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. 

John T. Jost and Daniela Goya-Tocchetto Answer “Why Social Science?”

This month’s Why Social Science? post comes from Dr. John T. Jost (New York University) and Dr. Daniela Goya-Tocchetto (University of Buffalo) who discuss political polarization and the future of American democracy. Read on for more.

Congress Works to Complete Appropriations as Scheduled; House-CJS Bill Postponed to Late June

As August recess and the looming November elections rapidly approach, Congress is working on the appropriations process as scheduled. While there has been no movement in the Senate on appropriations bills beyond budget hearings, the House Appropriations committee released a preliminary schedule in May that they have been following closely (see previous COSSA coverage). As expected, the House Appropriations subcommittees for the Legislative Branch, State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, and Defense bills have progressed as expected with mark-ups. Further, the House has already passed the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Bill in full-committee. As previously reported, the House…

Reps. DeGette, Bucshon Seek Stakeholder Input on Next-Generation Cures Bill

On June 6, Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Representative Larry Bucshon (R-IN) announced a request for input (RFI) from stakeholders on the next-generation Cures bill. As previously reported by COSSA, the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act provided an increase of funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), directed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve drugs and devices with greater urgency, provided resources to states to assist in fighting the opioid epidemic, and provided a boost for mental health care. In 2021, Rep. DeGette introduced the Cures 2.0 Act to build upon the first but the legislation was never fully passed (see previous…

OSTP Releases RFI on Disability Equity for Data Collection

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has released a request for information (RFI) on the Federal Evidence Agenda of Disability Equity. The RFI is a part of the ongoing efforts outlined in the Presidential Executive Order Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (see previous COSSA coverage). The RFI is intended to influence the Federal Agenda of Disability Equity on topics such as disparities faced by individuals with disabilities as well as areas for improvement and the development of safeguards within federal data collection for individuals with disabilities. A list of the questions asked…

White House Issues Blueprint for Use of Social and Behavioral Science in Policymaking

Last month, the White House released a report promoting better use of social and behavioral science research in evidence-based policymaking across the federal government. This document places a long-overdue spotlight on the social and behavioral sciences and their utility in addressing some of the country’s most pressing challenges. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released the Blueprint for the Use of Social and Behavioral Science to Advance Evidence-Based Policymaking in May. The blueprint is the product of nearly two years of work by social and behavioral science experts from across federal agencies and departments.  The development of a framework for social…

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…

NIMH Seeks Feedback on Current Strategic Plan for Research

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is seeking feedback on its current Strategic Plan for Research to improve the potential usability, effectiveness, and impact of future strategic plans. The Strategic Plan for Research guides the NIMH and outlines the institute’s priorities, spanning fundamental science to public health impact. The deadline for feedback is July 24 and responses can be submitted here.

New Resources Detail Successes of DOJ Research Investments

In 2023, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a new website where visitors can obtain information on awards OJP has made to grantees. The main feature is a database that allows one to search for projects dating back to 2021. OJP is the organizational home for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), both of whose grants can also be found in the database.  More recently, OJP produced a video to help visitors navigate the new award site. Additional features of the site include a compilation of success stories stemming from OJP investment and a Grantee…

DBASSE Hosts First Webinar in 2024 Spring Hauser Webinar Series

On May 23, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) hosted the first of two webinars in their Hauser 2024 Spring Webinar Series titled, “Navigating the Era of Artificial Intelligence: Achieving Human-AI Harmony.” The webinar focused on the 2022 report titled Human-AI Teaming: State of the Art and Research Needs. The panel consisted of a diverse group of researchers from varying universities and organizations focused on artificial intelligence (AI). The panelists discussed changes in AI, including increased communication between real AI and humans, advancements in ethics of human-AI teaming, and ongoing…

Sage Launches Free Collection of Social Science Resources on Global Democracy and Elections

On May 30, Sage launched a free-to-read hub of social and behavioral science resources focused on global democracy and elections. The hub contains a selection of free resources to help foster evidence-based discussions about the 2024 elections and democracy as a whole. The collection is accessible to students, librarians, faculty, researchers, and policymakers. It will help educators encourage critical thinking on key subjects shaping politics in a significant election year. The resources available include articles, reports, videos, and more, grouping resources into four key subject areas: Democracy, Elections, Teaching and Politics, and International Politics. Explore the free resources on the democracy and elections…

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.

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