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. 

Steven Breckler, COSSA Chair, to Leave APA

Steven Breckler, Executive Director for Science at the American Psychological Association (APA), will leave APA at the end of the year after 10 years in the position. APA is a COSSA Governing Member and Breckler currently serves as chair of the COSSA Executive Committee. He is praised for his service to APA in the announcement of his departure released last month. Breckler’s service to COSSA as well cannot be overstated; he is a longtime member of the COSSA Board of Directors, served as chair of the Executive Committee for the last two years, and chaired the 2013 search committee for…

Events Calendar

Webinar: Producing Government Data with Statistical Confidentiality Controls, American Statistical Association Privacy and Confidentiality Committee, December 17, 2014 COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, Washington, DC, March 9-10, 2015 A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA web page. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Leiden Statement: “Social Sciences and Humanities Indispensable to Understanding and Addressing Global Challenges”

“The social sciences and humanities are indispensable to understanding and addressing contemporary global challenges, and to grasping emerging opportunities. Every challenge the world faces has a human dimension, and no solution can be achieved without enlisting the support and efforts of individuals, communities and societies,” according to the Leiden Statement: The Role of the Social Sciences and Humanities in the Global Research Landscape, released in November. The Statement’s signatories are the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the China 9 grouping of leading Chinese universities (C9), the Australian Group of Eight research-intensive universities (Go8),…

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 33 Issue 21

Featured News More Questions than Answers Following Midterm Elections COSSA in Action COSSA & Partners Urge Congress to Complete FY 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill Scientific Community to Congress: Close the Innovation Deficit Congressional News Congress Returns for Lame Duck Session Federal Agency & Administration News Aging and Mental Health Institutes Seek Comments on Draft Strategic Plans NSF Releases Report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science White House Releases Issues Report on Expanding Opportunity and Addressing Unique Challenges Facing Women and Girls of Color Publications & Community Events Policy Roundtable Seminar Focuses on Stimulating Innovation in Government IOM…

More Questions than Answers Following Midterm Elections

Following last week’s midterm Congressional elections, Republicans have gained control of both chambers of Congress when the 114th Congress is seated in January. Congress returned last week for the start of a month and a half-long lame duck session. On their plate includes must-pass legislation such as the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills and defense authorization bill. However, with the party calculus significantly changed starting next year, action on spending bills and other legislative issues in the lame duck will be all but easy. See the articles that follow for more information.

COSSA & Partners Urge Congress to Complete FY 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill

On November 12, COSSA joined the biomedical and behavioral science community in signing the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research letter to Congress. The letter, which was signed by 303 organizations, urges Congress to “complete an omnibus spending package [that] includes a Labor-HHS-Education bill that restores funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to at least pre-sequestration levels.” The letter also notes, “An omnibus spending bill with a Labor-HHS appropriation restoring NIH to at least pre-sequester funding levels would mark an important step toward a more sustainable, predictable research environment for patients and their families, as well as for…

Scientific Community to Congress: Close the Innovation Deficit

On November 12, COSSA joined 133 partners throughout the scientific, higher education, business and patient communities on a letter to Congress urging passage of an omnibus fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills addresses the “innovation deficit” by including increased investments for scientific research and higher education. As the letter states, “the innovation deficit is the widening gap between the actual level of federal government funding for research and higher education and what the investment needs to be if the United States is to remain the world’s innovation leader… [T]oday, our leadership faces a serious challenge from other nations that are…

Congress Returns for Lame Duck Session

Congress returned to Washington on November 12 for the start of the post-election lame duck session. Among the must-pass actions in this lame duck session are the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills. The current continuing resolution (CR) that has kept the federal government in operation since the start of the fiscal year on October 1 expires on December 11. Leadership and staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have been working behind the scenes on an omnibus bill that would package all twelve of the unpassed appropriations measures into a single package. The goal is to bring the…

NSF Releases Report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science

The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released its biennial report, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, which provides statistical details on women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. The data in the 2013 Digest, which is released every two years as mandated by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (Public Law 96-516), are publicly accessible online and organized by the following themes: enrollment, field of degree, employment status, occupation, academic employment, and persons with disabilities. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

White House Issues Report on Expanding Opportunity and Addressing Challenges Facing Women and Girls of Color

On November 13, the White House Council on Women and Girls (CWG) released a report, Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity. The Council is chaired by Valerie Jarrett. The report highlights the tremendous achievements women of color have made; it also examines the inequities and “distinct” challenges facing women of color and looks at efforts underway to close the gaps in educational outcomes, pay, career opportunity, and health disparities, among other areas.

