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. 

NRC Committee on Law and Justice Seeks New Director

The National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) is conducting a search for a new board director for its Committee on Law and Justice. Established in 1975, the Committee’s mission is to “improve research methods and information to inform and support the development of national and state-level criminal justice policy, and to extend and help advance criminological and criminal justice research.” The director will work with the Committee Chair, senior staff, and Committee members to “provide intellectual leadership by identifying current and emerging issues in criminal justice; develop workshops, conferences, and studies by separate panels of experts; and seek funds for…

Nominations Sought for Science Communication Awards

The National Academies’ Keck Futures Initiative has issued a call for nominations for its 2015 Communication Awards. Prizes in the amount of $20,000 are given to individuals or teams “who have developed creative, original works that address issues and advances in science, engineering and/or medicine for the general public” in four categories: book, film/radio/television, magazine/newspaper, and online. More information, including nomination instructions and eligibility criteria, is available on the Futures Initiative website. The deadline for nominations is February 9, 2015. 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.

APA Seeks New Executive Director for Science

The American Psychological Association (APA), a COSSA Governing Member, is looking for its next Executive Director for Science (see here). Former COSSA Executive Committee Chair Steven Breckler vacated the position and left APA in late 2014; Howard Kurtzman, current deputy, is serving as the acting executive director until the new head is named. The position oversees the APA Science Directorate. Applications are sought by March 13. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Events Calendar

Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, February 26-28, 2015 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 3-7, 2015 Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations Annual Meeting, New Brunswick, NJ, March 5-7, 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, Washington, DC, March 9-10, 2015 American Psychosomatic Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Savannah, GA, March 18-21, 2015 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, March 19-21, 2015 Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 25-29, 2015 Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, March 26-29, 2015 Midwest Sociological Society…

NIH: Four Opportunities in the Science of Behavior Change

Human behavior accounts for approximately 40 percent of the risk associated with preventable premature deaths in the U.S. Researchers are beginning to make progress in understanding some of the basic mechanisms that account for less-than-optimal initiation and maintenance of behavior change. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) via its Common Fund supports a Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) program initiative that “seeks to promote basic research on the initiation, personalization and maintenance of behavior change” (see Update, February 10, 2014). By integrating work across disciplines, the agency believes that this effort will lead to an improved understanding of the underlying…

Science and Human Rights Coalition Explores the Risks and Promise of Big Data

The AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, of which COSSA is a member, held its biannual meeting on January 15, focusing on the connections between Big Data and Human Rights. The Coalition brings together organizations and individuals who recognized a role for scientists and engineers in human rights.

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 34 Issue 1

From the Executive Director Featured News COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Registration now open Congressional News 114th Congress Gavels In; Committee Leaders Appointed Federal Agency & Administration News President’s FY 2016 Budget Request to be Released February 2 SACHRP Seeks Nominations for New Members Public Comment Sought for Death Master File Certification Program Profile of New BEA Director in Amstat News Publications & Community Events NRC Roundtable Discusses Need for Improved Public Understanding of Social Science Research Funding Opportunities NSF: Science of Learning Collaborative Networks NIH: BD2K Biomedical Science Training Coordination Center NIH: BD2K MOOC on…

From the Executive Director

Happy 2015! COSSA is thrilled to kick-off the New Year with a brand new logo, look, and website. Check it out at www.cossa.org, where you will also find the latest news and analysis of policy developments impacting social and behavioral science research, archives of the COSSA Washington Update, details on the upcoming COSSA Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day (more below), information on how to become a COSSA member, and much more. We are looking forward to working with you in the year ahead to promote social and behavioral science research! Wendy A. Naus COSSA Executive Director Back to this issue’s…

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Registration now open

Registration is now open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public; however, the advocacy day meetings are reserved for representatives of COSSA member organizations and institutions. The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. It provides an opportunity for COSSA members and others to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and…

114th Congress Gavels In; Committee Leaders Appointed

The 114th Congress was officially sworn in on January 6. The new Congress includes a freshman class of 52 Representatives (36 Republicans and 16 Democrats) and 12 Senators (11 Republicans and 1 Democrat), as well as a new GOP majority in the Senate. The party split now stands at 246 Republicans to 188 Democrats (and 1 vacancy) in the House and 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 2 Independents in the Senate.

President’s FY 2016 Budget Request to Be Released February 2

In an effort to promote a return of the annual appropriations process to “regular order,” the White House announced that it will release its fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress by the legally-mandated deadline of the first Monday in February (February 2). This will be the first time in five years that the request is submitted on time; the request was released several weeks late in previous years. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

SACHRP Seeks Nominations for New Members

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP), the advisory body of the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), is seeking nominations to fill two spots that will become vacant in July 2015. The Committee provides guidance on matters “relating to the responsible conduct of research involving human subjects with particular emphasis on special populations such as neonates and children, prisoners, the decisionally impaired, pregnant women, embryos and fetuses, individuals and populations in international studies, populations in which there are individually identifiable samples, data or information; and investigator conflicts of interest.” Qualified candidates will possess expertise and experience in…

Public Comment Sought for Death Master File Certification Program

On December 30, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register for the establishment of a certification program to “certify” persons to access Death Master File (DMF) information about an individual within three years of that individual’s death. The new program would replace the temporary certification program in place since 2013. The deadline for comments has been extended to March 30. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Profile of New BEA Director in Amstat News

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Director Brian Moyer was recently profiled in Amstat News, the membership newsletter of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The piece gives readers a closer look at the new BEA head, whose tenure began in September 2014, as well as a deeper understanding of the agency itself. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NRC Roundtable Discusses Need for Improved Public Understanding of Social Science Research

On January 8, the National Research Council (NRC) Roundtable on the Application of Social and Behavioral Science Research convened its first meeting. Chaired by Arthur “Skip” Lupia from the University of Michigan, the Roundtable brings together a diverse set of stakeholders in the social and behavioral science community to discuss ways to improve public understanding of social science research as well as the research community’s understanding of the uses of research by various sectors, such as industry, military, or public health. Membership includes “those who create SBS research, those who use it, and those who know how to communicate about…

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…

NIH: BD2K Biomedical Science Training Coordination Center

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications for a coordination center designed to narrow the gap between the availability of biomedical big data and the ability of biomedical scientists to utilize such data accurately, effectively, and efficiently. The funding opportunity announcement, NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Biomedical Science Training Coordination Center (RFA-ES-15-004), responds to increasingly large, diverse, and complex biomedical datasets. These datasets tax conventional methods for sharing, managing, and analyzing data. Researchers’ abilities to capitalize on biomedical big data science-based approaches are limited by poor data accessibility and interoperability, the lack of appropriate tools, and insufficient…

NIH: BD2K MOOC on Data Management for Biomedical Big Data

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications designed to develop an open, online educational course that complements and/or enhances the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Data Management (RFA-LM-15-001), focuses on curriculum or methods development.

NIJ: Forensic Science and Elder Abuse

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has issued a solicitation for proposals on research and development in forensic science for criminal justice purposes. The agency is looking to fund research that will “(1) Increase the body of knowledge to guide and inform forensic science policy and practice or; (2) Result in the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods that have the potential for forensic application.” Proposals examining human factors as they relate to specific disciplines within forensic science will be accepted. More information is available in the full solicitation. The deadline for proposals is April 8, 2015.

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