Images of Washington Institutions
February 21, 2011                                                                Volume 30, Issue 4       

                                                                                                                                                                                                            COSSA Washington Update Find us on Facebook
In This Issue
President Obama Releases Proposed FY 2012 Budget
House of Representatives Goes on Budget Cutting Spree
Congress Asks for Report on Humanities and Social Sciences
More Funds for Cops, Not Prisons, Message of COSSA, ASC Congressional Briefing
AERA Briefing Explores Payoffs of Long-Term Investment in Education Research
NICHD Seeks Input on Defining an Agenda to Address Research Capacity Building
AHRQ Annouces Interest in Career Development Grants Focused on Health Care System Redesign
NIA and AoA to Support Joint Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence
American Finance Association Newest COSSA Member

President Obama Releases Proposed FY 2012 Budget


While the House of Representatives debated government funding for the rest of FY 2011 (now almost five months old), on February 14, the Obama Administration released its proposed FY 2012 budget.  Called a "tough love" budget by Presidential Science Adviser John Holdren, the proposal includes a freeze on discretionary spending "outside of security," but within that there are program funding increases and decreases as well as the usual list of program eliminations.


In releasing the budget, the President reiterated the rhetoric of the State of the Union, speaking about "how America can win the future by out-educating, out-innovating and out-building the rest of the world."  He also repeated his commitment to "taking responsibility for our Nation's deficits," expected to continue above $1 trillion per year into the foreseeable future. 


With this commitment, the budget provides increases for science and innovation, education, and infrastructure.  It would decrease or eliminate funding for more than 200 programs, while putting the Defense Department on a course toward "zero real growth in funding" in the next five years.


Among the proposed terminations are the Graduate K-12 program at the National Science Foundation, the International Labor Comparison Program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Adolescent Family Life program in the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as 12 small education programs, such as two scholarship programs named after the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and his wife.


Below is a preliminary look at some of the agencies that provide support for the social and behavioral sciences.  Since there are no final FY 2011 numbers yet, comparisons in the President's proposal are to FY 2010 actual numbers.  These comparisons generally result in significant increases for most agencies.  However, in most cases discussed below the Administration's FY 2012 request is either equal to or below its FY 2011 request.  The special issue of COSSA Washington Update that provides in-depth analysis of the President's budget proposal will be available on March 21 and explain more of this phenomenon.


National Science Foundation (NSF)


The President has treated NSF very well.  The budget proposes $7.767 billion for FY 2012. The NSF increase is 13 percent over FY 2010.  The Research and Related Activities account would get $6.236 billion, increasing by 12.4 percent over FY 2010 (excluding Recovery Act funds).  The budget recommends $301 million for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate, an increase of $45 million, or 18 percent.  The Education and Human Resources directorate would increase from $873 million in FY 2010 to $911 million in FY 2011. 


NSF Director Subra Suresh noted that we are in an Era of Observation and an Era of Data and Information, and the Foundation expects to contribute to supporting research and innovation for both of these.  Much of NSF's big increase would help boost the NSF initiative in the Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability initiative (SEES) to almost $1 billion. 


Also of note, with the passage of America COMPETES in late 2010, SBE's Division of Science, Resources, Statistics is now the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 


National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The President's FY 2012 budget request for the NIH is $32 billion, a 2.4 percent increase of $745 million above the FY 2010 funding level.  In FY 2012, NIH intends to emphasize "a groundbreaking new program to optimize and accelerate translational sciences and therapeutics developments called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).  It will also highlight three scientific areas that it views as instrumental in paving the way for "more rapid scientific advances across all areas of human health and disease, including global applications."  These areas include:


  1. Technologies to Accelerate Discovry 
  2. Enhancing the evidence base for health care decisions - The agency intends to support rigorous programs for assessing and ensuring the effectiveness of treatments within populations and for individuals.   Personalized medicine is emphasized as "essential to fulfilling the agency's mission and will enhance the evidence base for decision-making in clinical practice."  The budget request notes that Comparative Effectiveness Research methodologies will be important to advancing personalized medicine.  The agency plans to fund a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Research Network Collaboratory designed to accelerate science across three high-priority areas:  1) large epidemiology studies, 2) clinical trials, and 3) electronic-health-record (EHR)-enabled health care delivery.
  3. New investigators, New ideas - The agency will emphasize two programs:  1) the NIH Director's New Innovator Award ($80 million is requested in FY 2012), which supports exceptionally creative new investigators with potentially high-impact projects; and 2) the Early Independence Program ($8 million is requested for FY 2012) which would allow talented young scientists to move directly from a doctoral degree to an independent research career.


