June 14, 2010                                                                              Volume 29- Issue 11
In This Issue
President Nominates Suresh to Lead NSF; Marrett Now Acting Director
The Five Percent Solution to the Deficit Problem
Senate Panel Approves Wieman Nomination to Become OSTP's Associate Director for Science
Child Health Institute Leader and Council Discuss Vision Setting Process
DOD Affirms Commitment to Dissemination of Unclassified Research Results
Senate Panel Examines the Impact of the Recession on the State of the Nation's Children
NCRR Science Education Partnership Award - Applications Wanted
Seeding National Mentoring Networks to Enhance Diversity of the Mental Health Research Workforce

President Nominates Suresh to Lead NSF; Marrett Now Acting Director


On June 3, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Subra Suresh, currently Dean of the School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to become the next director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The nomination was sent to the Senate on June 7, where Suresh must now endure the confirmation process.


Suresh would replace Arden Bement, who left NSF at the end of May after serving as director since 2004.  Bement has returned to Purdue University, where he will head the Global Policy Research Institute.  Before leaving, he announced that current Acting Deputy Director Cora Marettt will serve as Acting NSF Director until Suresh is confirmed.


Marrett returned to NSF in 2007 to head the Education and Human Resources directorate and was named Acting Deputy Director in January 2009.  She also served as the first Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate from 1992-1996. 


From 2000 to 2006, Suresh served as the head of the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering.   He joined MIT in 1993 as the R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and since then has held joint faculty appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, as well as the Division of Health Sciences and Technology.  From 1983 to 1993, Suresh was a faculty member in the Division of Engineering at Brown University. 


He has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bangalore, the Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World based in Trieste, Italy, and the German National Academy of Sciences.  Suresh is the recipient of the 2007 European Materials Medal, the highest honor conferred by the Federation of European Materials Societies, and the 2006 Acta Materialia Gold Medal. 


The NSF director-designate has a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, an M.S. from Iowa State University, and a Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   Suresh also holds honorary doctorate degrees from the Technical University of Madrid in Spain and Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.


The Five Percent Solution to the Deficit Problem


With the federal deficit exceeding $1.4 trillion in FY 2010 and the expectation that in FY 2011 it will be only slightly less than that, the Obama Administration has decided to focus on deficit reduction in its guidance to federal agencies as they prepare their FY 2012 budgets for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).


The President's FY 2011 budget proposal sent to the Congress in early February of this year requested a three-year freeze on overall non-security spending.  Within that overall freeze some agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), received significant proposed increases (see Update, March 8, 2010).  The President has also appointed a commission chaired by former Clinton Administration Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Wyoming Republican Senator Alan Simpson that is supposed to issue a report this December indicating the path forward to reducing the deficit by 2015.


Federal agencies are always working with three budgets at any one time.  The current fiscal year (2010), in which they are spending their appropriation; the next fiscal year (2011), when they await their final spending number from the Congress; and the year after that (2012), where they are conducting internal discussions and making decisions about new programs to ask for and how to justify the spending increases they usually seek.


In a memorandum issued on June 8, OMB director Peter Orszag told the non-security agencies to forget about increases in their thinking about FY 2012 and get ready on September 13 to "submit a budget request five percent below the discretionary total provided for that agency for FY 2012 in the FY 2011 budget."   For NSF this would mean providing OMB savings of about $390 million.


In meeting that target, Orszag continued, "agencies should not simply reduce spending across the board."  Rather, he directed the agencies to "restructure their operations strategically."


According to the memo, this means eliminating low-priority programs and activities. In a separate guidance issued by OMB and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, agencies were ordered "to identify the programs and subprograms that have the lowest impact on your agency's mission and constitute at least five percent of your agency's discretionary budget."


Restructuring also means re-engineering staff plans, improving procurement and grants management processes and strengthening information technology (IT) and financial management "to squeeze waste out of existing operations and produce better outcomes."  Improving IT was the focus of a speech Orszag delivered to the Center for American Progress on June 8.  He declared:  "Closing the IT gap [between the what is available for the private sector worker and the public sector worker] is perhaps the single most important step we can take in creating a more efficient and responsive government."


A third strategic goal, according to the Budget Guidance memo, would focus "management attention on high-priority performance goals...to deliver better service to the American people within available resources."  This includes eliminating duplication of programs.  In his speech, Orszag cited the "110 funded programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education in 14 departments and agencies across the federal government; over 100 programs that support youth mentoring scattered across 13 agencies; and more than 40 programs located in 11 departments with responsibility for employment and training."  "This redundancy wastes resources and makes it harder to act on each of these worthy goals," the OMB director concluded.


