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. 

Dept. of Ed Seeks Input on Mental and Behavioral Health of Students in Higher Education

The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) within the Department of Education (DOE) has issued a request for information (RFI) regarding support systems for the mental and behavioral health of students in higher education. Recognizing the rising rates of depression and anxiety over the past two decades, OPE seeks successful examples of addressing student mental health and substance use disorder needs, transforming campus cultures at institutions of higher education (IHEs), and receiving support from State higher education agencies. Further, OPE seeks to understand challenges that IHEs face in implementing solutions. Comments are requested by February 25 and can be submitted here. This article was…

NSF Launches New National AI Research Resource Pilot

On January 24, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with various agencies, launched the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot. This initiative takes a first step towards creating a research infrastructure aimed at both strengthening and democratizing access to the essential resources required for responsible AI discovery and innovation. The NAIRR pilot is designed to equip U.S.-based researchers and educators with access to advanced computing power, extensive datasets, sophisticated models, cutting-edge software, and comprehensive training and support. By fostering collaboration across academia, industry, the nonprofit sector, and government, the program intends to utilize cross-sector partnerships. According to NSF,…

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Draft Scientific Integrity Policy

On January 24, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a 30-day public comment period on the draft updates to its Scientific Integrity (SI) Policy. This policy is in response to the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) memorandum requiring federal agencies to develop scientific integrity policies to restore trust in science (see previous COSSA coverage). The updated SI Policy will adopt a new Federal definition of scientific integrity and meaningfully strengthen several policy elements that will help ensure a culture of scientific integrity at the Agency. It will incorporate the model scientific integrity policy from the National Science and Technology Council’s A…

Applications for NIJ’s Graduate Research Fellowship Open

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is now accepting applications for their Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program. The program is looking for 20 new fellows and supports doctoral research with relevance to criminal or juvenile justice in the United States. This includes anthropology, sociology, public policy, information sciences, criminology, forensic science, technology for law enforcement, and more. Applications from all science and engineering fields are welcome. The fellowship provides up to three years of support within a five-year period and includes: The grants.gov deadline is April 10 and the JustGrants deadline is April 17. Students must be enrolled full time in a Ph.D….

AAPOR Awards Deadline Extended

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has extended their awards deadline to February 21. AAPOR has a portfolio of awards to recognize distinguished work in the profession, as well as to further the education of students and early career researchers. AAPOR is a COSSA governing member association and welcomes and encourages diversity in all aspects of the research profession, including their award nominees. Learn more about the different awards that are open for submissions here. Don’t wait to send in your nominations!

Advocacy Day Spotlight: Join an Informational Webinar

Is this your first Social Science Advocacy Day? Do you have questions or are you curious about what to expect from the event? Join us for one of our informational webinars! We will be hosting two sessions to provide an overview of Advocacy Day, how to register, answer any questions, and more. Both webinars will share the same information, so you will only need to attend one. The first session will take place on January 25, 2024 at 10am EST and the second session will be on February 13, 2024 at 3pm EST. Contact Elyse Bailey at ebailey@cossa.org with any additional questions.

Congress Narrowly Passes CR to Extend Funding to March

As reported by COSSA, Congress previously passed two stop-gap measures to allow additional time to complete the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills. On January 18, the day before the last continuing resolution (CR) deadline, the House and Senate struck a deal to extend funding to March. Like the previous CR, the new stop-gap measure includes “tiered deadlines” for the unpassed spending bills. The deadline for the first tranche of bills (the Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Energy-Water and Transportation-HUD bills) has been extended to March 1. The remaining bills (including Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Commerce, Justice Science, which…

2024 NIJ Research Conference: Advancing Justice Through Science

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is inviting submissions for lightning talks and research posters for their 2024 Research Conference: Advancing Justice Through Science. The conference will take place September 16-18 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. NIJ is welcoming proposals for 10-minute lightning talks on emerging issues and pioneering methods in research on safety and justice. Submissions for the poster session must focus on current issues and/or innovative methods that have an impact on the criminal or juvenile justice system in the United States and may involve social, behavioral, or forensic sciences; technology; and/or engineering. Eligibility for both opportunities is open to both…

Nominations Open for Distinguished Lecturer at the 17th Matilda White Riley Honors

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting nominations for an outstanding social-behavioral scientist as candidates for Distinguished Lecturer at the 17th Matilda White Riley Honors. The Matilda White Riley Honors are an annual event recognizing transformative work in the fields of social and behavioral science along with early-career researchers. Nominees should have a research career that has “advanced behavioral and social scientific knowledge in areas within NIH’s mission and that expands upon Dr. White Riley’s work.” Nominees need not have NIH funding. More information is available on the OBSSR website. Nominee information should…

NSF Announces New ReDDDoT Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched the Responsible Design, Development, and Deployment of Technologies (ReDDDoT) program, calling for multidisciplinary, multi-sector teams to explore responsible technological innovation. This program aims to embed ethical, legal, and societal considerations into the lifecycle of technology development, with an emphasis on the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 goal of fostering partnerships across academia, industry, and non-profits (see previous COSSA coverage). With a budget of $16 million, subject to the availability of funds, the NSF anticipates making 28 to 36 awards through this program. If interested in participating, learn more here.