For the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the FY 2012 budget request is $27.9 million, a two percent increase of $548 thousand.   In FY 2012, OBSSR will support the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet); the trans-NIH initiative intended to expand funding of basic behavioral and social sciences research.   OBSSR plans to also support two new initiatives in FY 2012:  1) the Mobile Technology Research to Enhance Health initiative, which will focus on using mobile technologies to facilitate research and health care delivery; and 2) the Population Health Consortium, which will focus on enhancing, supporting and promoting sustainable population health research across existing NIH-funded centers and investigators.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


For the CDC, including the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR), the President's budget proposes $11.3 billion for FY 2012, an increase of $371 million above the FY 2010 funding level.   This sum includes $753 million of the $1 billion available from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.   The FY 2012 budget request includes increased support for the prevention and control of infectious diseases ($2.3 billion of which $152 million is provided from the Prevention Fund), HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases ($1.2 billion, an increase of $69 million), global polio eradication $112 million, an increase of $11 million), the Strategic National Stockpile, and chronic disease prevention and health promotion ($1.2 billion, an increase of $236 million of which $460 million is funded through the Prevention Fund).   For CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, the FY 2012 budget request is $162 million, $23 million above the FY 2010 level.


Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ)


For the AHRQ, the FY 2012 budget request includes $390 million, a reduction of $12 million below the FY 2010 funding levels.  This total includes $366 million in PHS Evaluation Funds and a transfer of $24 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORTF) as called for in the Affordable Care Act.  AHRQ's F 2012 budget request includes $257 million ($233 million in PHS Evaluation Funds) and $20 million less than in FY 2010 to support research on health care costs, quality, effectiveness and efficiency.   For Patient-Centered Health Research, the FY 2012 budget request includes $46 million ($24 million from PCORTF), research comparing the effectiveness of different treatment options.


Office of Justice Programs (OJP)


The President's budget would provide the National Institute of Justice a base FY 2012 budget of $55 million, up from $47 million in FY 2010, but considerably below the $70 million proposed in FY 2011.  The FY 2012 proposal recommends $57.5 million for the Bureau of Justice Statistics that would include funding for continuation of the revitalization of the National Crime Victimization Survey.  This is below the FY 2010 funding of $60 million.  The new proposal also, as it did in the FY 2011 request, asks Congress to agree to a three percent set-aside of OJP funds for research and statistics.


Education Programs


Once again, the Administration plans to level fund programs in International Education and Foreign Language programs at the Department of Education at $125.9 million.  There is a significant increase for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).  The proposed FY 2012 budget is $150 million, which looks like a decrease from the $159.4 million in FY 2010.  However, the FY 2010 funding included over $101.5 million in earmarks.  For FY 2012 the Administration wants to provide $123 million for a "First in the World Initiative," to support programs which would help to improve college completion, particularly for minority and low-income students.  


There budget proposes to subsume the Javits Fellowship program and its $9.7 million into the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program.  Javits funded graduate students in the social sciences, arts, and humanities.  The GAANN program has never considered these disciplines "areas of national need."  The proposed budget maintains $3 million for the Thurgood Marshall Legal Opportunity Fellowship program.


The Institute of Education Sciences would receive significant increases over FY 2010 funding for its programs.  There is a $60 million boost for Research, Development and Dissemination and a $41.7 raise for the continued development of Statewide Data Systems.  Smaller increases are proposed for Statistics ($8.5 million) and Assessment ($5 million).


A major new initiative at the Department would create an ARPA-ED, an Advanced Projects Research Agency modeled after the long standing Defense and newer Energy programs.  The proposed $90 million would foster breakthrough developments in educational technology and learning systems, support systems for educators, and tools that result in improvements in student outcomes.  As it did in the FY 2011 proposal, the Administration proposes to consolidate a number of programs such as teaching American history, economics education, and civic education into what they are calling "Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education."