Academies Board Seeks Nominations for “How People Learn II” Study Committee

The National Academies’ Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the study committee for a new project, “How People Learn II: The Science and Practice of Learning.” The study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will build on the 2000 National Research Council report How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School “by reviewing and synthesizing research that has emerged across the various disciplines that focus on the study of learning from birth through adulthood in both…

NIH: Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently issued a funding opportunity announcement, Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award (PAR-15-033). The award supports the career development of junior investigators with research or health professional doctoral degrees who want to become cancer-focused academic researchers in cancer prevention, cancer control, or the behavioral or population sciences. The award provides salary and mentored research support for a sustained period of “protected time” to junior investigators who are interested in developing academic and research expertise in these health-related fields. NCI will contribute up to $100,000 per year toward the salary of…

Pedro Noguera Receives SAGE-CASBS Award

The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (CASBS), a COSSA member, and SAGE Publications have named Pedro Noguera, New York University, as the 2014 recipient of the SAGE-CASBS award. Now in its second year, the SAGE-CASBS award recognizes “outstanding achievement in advancing the understanding of the behavioral and social sciences as they are applied to pressing social issues.” Noguera, a sociologist, is being recognized for his work on “how schools are influenced by social and economic conditions as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.” More here. Back to this issue’s…

Events Calendar

Aging with HIV/AIDS: Challenges and Successes of a Lifetime Defined by the Epidemic, American Psychological Association, December 3, 2014 Webinar: Producing Government Data with Statistical Confidentiality Controls, American Statistical Association Privacy and Confidentiality Committee, December 17, 2014 A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings can be found on the COSSA web page.

Aging and Mental Health Institutes Seek Comments on Draft Strategic Plans

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are seeking public comment on the development of the Institutes’ strategic plans. The plans will guide the Institutes’ research priorities. National Institute on Aging The NIA recently released a request for information (RFI) seeking guidance on its strategic plan, Aging Well in the 21st Century: Strategic Directions for Research on Aging. The draft plan outlines NIA’s broad strategic directions for the Institute and “provides a point of reference for setting priorities and a framework for systematically analyzing the Institute’s…

Policy Roundtable Seminar Focuses on Stimulating Innovation in Government

The National Academies’ Policy Roundtable of the Behavioral and Social Sciences held a seminar on October 30 focused on “Stimulating Effective Innovation in Government.” The Roundtable is chaired by David T. Ellwood of the Harvard Kennedy School and, beginning in 2015, will be directed by Arlene Lee, Director of the Committee on Law and Justice. For more on the Roundtable, see COSSA’s coverage of its last meeting. Roundtable members are government users and producers of social and behavioral science research and behavioral social and scientists who have spent time in the government (the list of members is available on the…

IOM Recommends Including Social/Behavioral Determinants in Electronic Health Records

On November 13, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2, which recommends a “concrete approach to including social and behavioral determinants in the clinical context to increase clinical awareness of the patient’s state, broadly considered, and to connect clinical, public health, and community resources for work in concert.” The report’s recommendations takes into consideration the “substantial empirical evidence of the contribution of social and behavioral factors to functional status and the onset, progression, and effective treatment of disease [that] has accumulated over the past four decades.”

APSA Releases Report on Improving Perception of Political Science

The American Political Science Association (APSA), a COSSA governing member, has published a report entitled Improving Public Perceptions of Political Science’s Value. The report was written by a task force chaired by Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan (a member of COSSA’s Board of Directors), charged with identifying ways APSA and its members can better explain to the public, policymakers, and the media the contributions political science makes to society. This project comes in the wake of several high-profile attacks by policymakers on the discipline, notably Sen. Tom Coburn’s successful attempt to restrict funding of political science projects at the National…

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 33 Issue 20

In this issue… Featured News Outcome of Midterm Elections May Not Offer Clarity over FY 2015 Endgame COSSA in Action COSSA Weighs in on National Children’s Study Framework Keep up on COSSA in the news here. Federal Agency & Administration News NSF’s SBE Directorate Seeks to Fill Numerous Leadership Posts Census Bureau Seeks Comment on Proposed Elimination of ACS Questions NIH Makes Awards to Enhance Diversity of the Scientific Workforce OHRP Solicits Comments on Draft Guidance on Risk Disclosure in Research Evaluating Standards of Care CDC Requests Nominations for Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response…

COSSA Weighs in on National Children’s Study Framework

On October 26, COSSA sent a letter to the National Children’s Study (NCS) Working Group, a subgroup of the National Institutes of Health Advisory Council to the Director, outlining concerns with the NCS framework and raising other issues for consideration as the working group progresses with its review the program. As the letter states, “the NCS has the potential to become an invaluable resource, yielding new insights into the complex linkages between social, genetic, and environmental factors and how these factors interact to influence health, growth and development across the life course. To ensure the study produces meaningful data, the…

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