NIH Requests Comments on Strategic Plan for Data Science

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a request for information (RFI) on their draft Strategic Plan for Data Science. As previously reported by COSSA, the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science was initially released in 2018. The plan is intended to address advances in data collection, including the increase in quantity and diversity within data, and support data science as a tool for understanding health sciences. In the draft, NIH outlines five goals, including aims to improve NIH policy for data collection, maximize data for research, expand opportunities in data collection services, including artificial intelligence (AI), support a federal biomedical research data…

AAPSS Hosts Webinar: Civic Education in a Time of Democratic Crisis

On January 16, the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) hosted a webinar on “Civic Education in a Time of Democratic Crisis.” Esteemed panelists convened to address the pressing need for a revitalized approach to civic education. Amidst deep political division, the webinar underscored the critical need to revisit and enhance the teaching of government, philosophy, and civics within our educational institutions. The panelists collectively called for a nationwide public dialogue aimed at redefining the content and methodology of student engagement in civic education. They stressed the importance of incorporating diverse historical perspectives and fostering an environment conducive to civil…

COSSA Remembers Science Champion Eddie Bernice Johnson

On New Year’s Eve, the scientific community lost one of its most dedicated champions. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) represented the people of Dallas in Congress for 30 years, retiring at the end of 2022. Over those 15 terms in Congress, Johnson served as a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, most recently serving as Chair. Johnson began her career as a nurse after being told that women could not be doctors. She rose through the ranks of the Veterans Administration hospital in Dallas, ultimately becoming chief psychiatric nurse. She became active in civil rights efforts and…

Advocacy Day Spotlight: Join an Informational Webinar

Curious about 2024 Social Science Advocacy Day? Do you have questions or want to know more about what to expect? Join us for one of our informational webinars! We will be hosting two sessions: January 25, 2024 at 10am EST and February 13, 2024 at 3pm EST. The sessions will provide an overview of Advocacy Day, how to register, answer any questions, and more!

Funding Deal Struck: House and Senate Leaders Take First Step Towards Avoiding Government Shutdown

On Sunday, House and Senate leaders took the first step to avoiding a government shutdown by reaching an agreement to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2024. This agreement includes a total of $1.66 trillion for discretionary spending in FY 2024. The spending is divided into $886.3 billion for defense and $772.7 billion for domestic discretionary spending. This allocation adheres to the previous deal between President Biden and then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which included a $69 billion side deal for non-defense discretionary funding to keep those accounts whole. Under the agreement, the defense budget will receive a 3…

Lawmakers Author a Congressional Letter Addressing Foreign Influence in U.S. Research

In a notable move addressing concerns over foreign influence in federally funded research, U.S. lawmakers, including Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Rep. Judy Chu (CA-28) and Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), have urged the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to scrutinize the impartiality of current investigations. This request, highlighted in a detailed letter, emphasizes the need for adopting a bias-free and nondiscriminatory attitude towards investment from foreign institutions. The spotlight falls on agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which have been actively investigating researchers with alleged foreign ties. The lawmakers’ request to the GAO includes critical questions about due…

Congressional Leaders Seek Clarity and Commitment in NIST AI Safety Research Funding

A bipartisan group of Congressional leaders has reached out to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeking clarity and commitment on the funding processes and research quality of the newly established Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute (AISI). The group, led by House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) sent a letter to the NIST Director to address concerns. Given the nascent and complex nature of AI safety research, the letter highlights the issues currently plaguing the field, including self-referential findings, lack of rigorous critique, and a general disagreement over scope, taxonomies, and…

OBSSR Opens Applications for Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Research

The Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR) within the National Institute of Health (NIH) is currently accepting proposals for the Career Enhancement Award to Advance Research on Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention grant program. Applications should focus on firearm injury and mortality prevention research with topics in areas such as accidental injury, intimate partner/dating violence, youth violence, and more. Applications are due March 15.

Census Bureau Seeks Nominations for Scientific Advisory Committee

The Census Bureau is seeking nominations for their Scientific Advisory Committee. The Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee advises the director of the Census Bureau on programs and activities, policies, research, surveys, and other items as needed. Committee members will be expected to serve a three-year term and to have experience in one of the following fields: communications, demographic, economic, field operations, geography, information technology, and statistics. The Bureau is especially interested in people with experience in survey methodology, information technology, computer science and engineering, geography, psychology, business/finance, sociology, and marketing. Nominations are due February 2 and should be emailed to census.scientific.advisory.committee@census.gov with the subject…

NCSES Releases Knowledge Base to Improve Understanding of Data

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) in the National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a Knowledge Base, a new user resource on NCSES tools and data. The website provides robust information on how to understand and use NCSES data as well as answers to frequently asked questions and a glossary for commonly used terms. The Knowledge Base is intended to help people navigate NCSES data while simultaneously providing support in an easy and accessible way. This resource comes as NCSES works towards making their data more available for public use. Questions can be sent to ncsesdata@nsf.gov. 

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