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. 

NSF’s SBE Directorate Seeks to Fill Numerous Leadership Posts

The Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking interested applicants for several leadership posts, including directors for two SBE divisions. The open positions include: Division Director, Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), closes December 12 Division Director, Social and Economic Sciences (SES), closes December 12 Program Director in the Economics Program (SES), closes December 29 In addition, NSF recently announced that Joanne Tornow, SBE Deputy Assistant Director, will leave SBE in December to lead the NSF Office of Information and Resource Management (OIRM). A search will commence for a new SBE Deputy Assistant…

Census Bureau Seeks Comment on Proposed Elimination of ACS Questions

On October 31, the U.S. Census Bureau within the Department of Commerce issued a request for public comment related to the 2014 Content Review of the American Community Survey (ACS). According to the Federal Register Notice, the 2014 review “is the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by the Census Bureau to review content on the survey, seeking to understand which federal programs use the information collected by each question, the justification for each question, and assess how the Census Bureau might reduce respondent burden.” The review looked at the ACS’s 72 questions and proposed removal of seven from the annual…

Outcome of Midterm Elections May Not Offer Clarity over FY 2015 Endgame

The remaining weeks of 2014 could see an effort to pass a sweeping omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2015, should the Republicans gain control of the Senate after the midterm Congressional elections tomorrow. Even though the Democrats would still control the Senate until January, Republican leaders have stated that under such a scenario they would work during the lame duck session to pass an omnibus, allowing the 114th Congress to start in January with a clean slate. However, such a feat has proven impossible in recent history. For example, the FY 2014 appropriations process was not completed until…

CDC Requests Nominations for Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

The Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) is seeking nominations for new members for terms beginning in October 2015. The Board provides guidance to CDC and OPHPR leadership, conducts peer review of scientific programs, and monitors the overall strategic direction and focus of the Office. According to the notice in the Federal Register, “Nominees will be selected based on expertise in the fields relevant to the issues addressed by the divisions within the coordinating office, including: business, crisis leadership, emergency response and management, engineering,…

National Science Board Launches New STEM Education Resource

On October 28, the National Science Board released a new online resource, STEM Education Resource, where the public can access data on the STEM workforce, including college degrees in STEM fields and jobs in science-related occupations. The interactive tool provides data points, graphics, maps, and other resources to allow users to learn about national trends in STEM, connecting them to the data in the 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators produced by the National Science Board. Check out the tool here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH: 2015 NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund recently released its FY 2015 NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (EIA) funding opportunity announcement (RFA-RM-14-004). The NIH Common Fund supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. These initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and often risky approaches to address problems that may seem intractable or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for rapid progress. The EIA initiative is designed to allow exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their transition to an independent research career by “skipping” the traditional postdoctoral training. Candidates must be within one year…

Events Calendar

The City: 2014 Behavioral and Social Science Summit, Stanford University, November 8, 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 website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

SACHRP Considers Consent in Low-Risk Online Studies

At its meeting on October 30, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) heard a presentation from B.R. Simon Rosser, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, on “The Evolution of Consent in Low-Risk Studies: Lessons from Online Survey Research.” He suggested that SACHRP rethink how researchers handle informed consent for low-risk studies conducted over the internet.

NIMH Creates New Unit to Support Its Research Domain Criteria Initiative

On October 31, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announced the creation of a new unit designed to reframe mental health research by facilitating communication among scientists, clinicians, and the public. The new unit was established to support the development of the institute’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative. According to NIMH, RDoC “attempts to bring the power of modern research approaches in genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral problems of mental illness, studied independently from the classification systems by which patients are currently grouped.” The aim is to accelerate the pace of research that translates basic science into clinical settings “by…

OHRP Solicits Comments on Draft Guidance on Risk Disclosure in Research Evaluating Standards of Care

The Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) has issued draft guidance on “Disclosing Reasonably Foreseeable Risks in Research Evaluating Standards of Care.”  As more and more comparative effectiveness research is conducted to evaluate different treatments commonly used by medical practitioners (“standards of care”), the guidance is an attempt to assist researchers in determining how to disclose potential risks of the different treatments they are studying.