The Administration proposes a $141 million reduction for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture for FY 2012.  Of that reduction, $84 million would come from research and education activities, $28 million from extension activities, while the integrated activities account would be cut in half.   Much of the reduction stems from the elimination of earmarked or congressionally-directed funding.   The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) would increase from $262 million in FY 2010 to $325 million in FY 2012.  Hatch Act funding would decrease from $215 million in FY 2010 to $204 million in FY 2012.


The Economic Research Service would go up by approximately $4 million to a proposed $86 million in FY 2012 with new funds to support a research initiative on behavioral economics.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service would increase slightly from $162 million in FY 2010 to $165.4 million in FY 2011.  Of those funds, $41.7 million would go to the Census of Agriculture.


Census, BEA, BLS


While the Census Bureau continues to distribute the results of the 2010 count, it moves into the second year of the next cycle looking towards the 2020 Census.  The Bureau is currently operating under an anomaly to the Continuing Resolution that set its funding not at FY 2010, but at almost its FY 2011 proposed budget.  For FY 2012 funding would decrease from the current $1.253 billion to $1.055 billion.  Periodic Censuses and Programs would decrease from $964 million to $753 million. 


The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) budget for FY 2012 would be $108 million under the President's proposal up from $93 million in FY 2010.


The Administration is recommending a $35.5 million increase for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to $647 million in FY 2012.  Within BLS, the Administration is proposing a new youth cohort for the National Longitudinal Survey, partially paid for by elongating the fielding schedules of the current 1979 and 1997 cohorts.


HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (OPDR)


The Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) OPDR would receive $57 million under the President's FY 2012 proposal.  This is $9 million above the FY 2010 level.  OPDR will also continue to receive funds for research and demonstrations from another year of HUD's Transformation Initiative, proposed at $120 million in FY 2012.


The President's budget is another part of the mix of a very difficult budget situation.  With FY 2011 still in play, the debate over FY 2012 will occur in the usual series of hearings in the spending subcommittees on Capitol Hill.  However, with deficits a major focus, cutting federal spending a mantra of the House Republican majority, and a small bipartisan group of Senators willing to put everything, including entitlements and tax reform, on the table, how this all concludes both for FY 2011 and FY 2012 remains very uncertain.  Stay tuned!

House of Representatives Goes on Budget Cutting Spree 


With the Continuing Resolution (CR) currently funding the government through the first five months of FY 2011 about to expire on March 4, the House of Representatives turned its attention to completing action on this year's funding.   Determined to reduce federal spending to deal with the nation's deficits and debt, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) on February 9 announced a series of cuts to programs, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, EPA, the Office of Science at the Department of Energy, and other programs.


This was not enough for the GOP Caucus in the House and more reductions were proposed on February 11.  In addition, the new Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) announced that the House would consider the legislation, H.R.1, under an open rule where anyone wishing to amend the bill could do so.  This led to over 580 proposed amendments to cut programs further and in some cases to restore the earlier cuts.  Of those, the House adopted 65.


Given the time constraints, the leaders wanted to finish the bill in three days, many of the amendments never made it to the floor, but enough did to produce provisions that the White House has indicated are clearly unacceptable and would lead to a presidential veto, if they survived the process in the Senate.  These included many amendments prohibiting spending of federal funds to implement the Health Care Reform Law, prohibitions against EPA regulating greenhouse gases, prohibitions on spending for certain White House personnel, and cuts to climate change and energy programs that would reduce the U.S. over-reliance on fossil fuels.


The Census Bureau became a particular target during the amendment frenzy.  Already operating under a $73 million reduction from its FY 2011 proposed level, the Bureau lost another $80 million when Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) succeeded in transferring these funds to the Economic Development Administration.  However, due to yeoman work by the Census Stakeholder's Group, of which COSSA is a member, other disasters were averted.  A number of folks (Reps. James Lankford (R-OK), Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Connie Mack (R-FL)) wanted to abolish the American Community Survey.  Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) wanted to eliminate all funding, $913 million, for Census' Periodic Programs.