All of this activity will lead to the President's proposed FY 2012 budget scheduled for unveiling in early February 2011.  Within the freeze and the proposed reductions, the Administration will prioritize its funding for the agencies.  For example, will the NSF exercise under the guidance come to nothing, since the Administration has pronounced its strong support for science and for doubling NSF's budget?   


In the meantime, the FY 2011 appropriations process has barely gotten underway as neither the House nor the Senate has passed a budget resolution setting overall spending targets for the appropriations committees to use to divide the pie among its 12 Subcommittees.  As this Administration, like others before it, has discovered, requesting to eliminate or significantly reduce spending for programs cherished by members of Congress will lead to hearings punctuated by expressions of outrage at the proposals and much political grandstanding.  Add to this the exacerbation of an already fractured political system with a congressional election in November.   At this point in the FY 2011 spending process, most observers expect a Continuing Resolution when the new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2010 that would fund agencies at their FY 2010 levels until some uncertain time.


Yet, even in the midst of an uncertain economic recovery from the "great recession," it appears that the Administration and Congress are ready to heed the advice of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other economists that current federal deficits are unsustainable and action must be taken.


Senate Panel Approves Wieman Nomination to Become OSTP's Associate Director for Science


On June 9, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, chaired by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), approved and sent to the full Senate the nomination of Carl Wieman to become the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).


President Obama nominated Wieman, who currently divides his time between the University of British Columbia and the University of Colorado, on March 22 and his hearing before the Committee occurred on May 20.


Wieman is a Nobel Laureate Physicist, who in recent years has turned his attention to directing Collaborative Science Education Initiatives to improve undergraduate science education.  (For more on his background, see Update April 5, 2010.)  At the hearing, Rockefeller indicated that he welcomed Wieman's experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.   Rockefeller noted, as OMB Director Peter Orszag has as well, (see other story) that one concern is the "need to improve collaboration across the federal government between STEM programs," making it less difficult to evaluate their overall effectiveness. 


The Chairman concluded:  "For too long, American students have lagged behind much of the developed world in measures of scientific and technical literacy. The stakes are too high. We have to get this right. I want to thank Dr. Wieman for his testimony and for his service to our nation. I will be looking to him for his leadership in this very important area. I am committed to making sure our nation is prepared to compete in the 21st-century, global economy. And that begins with creating a highly educated science and engineering workforce." 


Wieman agreed about the importance of improving U.S. STEM education, testifying that:   "Our global economy is increasingly based on science and technology. To maintain US economic competitiveness and leadership in innovation, we need to also have leadership in STEM education. This will both enhance the scientific and engineering workforce and the technical literacy of all our citizens, providing them with complex problem-solving skills they can use in many aspects of their jobs and lives."


The full Senate will now take up Wieman's nomination.  One can hope that this one, unlike many Administration nominations, will not be stymied by a Senator's hold.


Child Health Institute Leader and Council Discuss Vision Setting Process


On June 3, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) held its 144th meeting of the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council (NACHHD).  Acting Director Alan Guttmacher resumed the discussion about creating a scientific vision statement for the Institute. Via a year-long exploration NICHD and multiple external communities that have interest in the work of the Institute together will identify the promising scientific opportunities of the next decade across the breadth of the NICHD's mission, according to the director.  The aim, Guttmacher explained, is to "develop a scientific vision that sets a realistic but ambitious agenda and inspires the Institute, the research community and [its] partners to achieve critical scientific goals and meet pressing public health needs."


Guttmacher laid out the parameters of this scientific visioning process, which he explained should: focus on scientific opportunity for the next ten years; look to the past only for information to base the future (it is not a program review); provide external communities ample opportunities to participate through workshops and web-based media; foster cross collaboration within the different parts of NICHD and among the multiple external communities; involve early-stage investigators and other new stakeholders in the conversation; give staff a feeling of ownership; give the NICHD director opportunities to interact with the Institute's fields and constituencies to help shape the process and the  product; and produce a publication or publications reflecting the breadth of the Institute's mission by the end of 2011.


