more details). According to the White House announcement, more than 90 federal agencies across the government were consulted to contribute to the equity action plans to address where barriers to accessing federal programs may exist and identify changes to federal policy that could be made….

Participants Reflect on Social Science Advocacy Day to Answer “Why Social Science?”

The latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from three participants from this year’s Social Science Advocacy Day who reflect upon their advocacy experiences and the importance of advocating for the social sciences.

Congress Returns from Recess, Gets Moving on FY 2023 Budget Oversight

Congress returns this week from its two-week recess to a packed agenda. Oversight hearings on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request have begun in earnest, with Biden Administration officials appearing before House and Senate Committees throughout the week to defend the President’s funding priorities for next year. Reports indicate an ambitious timeline in the House for considering the FY 2023 appropriations bills. It has been reported that House leadership is looking to hold floor votes on as many FY 2023 bills as possible in July, meaning the House Appropriations Committee and various subcommittees will need to complete their…

Newly Created Advanced Research Agency Transferred to NIH

On April 20, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that the newly created Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) would be formally transferred to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ARPA-H, which has been a frequently touted priority for the Biden Administration, was newly established in March with the passage of the final appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2022. Although initially established as an independent agency, the appropriations bill gave the HHS secretary authority to transfer ARPA-H elsewhere within the Department, including NIH (see COSSA’s analysis of the final FY 2022 Appropriations…

Equitable Data Working Group Releases Report

On April 22, the Equitable Data Working Group (“Working Group”) released a report on advancing the use of equitable data in the government. The Working Group was established in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (E.O. 13985). The Working Group consulted several outside organizations during their information collection, including several COSSA governing members such as the American Economic Association, the American Statistical Association, and the Population Association of America. Some of the major recommendations from the report include calling for making disaggregated data the norm, catalyzing existing…

National Academies to Host OSTP’s Alondra Nelson for Discussion on Equity in Federal Research

On May 12, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will host a hybrid event featuring Dr. Alondra Nelson, Acting Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), for a discussion regarding equity within federal research programs. The event will feature keynote remarks from Dr. Nelson on co-producing scientific knowledge in partnership with diverse groups of stakeholders. Following these remarks will be a moderated panel discussion and a public forum to answer, “what does equitable co-production look like in practice?” and “what should it look like?” Registration in advance is required to attend the event in person,…

President’s FY 2023 Budget Request for Social and Behavioral Science

As previously reported, the Biden Administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request to Congress on March 28. The FY 2023 budget prioritizes investment in areas of central importance to the Biden Administration, such as innovation and competitiveness, cancer research, and technological advancement. In addition, like we saw in last year’s budget request, the Administration’s budget underscores the President’s commitment to science as a means for addressing large societal challenges, such as climate change, racism, and, of course, pandemic recovery. However, the budget seeks to achieve these ends through targeted investments that could potentially come at the expense of…

April Headlines to Feature Recap of Social Science News

Recap of COSSA’s 2022 Social Science Advocacy Day

It is not too late to get in on the action. Check out COSSA’s Action Alert and send a quick note to your elected officials today to voice your support for federal science agencies that advance the social and behavioral sciences.

Congress Continues to Hint at Upcoming Mental Health Package

On April 5, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health met to discuss legislation to support American mental health and well-being. The hearing, overseen by Subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Ranking Member Brett Guthrie (R-KY), is one of many Congressional hearings held in the past few months focused on potential policy solutions related to mental health (see previous coverage for more details). The hearing included two panels of experts. The first panel featured Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, and Administrator at…

NSF Announces Research Security Activities for 2022-23

As part of its budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2023 (see related article), the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its intent to commission a JASON study this year, during FY 2022, “to provide guidance on the establishment of a Research on Research Security funding program” that would begin in FY 2023. According to the budget materials, NSF would conduct several activities related to research security in 2023, including: Work with other federal research agencies “to establish uniform mechanisms for research investigators to provide agencies with consistent information on their appointments, activities, and sources of financial support.” Stand up the…

National Academies Release Reports on Education Research and Statistics

Recently, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) have released prepublications of reports evaluating education research and statistics activities within the Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES). The first of which, titled The Future of Education Research at IES: Advancing an Equity-Oriented Science, analyzes the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) within IES to identify pressing issues facing the centers and developing approaches for future education research programs. The report identifies several areas for future focus, including: Adopting new categories for types of research that reflect the…

Last Chance to Register for UIDP Workshop on University-Industry Partnerships in the Social Sciences!

The University of Maryland and UIDP, in collaboration with COSSA, the National Science Foundation, MITRE, the Optimal Solutions Group, SAGE Publishing, and the Federation of Associations in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, will be hosting the second part of the Workshop on U-I Partnerships in the Social Sciences. The in-person workshop will be held April 20-21 at The Hotel at the University of Maryland. The event will bring together “a group of experts and leaders from academia, industry, and government to consider how academic-corporate partnerships can advance social, behavioral, and organizational science research to positively impact science and society.” Learn more…

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