Beyond the original $359 million reduction from its FY 2010 funding, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was the target of only two amendments.  One offered by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) attacked an already funded grant (see below).  Another was attempt by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) to eliminate "the Elementary and Secondary Education program."  Since no one was sure what he was referring to, the amendment never made it to the House floor.  Thus, the House wound up providing NSF with $6.567 billion for FY 2011, $857 million or 11.5 percent below the request.


For the National Institutes of Health, H.R. 1 cuts $1.63 billion or 5.2 percent below the FY 2010 funding level of $31 billion, leaving the agency with budget of $29.4 billion in FY 2011 (the same level as 2008). The $1.63 billion cut eliminates the $300 million provided by the Global AIDS Fund transfer; reduces the sum available for building and facilities to 22.7 million; decreases the amount available for non-competing grants inflation by $260 million, prorated across all of the NIH institutes, centers and offices; reduces the NIH Common Fund by $48.5 million; and provides a general reduction of $639.5 million in the agency's budget.  Additionally, H.R. 1 stipulates that the average of the total cost of competing research project grants for all of the Institutes, Centers, and Office of the Director during fiscal year 2011 shall not exceed $400,000.


An amendment offered by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA)   to restore full funding for NIH was ruled out of order.  The amendment's offset would have eliminated gas and oil subsidies funded through a different appropriations subcommittee.  Markey's amendment was cosponsored by Reps. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL.), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Rush Holt (D-NJ), and Susan Davis (D-CA). A video of Markey introducing his amendment is available at


Issa Offers Amendments to Rescind NIH and NSF Funding for Selective Research


Issa proposed a series of amendments that would have prohibited selective grants and/or funding of research in certain areas supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and/or the National Science Foundation (NSF).  He later withdrew the amendments.


The Issa amendments would have prohibited the use of NIH funding to support research to:  1) "examine the potential impact of a soda tax on population health; 2) research the use of marijuana in conjunction with opioid medications, such as morphine; 3) study condom use skills in adult males; and 4) study the concurrent and separate use of malt liquor and marijuana among young adults.  A fifth amendment proposed by Issa would have prohibited the National Science Foundation to study whether video games improve mental health for the elderly.


The recently renamed Coalition to Promote Research (CPR and formerly the Coalition to Protect Research), to more accurately reflect the mission "to promote public health, innovation and fundamental knowledge through scientific research" sent a letter to House members urging defeat of the amendments.   CPR organizations represent hundreds of thousands of scientists, physicians, health care providers, and patients who support federal investments in basic and applied biomedical and behavioral research.  COSSA co-chairs the Coalition.


For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), H.R. 1 sets the agency's budget at $5,742 billion for FY 2011 of which $750 million will be from agency transfers. The agency is also prohibited to acquire "real property, equipment, construction, and renovation of facilities."  Additionally it requires that $523.5 million "shall remain available until expended for the Strategic National Stockpile." 


Another amendment, sponsored by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) cut $42 million in funding for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).  Weiner seemed disturbed by the extravagance of USIP's new headquarters building in Washington.  Weiner also succeeded in restoring funding to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program at the expense of NASA.  The House also approved Rep. Bill Pascrell's (D-NJ) amendment to move $555 million from the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security to restore funding for Firefighters Assistance Grants.


The action now shifts to the Senate and the White House.  With both Houses of Congress on recess until February 28, there is not much time for the Senate to act, and for agreement among the House, Senate and the White House.  One alternative is to extend the current CR at Fiscal 2010 levels, with some anomalies such as the Census Bureau funded at almost the FY 2011 requested level, or no agreement is reached and the government shuts down!  Stay tuned!

Congress Asks for Report on Humanities and Social Sciences 

 In 2005, responding to congressional requests, the National Academies produced Rising Above the Gathering  Storm (RAGS), which called for more federal funding for the physical sciences and engineering and greater attention to educating American students in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.  The report became the cornerstone of the America COMPETES Act, passed by Congress in 2007 and re-enacted at the end of 2010.   


On February 17, in response to a request from Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI) and David Price (D-NC), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, led by Leslie Berlowitz, announced the appointment of a Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. 


Congress has asked the Commission to respond to the following charge:


What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century? 