He outlined the steps already taken which included a May 10 meeting in which 50 NICHD staff developed a set of themes and cross-cutting issues to serve as a foundation for the scientific vision statement.  The themes generated by the meeting were subsequently posted on NICHD's intranet and all of NICHD's staff was invited to comment.  A second meeting on May 26 of the Council's subcommittee on Planning and Policy along with Barbara Ehrlich, chair of the NICHD Board of Scientific Counselors, and Steven Wolf, the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research Advisory Board liaison to Council, met via teleconference with NICHD leadership to advise on the vision process and help further refine the themes.


That process generated nine themes:   development, plasticity, cognition, behavior, reproduction, pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, developmental origins of health and disease, environment, and diagnostics and therapeutics.   The participants recognized that a number of the concepts span multiple themes so cross-cutting themes were identified:  systems biology, training and mentoring, animal and computational models, differences/disparities across populations, stem cells, epigenetics, bioinformatics, analytical and measurement tools and methods, bioethics, biotechnologies/ bioengineering including assistive and related technologies, implementation science, nutrition, global health, prevention, and developmental trajectory.


The next steps, Guttmacher noted, include the Council finalizing the themes which could change based on the NACHHD discussion, holding workshops and discussions between August 2010 through January 2011 based on the themes to gather input from external partners, and synthesizing these discussions in draft scientific vision statement followed by a large multidisciplinary meeting to further refine the vision statement further.  


The scientific meeting would include other NIH institutes that share NICHD's scientific interests, because that would make the vision better and it would help these other NIH institutes buy into the vision, he explained.  Guttmacher emphasized his desire to involve the external community in producing a final document or a series of linked documents.  The Institute's June 2011 council meeting would vet the document followed by further refining by the NICHD staff.  Given the breadth of NICHD's mission, Guttmacher acknowledged that one comprehensive document may not be the best way to get the product of this visioning process published.


Social and Behavioral Sciences Missing


During the discussion a number of the Council members observed that the current draft document seemed to lack significant inclusion of the social and behavioral sciences. Council member Ronald Lee, University of California, Berkeley, observed that the NICHD portfolio has in the past and currently includes social and economic policy studies, but the scientific vision statement as currently drafted does not reflect that set of issues and approaches, "although social is mentioned several times" within the draft.  There is a whole range of approaches and outcomes variables that are not included in the document, particularly research supported by the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch, Lee explained.  This draft is basically a biological model and probably it is appropriate it should be but I do not want to see the other left out, he added.   Guttmacher responded that Lee's "points were well taken" and concurred that the document as currently written "comes across as overly biologic," adding he also "shares that concern."


Responding to Priya Kishnani's, Duke University Medical School, concern that development across the age span and translational research is missing and should also be included, Guttmacher observed that her point is similar to the  concern raised by Lee and stressed that the Institute "is not just doing basic biology. . ..[it is also] doing translational clinical application."  NICHD is not just supporting research on the biological factors of health, Guttmacher reiterated, emphasizing that "there is a huge range of non-biological factors both in the way they interact with biology and among themselves" that are important.   In addition, Perri Klass, Boston University School of Medicine, recommended health literacy as another factor to think about on several levels.  Guttmacher agreed.  


In response to the suggestion that the Institute should think about prioritization, Guttmacher explained that the idea is not to get into priority setting in this process.   It might lead people to advocate for their own areas of research and "it inhibits ambitious thinking," Guttmacher cautioned.   Once the Institute finishes the current vision setting process the idea is to "have staff guided by Council make those increasing difficult questions about prioritization."  That will be a major activity for Council, he stated.  While the vision goes across the mission of NICHD, this exercise is not NICHD specific.  The hope is that what emerges from the vision process will include parts of the vision of many NIH institutes and other organizations, Guttmacher concluded.


The Council agreed and voted to move forward with the creation of a scientific vision statement for the Institute. 



DOD Affirms Commitment to Dissemination of Unclassified Research Results


On May 24, Department of Defense (DOD) Undersecretary Ashton Carter issued a memorandum to the Secretaries of the Military Services, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Directors of other defense agencies affirming the Department's and the Obama Administration's commitment to "free scientific exchanges and dissemination of research results to the maximum extent possible."  


Carter further indicated that policies "governing restrictions that apply to the DOD on basic and applied research," must recognize "the necessarily open nature of unclassified fundamental research."


The latest memo is an update and clarification of National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189 issued by the Reagan Administration in 1985.  That directive sought to establish a "national policy on the transfer of scientific, technical, and engineering information."  The Reagan White House was concerned about the transfer of American technology to enhance the military capability of what was then called the "Eastern Bloc" - the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies. 