NIH Makes Awards to Enhance Diversity of the Scientific Workforce

On October 22, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the awarding nearly $31 million in FY 2014 to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The awards are part of a five-year program and will “support more than 50 awardees and partnering institutions in establishing a national consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to encourage individuals to start and stay in biomedical research careers.” Twelve of the awards will be supported by the NIH Common Fund and all of the NIH 27 institutes and centers and will be part of three initiatives that form the Enhancing the Diversity…

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 33 Issue 19

In this issue… Federal Agency & Administration News Social Scientist among National Medal of Science Winners SMRB Continues Discussion of Pre-College Engagement in Biomedical Science NCHS Brief Looks at Depression and Obesity Public Comment Period for Healthy People 2020 Open through November 7 Publications & Community Events National Academies SBS Policy Roundtable Seminar, “Stimulating Effective Innovation in Government” — October 30 2015 MCAT Includes New Social and Behavioral Sciences Section Funding Opportunities NSF: RAPID Proposals Sought to Address Ebola Crisis DOD: 2015 Minerva Deadline Extended COSSA Member Spotlight SPSSI Seminar Explores the Psychology of Human Rights Events Calendar View the…

Social Scientist among National Medal of Science Winners

On October 3, President Obama named the winners of the 2014 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Among the recipients of the National Medal of Science is University of Michigan political scientist Robert Axelrod, honored for his work on the “evolution of cooperation,” which holds applications for conflict de-escalation. Dr. Axelrod will be awarded the Medal of Science at a White House ceremony later this year. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NCHS Brief Looks at Depression and Obesity

A new data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) examines the relationship between obesity and depression. It found that 43 percent of adults with depression were obese and that adults with depression were more likely to be obese, particularly women. In addition, as the severity of depression symptoms increased, so did the proportion of those with obesity. And over half of people whose symptoms were not relieved by medication were obese. The report observes, “It is not clear whether depression or obesity occurred first because they were both measured at the same time. Other studies have shown…

Public Comment Period for Healthy People 2020 Open through November 7

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is soliciting written comments regarding new objectives proposed to be added to Healthy People 2020.  The previous public comment period occurred in fall 2013.

National Academies SBS Policy Roundtable Meeting, “Stimulating Effective Innovation in Government” — October 30

The National Academies Policy Roundtable of the Behavioral and Social Sciences will conduct at its next meeting a seminar and discussion on stimulating effective innovation in government. The seminar will be held from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2014, in Room 120 of the National Academy of Sciences building at 21st and Constitution Avenue, N.W. The Policy Roundtable is chaired by David Ellwood, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School.

NSF: RAPID Proposals Sought to Address Ebola Crisis

The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter requesting research proposals “to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebola, educate about prophylactic behaviors, and encourage the development of products, processes, and learning that can address this global challenge.” NSF’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism will be used to fund the proposals. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

DOD: 2015 Minerva Deadline Extended

As previously reported, the Office of the Secretary of Defense within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has issued the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the 2015 Minerva Research Initiative, DOD’s signature social science research program. DOD recently extended the deadline for the 2015 competition. White papers are now due November 10 and full proposals are due February 10. See the BAA for full details. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Events Calendar

11th Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research, American Educational Research Association, October 23, 2014 Measuring Dimensions of Subjective Well-Being: The Role of Official Statistics, National Academies Committee on National Statistics, October 24, 2014 Stimulating Effective Innovation in Government, National Academies Policy Roundtable of the Behavioral and Social Sciences, October 30, 2014 NSF Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Advisory Committee Fall Meeting, October 30-31, 2014 The City: 2014 Behavioral and Social Science Summit, Stanford University, November 8, 2014 A list of COSSA member conferences and annual meetings can be found on the COSSA website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

SMRB Continues Discussion of Pre-College Engagement in Biomedical Science

During its October 14 meeting, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) continued its examination of the NIH grant review, award, and management process and its discussion of the evidence base for successful approaches for pre-college biomedical science programs designed to strengthen the biomedical workforce pipeline.

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