John Rowe
John W. Rowe

The Commission's Co-Chairs are Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University, and John W. Rowe, Chairman and CEO of Exelon Corporation, a major power generating and delivery company headquartered in Chicago.  In the press release announcing the commission, Brodhead, a scholar of 19th Century literature, noted: "Americans already appreciate the importance of math and science to our future; this Commission will remind Americans of the long-term importance of the liberal arts as well."



Richard H. Brodhead (photo: Chris Hildreth)

The 42 member panel includes eight other university heads aside from Brodhead:  Amy Gutmann of Pennsylvania, Drew Gilpin Faust of Harvard, John Hennessy of Stanford, Carolyn 'Biddy' Martin of Wisconsin-Madison, John Sexton of NYU, David Skorton of Cornell, Donna Shalala of Miami, and John Jenkins of  Notre Dame.   Robert Berdhahl, current President of the Association of American Universities and a historian by training, and Pauline Yu, President of the American Council of Learned Societies, will also serve.


Robert Hauser, Executive Director of the National Academies' Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) and a sociologist, joins economist Richard Freeman of Harvard, and communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania, as members of the panel.  Princeton history professor and current President of the American Historical Association, Anthony Grafton, a scholar of the Renaissance, political theorist Danielle Allen of the Institute for Advanced Study, and Harvard Law Professor Annette Gordon-Reed, are also on the Commission.


 In addition, the panel includes: two-ex governors, Phil Bredeson of Tennessee and John Engler of Michigan, former Supreme Court Justice David Souter and Federal Judge Diane Wood, figures from the business arena, including retired CEO of Lockheed Martin Norman Augustine, who played a substantial role in producing and selling RAGS, and a host of members from the entertainment world, such as Ken Burns, Emmylou Harris, John Lithgow, and George Lucas.


The Commission will focus on education, research, and the institutions critical to maintaining the nation's excellence in the humanities and social sciences.  It expects to complete its work in the next 18 to 24 months. 


For more information about the initiative go to:

More Funds for Cops, Not Prisons, Message of COSSA, ASC Congressional Briefing


On February 15, the American Society of Criminology and COSSA presented a congressional briefing, Crime and Imprisonment:  How to Reduce Both.  Based on the current issue of Criminology and Public Policy, which courtesy of its publisher Wiley-Blackwell was distributed to the almost 100 people attending the session, the briefing focused on the lead paper by Professors Daniel Nagin of Carnegie-Mellon University, and Steven Durlauf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


After brief opening remarks by Thomas Blomberg, editor of the Journal and Dean of Criminology at Florida State University, and Richard Rosenfeld, special editor of the current issue and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, Nagin and Durlauf summarized their paper.  Responses to their ideas followed.  They were delivered by former Attorney General and Governor of Pennsylvania Richard Thornburgh, former Boston, New York and Los Angeles Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, current Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Laurie Robinson, and Cambridge University and University of Maryland Criminology Professor Lawrence Sherman.


The Nagin-Durlauf thesis is that we can reduce imprisonment and crime by shifting from severity-based to certainty-based sanction policies and by shifting resources from corrections to policing.  While admitting that there are some potential crime prevention effects of imprisonment such as incapacitation, the literature, they contend, has established only a modest, marginal deterrent effect of increasing already lengthy prison sentences. Furthermore, they maintain that there is little evidence that incarceration has a specific deterrent effect on criminal activity. 


Rather than focusing on severity as a method of deterrence, Nagin and Durlauf argued for a focus on deterring crime in the first place.  That can occur, they asserted, by creating certainty of apprehension through deployment of police in effective ways.  According to the authors, the evidence indicates, that with the right deployment, such as hot spots and problem-oriented policing, there is a substantial marginal deterrent effect on crime prevention.


Therefore, in an era of budget difficulties, especially in states where prison costs are a substantial part of state spending, Nagin and Durlauf recommended that policing should get a larger share of decreasing crime and criminal justice budgets.  They also suggested creating mechanisms to move resources from state-level corrections to local-level policing.


Since there are still lots of questions regarding policing and sentencing, Nagin and Durlauf also called for a "scientifically sound and policy relevant research program" with the National Institute of Justice as "the natural candidate for taking on this mantle."  Among the items for such a research program, they suggested, are examinations of the severity effects of shorter sentences that occur in some European countries, and the policy of targeted identification of high rate offenders.  They also called for better studies of stigma and stereotyping effects of imprisonment and improved state level data on sentencing.