Relying on a 1982 National Academy of Sciences study chaired by Dale Corson of Cornell University and co-sponsored by DOD and the National Science Foundation, the Reagan Administration concluded that to the "maximum extent possible, the products of fundamental research [should] remain unrestricted."  When the national security requires controls, the mechanism would be classification, the Reagan folks concluded. 


Fundamental research was defined in 1985 as:  "Basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community."  The new Carter memo uses the same definition.


It also stresses the intent that DOD should not restrict the disclosure of research results.  It furthermore suggests that "DOD awards for the performance of contracted fundamental research should not involve classified items, information, or technology other than in exceptional circumstances."   In addition, "the performance of contracted fundamental research should not be managed in a way that it becomes subject to restrictions on the involvement of foreign researchers or publication restrictions."  Of course, Cater points out there may be exceptional cases in which these guidelines should not be applied.  Yet, he declares that "such cases will be extremely rare and that exception should be made only with the approval of high-level DOD management."


The full Carter memo and the earlier document can be found at:  http://www.research.ucla.edu/researchpol/documents/DOD%20Policy%20Memo%20on%20Protecting%20Exemptions%20for%20Fundamental%20Research.pdf .


Senate Panel Examines the Impact of the Recession on the State of the Nation's Children


On June 8, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee's Subcommittee on Children and Families, chaired by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), held a hearing on "The State of the American Child." to discuss the most challenging issues facing today's young people and how Congress and the American public can help solve them.


Some indicators suggest the state of the American child is not good.   Recent studies have reported that one in a hundred children is a victim of substance abuse, a number that doubles for those below one year of age.  Nearly three quarters of a million children were abused or neglected last year.  Every 101 minutes, a child in the United States dies from an unintentional injury, such as a vehicle crash or a fire, making it the leading cause of death and disability for children ages one to 14.  The persistent achievement gap in U.S. schools has been well documented and money to fix crumbling facilities, alleviate crowded classrooms, and provide quality after school programs has become scarce. 


Dodd recalled how he has consistently worked for the rights of children and families. "I fought for the Family and Medical Leave Act and to help every family afford pediatric checkups through the CHIP (Child Health Insurance Program) program.  I've worked to build an effective Head Start program, so that every American child can be prepared to excel in school.  We've learned that, while a child's development begins at birth, it doesn't start and stop with the ring of the school bell. And so I've worked to establish safe and stimulating child care facilities, as well as quality after school programming."  "I'm proud of that work," continued Dodd "but I'm well aware that there's more work to be done."


The star witness for the hearing was Alma Powell, Chair of the America's Promise Alliance.  The Alliance, founded in 1997 with General Colin Powell as Chairman, is a cross-sector partnership of more than 300 corporations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and advocacy groups that are passionate about improving lives and changing outcomes for children.  One of the major programs of the Alliance is Grad Nation, a 10-year mobilization campaign "to reverse the dropout crisis and enable our children to be prepared for success in college, work and life."


Powell told the Subcommittee that the U.S. faces many urgent priorities: the economy, healthcare, national security and global competitiveness but that "one of the most important issues we face as a nation is one that impacts all of these priorities - and that is the well being of our children."  She lamented that: "Sadly, our children are often overlooked when addressing many urgent issues of the time. But let there be no doubt - meeting the needs of our most vulnerable youth means building a stronger, safer, healthier, and more equitable country."


Calling attention to the high school dropout crisis, Powell testified that it not only takes a toll on our children, but it also takes an enormous and unsustainable toll on the country.  She asked the Subcommittee to consider the students from the class of 2009, calculating that had all of them stayed in school and graduated our economy would gain more than $320 billion over their working lives. 


She declared that the government has a role to play in providing the resources families need to thrive.  "I want to make it very clear that this is a crisis we can solve," said Powell. "We have seen what success looks like when sound policies and best practices are paired with strong community support," she noted.


Powell concluded that the state of our children is not simply a failure of government or of schools but that "it is a failure of all of us" and hence "Each and every one of us must be part of the solution."

Impact of 'Great Recession'


Also testifying was Harry Holzer, Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Fellow of the Urban Institute's Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population.   Holzer focused his remarks on the impact of the the "Great Recession" on the well-being of American children. 