Commentary from Bratton, Thornburgh, Robinson and Sherman


Bratton citing his forty years of experience declared he knows what works.  "Cops count, police matter," he asserted.   The Durlauf and Nagin study talks about things that have already been done.  In NYC and LA "we embraced community policing and problem solving policing."  Crime went down; incarceration went down, he proclaimed.   If police can control behavior, they can change behavior, he stated.  He talked about his experiences in NYC and LA, noting tactics including stop and frisk that although controversial are supported by the public.  Police actions focusing on prevention can reduce incarceration, especially for minority males, he contended.   The current financial difficulties faced by states and municipalities will provide experiments to see if cities can maintain these reductions, he concluded.

thornburg bratton
Hons. Richard Thornburgh & William Bratton


Thornburgh said he was there to bring "a reality check" to the feasibility for implementing the Durlauf and Nagin recommendations.    He believes it would be difficult to translate the savings from reducing prison populations into more money for the police, particularly in the current difficult financial straits the states now face.  "There is a long list of competitors" for the saved dollars, he declared.  He spoke strongly in favor of improving services for offenders both in prison and when they are released.  He acknowledged, however, that this is a "difficult sell politically" because of public resentment against lawbreakers receiving government services.  "This is a visceral thing," he commented.  He called for more research, delighting the academics, particularly on public attitudes and cost/benefit analyses of the paper's proposals.  He also recommended finding champions in the public sphere for the Durlauf/Nagin proposals.


Robinson applauded the session for having academics reaching out to policymakers and not just talking to each other.  She urged criminologists to become more "pragmatic and politically intelligent," so that policymakers will act on science, not anecdotes.   She advised using the rubric of "public safety,"  as this phrase resonated with policymakers.    She discussed the initiatives in the President's FY 2012 budget for research and statistics, including the three percent set-aside as well as the Evidence Integration Initiative and the What Works Clearinghouse.  She argued for strengthening research at the National Institute of Justice and the implementation of the recommendations in the recent National Research Council report.    She noted that there are real world examples of the reforms Durlauf/Nagin suggest.  She cited the Justice Reinvestment Movement, one of whose strong supporters is Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Office of Justice Programs.   She worried that the current financial difficulties, particularly cutbacks in funding for parole and probation programs, could reverse recent reductions in prison spending in some states. 


Finally, Sherman advised focusing on the front end of the crime problem - prevention - rather than the back end - imprisonment.   "People love police and hate prisons," he asserted.  It is also very politically difficult to reduce prison spending by releasing offenders.  We have made considerable progress, he contended with 'smart focused policing," e.g. hot spots.  It is now time, he argued for "offender management policing," which would have the police take on more of a parole and probation function.  It would divert low risk offenders from the criminal justice system and could include home visits, drug rehabilitation, and not sending first time offenders off to prison.  At the same time, the police can hold the "Sword of Damocles" over offenders heads in that if they don't shape up, they can be charged with the crime they have committed.  It is also time to spend considerably more funds on policing rather than prisons, Sherman proclaimed.  In the U.S. it is about 50-50; whereas in Britain, spending on police is three times more than spending on prisons.  Sherman cited the beginning of modern policing under Sir Robert Peel as the model for the new way of policing.  The test of success is not punishment, but reductions in crime, he concluded.

AERA Briefing Explores Payoffs of Long-Term Investment in Education Research


On February 14, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) joined the Education Deans Alliance and the National Academy of Education in co-sponsoring a Capitol Hill Briefing on the Payoffs of Long-Term Investment in Education Research.


The session stemmed from the premise that education research based on long-term funding has led to important payoffs for education policy and practice in such areas as resource allocation, school and classroom organization, and the education and evaluation of teachers.


Susan Fuhrman, President of Teachers College, Columbia University, founding director and chair of the Management Committee of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), and President of the National Academy of Education, introduced and moderated the session.


John Fantuzzo, Professor of Human Relations in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke about children who are "left behind" because of public health or family risk situations.  Bridget Terry Long, professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, described an experiment to simplify the college-aid application process by providing on-site assistance at H&R Block Tax Centers.