He told the panel that even in the best of times, child poverty rates in the U.S. are very high, 18 percent in 2007 before the economic downturn, and many millions of children live with unemployed parents.  Growing up in poor households or with unemployed parents has negative long-term consequences for these children, which often last for the rest of their lives, Holzer said.  For instance, those whose parents suffer a permanent job loss often have more difficulty progressing in school and have lower earnings themselves as adults. These effects, he informed the Subcommittee, are likely attributable to the lower resources, higher emotional stress and weaker perceptions of rewards for those who strive for success among children whose parents are poor or suffer joblessness.


Holzer also remarked that this recession, the most severe since the 1930s, will substantially raise child poverty rates.  He cited Brookings projections of a 25 percent rate by 2012, as well as the numbers living with parents who are involuntarily unemployed. He predicted that the recession, as reflected in the unemployment rate, will also likely persist for many years, as will the elevated rates of poverty among children.


Furthermore, he argued, these high and persisting rates of unemployment and poverty will likely "scar" children and youth in many ways, causing then significant long-term damage. This recession will damage educational attainment and earnings as adults for the children who grew up in families with high poverty or unemployment, he testified.  Given that so many young people will themselves suffer periods of unemployment, their future rates of employment and earnings will also be reduced, as the lost periods of work experience during their formative years of career-building are lost and not replaced. In addition, in this recession, large numbers of children have already or will soon suffer homelessness due to the high rates of home foreclosure among the unemployed.  Homelessness is particularly harmful to children and can have lasting negative effects on them, Holzer declared.


Holzer concluded by recommending that to limit the damage to children, policy responses should focus on bolstering employment and income support among parents and on providing direct ameliorative services to children, over both the short- and longer-terms.


Dodd announced that he plans to introduce legislation to create a national commission on children, in order to regularly and closely examine the needs of American families and identify solutions.


NCRR Science Education Partnership Award - Applications Wanted


Through its Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for research Resources (NCRR) actively supports K-12 and Informal Science Education/media projects to support the development of a diversified pipeline for basic, behavioral, and clinical research fields and to educate the community regarding NIH-funded research and health-related issues. Accordingly, NCRR is seeking applications (PAR-10-206) to its SEPA program for the development and evaluation of innovative research education programs to improve PreK-12 research career opportunities and the community's understanding of the health science advances supported by NIH-funded clinical and basic research.


The SEPA K-12 programs provide educational resources, a supportive learning environment, near-peer mentoring and community involvement.  PreK-12 curriculum content must be inquiry-based, hands-on, biomedically relevant, and rigorously evaluated.  Examples of appropriate SEPA projects include, but are not limited to the following:


§  PreK-12 curriculum that will increase student understanding and interest in science and the scientific method. 

§  Teacher Professional Development and research internship opportunities for PreK-12 teachers that deliver scientific content, an understanding of the scientific research process and pedagogical skills.  

§  Science center and museum-based exhibits, traveling exhibits and public outreach activities (e.g., Science Cafes) that will educate students, teachers and the community on topical, health related issues such as: stem cells and regenerative medicine; NIH-funded basic or clinical research; the clinical trials process; ethical use of animals in research or emerging infectious diseases. 

§  Activities relevant to preschool & kindergarten children such as food and nutrition activities that will introduce concepts of healthy food and exercise and the negative impact of an unhealthy diet.

§  Collaborations with NCRR-funded Clinical Trial Science Awards (CTSA), Institutional Development Awards (IDeA), Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI), Animal Resources or Biomedical Technology Research Centers.  These collaborations should leverage the proposed SEPA project with the existing or to-be-developed NCRR-funded resource centers.

§  Neuroscience-based projects on anatomy, cell biology, physiology and chemistry of the brain that integrate current technologies such as neuroimaging, genomics and computational neuroscience into PreK-12 curriculum or ISE/media projects.

§  Nanotechnology-based projects that address medical applications such as disease prevention and diagnosis, novel methods of therapy or medical tools for the understanding of molecular and cellular processes.

§  Community-based health education and participatory research programs on important health prevention issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

§  Veterinarian-based PreK-12 or ISE/media projects that educate students, teachers, and the community on the need for, and the ethical use of, animals in research. 

§  Public service announcements, documentaries, films, radio, TV and other media-based projects that may include topics such as: lifestyle  and health correlations (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular); chronic diseases or emerging infectious disease (osteoporosis, HIV/AIDS, influenza), NIH-funded research, regenerative medicine or the clinical trials process.

§  Innovative and rigorous evaluation methodology to assess the effectiveness of PreK-12 or ISE/media projects that may include Randomized Controlled Trials or Well-Matched Comparison-Group study design.


The proposed research education program may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support. This grant mechanism (NIH Research Education-R25) is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32).


Letters of Intent are due:  June 28, 2010, May 22, 2011, and May 22, 2012.  Applications are due: July 28, 2010, June 22, 2011 and June 22, 2012.    For more information on how to apply see:  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-10-206.html.




Seeding National Mentoring Networks to Enhance Diversity of the Mental Health Research Workforce


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) soliciting  Resource-Related Research Projects-Cooperative Agreement applications from institutions and organizations that are designed to conceptualize, plan and pilot an innovative prototype of a national infrastructure to mentor individuals from diverse backgrounds who are conducting research relevant to its mission.  The Institute expects the resulting infrastructure will be capable of sustaining an effective and vibrant national mentoring network.


According to the FOA, each mentoring network will be expected to have a focused scientific theme that is highly germane to the mission and strategic priorities of the NIMH including the Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS. The networks are envisioned to enhance the professional development of the participating individuals, sustain their career trajectory through research independence, and lead to scientific advances that will help transform the understanding and treatment of mental illness and HIV/AIDS. Accordingly, mentoring programs are expected to propose a set of goals rather than a single goal. 


Access to a national network of skilled mentors who are outstanding researchers is seen by NIMH as assisting protégés in various ways with their specific goals depending upon the career stage of each protégé.  The FOA cites as an example, a national mentoring network that facilitates leadership development, learning to mentor others, and successful transitions from one career stage to another. Additionally, a national mentoring network could help protégés identify potential collaborators and could facilitate establishing interdisciplinary or translational collaborations.  NIMH expects, however, that an overarching goal of any mentoring network is to facilitate the professional success of protégés as independent researchers and members of the research community. 


NIMH intends this FOA to seed mentoring networks across the scientific spectrum of the NIMH research mission.  In order to provide sustained, competitive funding for national  mentoring networks the Institute expects to issue a subsequent FOA  to provide an opportunity to compete for continued support of mentoring networks for individuals from diverse backgrounds to achieve a long-term vision of an integrated collective of mentoring networks.


Letters of intent are due on August 30, 2010.  Applications are due September 29, 2010.   NIMH will hold a pre-application teleconference on Monday, June 21, 2010, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) to which all prospective applicants are invited. This is a technical assistance teleconference conducted by NIMH staff involved in managing this program to explain the goals and objectives of this initiative and answer questions from attendees.  Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their questions or comments to NIMH_Training@mail.nih.gov in advance of the call.  Potential applicants interested in participating in the technical assistance call should send a message to the e-mailbox above to obtain the dial-in number no later than 5:00 p.m. (EDT), June 17, 2010.  For more information see: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-MH-10-023.html.


Consortium of Social Science Associations

American Association for Public Opinion Research
American Economic Association
American Educational Research Association
American Historical Association
American Political Science Association
American Psychological Association
American Society of Criminology
American Sociological Association
American Statistical Association
Association of American Geographers
Association of American Law Schools
Law and Society Association
Linguistic Society of America
Midwest Political Science Association
National Communication Association
Population Association of America
Rural Sociological Society
Society for Research in Child Development
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
American Association for Agricultural Education
Association for Asian Studies
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations
Association of Research Libraries
American Psychosomatic Society
Council on Social Work Education
Eastern Sociological Society
International Communication Association
Justice Research and Statistics Association
Midwest Sociological Society
National Association of Social Workers
North American Regional Science Council
North Central Sociological Association
Social Science History Association
Society for Behavioral Medicine
Society for Research on Adolescence
Society for Social Work and Research
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Southern Political Science Association
Southern Sociological Society
Southwestern Social Science Association

American Academy of Political and Social Sciences
American Council of Learned Societies
American Institutes for Research
Brookings Institution
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Institute for Women's Policy Research
National Bureau of Economic Research
National Opinion Research Center
Population Reference Bureau
Social Science Research Council

Arizona State University
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John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
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University of Maryland
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse
University of Michigan
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University of Minnesota
Mississippi State University
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
New York University
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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University of Oklahoma
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Princeton University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
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University of Texas, Brownsville
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Tulane University
Vanderbilt University
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Washington University in St. Louis
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Yale University


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