Robert H. Meyer, research professor and director of the Value-Added Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, discussed the contributions of his center which focuses on the development, implementation, and use of statistical methods to measure the value-added contributions of schools and teachers to student achievement.  Brian Rowan, Professor in the School of Education, and research professor at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, explained his thirteen-year study of comprehensive school reform programs by examining the effectiveness of three large programs, the Accelerated Schools Project, America's Choice, and Success for All.


Michael S. McPherson, President of the Spencer Foundation, and Ruby Takanishi, President of the Foundation for Child Development, provided the private foundation perspective.  McPherson called for larger studies that will provide "decisive answers to well-defined questions."


For more information go to:

NICHD Seeks Input on Defining an Agenda to Address Research Capacity Building


The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Division of Special Populations (DSP) is seeking input from the scientific community regarding models and best practices in the development of sustainable research capacity at non-research intensive institutions of higher education with the long term goal of conducting health disparities research that will address the mission of NICHD:  "To ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from reproductive processes, and that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation."


DSP, created to strengthen the Institute's commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of children, adults, families, and communities by addressing and eliminating health disparities through the participation of diverse populations in biomedical and behavioral research within the United States and abroad, recently completed a review of it program and initiatives addressing building and sustaining research capacity.


The DSP program review was followed by a consultative meeting with representatives from the scientific community to identify models of building sustainable research programs at non-research intensive institutions. The meeting participants asked DSP to:


1.        Identify and document best practices in developing research infrastructure and capacity in non-research intensive institutions.

2.        Address challenges that faculty members  face in participating in research, such as heavy teaching loads and lack of authority to identify and compete for federal research funding.

3.        Maintain successful components of current initiatives (e.g. Extramural Associates Program) that address strengthening offices of sponsored programs.

4.       Consider the changing demographics in the U.S, and the need to address groups that have not been recipients of research resources to develop infrastructure and capacity.

5.        Include Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) as a theme to address sustainable research and training programs.


Respondents are asked to describe the challenges in establishing sustainable research programs. Examples of challenges include, but are not limited to:  


1.        Creation of a culture in which original research and facilitating research literacy are valued activities.

2.        Design of innovations in creating adequate time for conducting original research.

3.        Implementation of a research agenda that supports the mission of the institution as well as reflects the national research agenda.

4.       Design of innovative approaches to creating a critical mass of independent biomedical and bio-behavioral researchers at non-research intensive institutions.

5.        Encouragement of interdisciplinary research across departments.

6.       Motivation of undergraduate and/or graduate students to become involved in research.

7.        Formulation of approaches to enhance research infrastructure and capacity at institutions.


DSP is also seeking possible solution and ask respondents to describe innovative capacity building approaches to address these as well as any other challenges listed.


DSP will accept responses until June 21, 2011 via email to NICHD's DSP at:  Responses should be marked with the RFI identifier, NOT-HD-11-006.   For each response, DSP ask that respondents are asked to provide (1) brief background information, (2) define the challenge, and (3) describe the potential solution. Responses are expected to be 500 words or less for each challenge and/or solution.


It is noted that the RFI is for planning purposes only and is not a solicitation.  The Notice is a reissue of NOT-HD-10-016.  Individuals and/or institutions which responded to the earlier notice may provide additional responses.


Inquiries about the RFI should be directed to:  Regina Smith James, Director, DSP, NICHD, 301-435-2692; or

AHRQ Annouces Interest in Career Development Grants Focused on Health Care System Redesign

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  has announced its intent (NOT-HS-11-006) to support individual mentored and independent career-development grants to doctorally-prepared clinicians and scientists interested in pursuing research careers related to evaluating and comparing health care delivery system designs; developing and evaluating system redesigns; and implementing and disseminating effective, evidence-based design practices. 


According to AHRQ, systems design research examines interactions among system components and their possible impact on quality and cost. Redesigns are attempts to change existing designs in ways that enhance value.  AHRQ recognizes that the health care delivery systems are complex systems that involve both social and technical aspects.  The announcement points out that these systems are characterized by dynamic interchanges with their environments (e.g., markets, payers, regulators, and consumers) and interactions among internal system components. These components include people, physical settings, technologies, care processes, and organization (e.g., rules, structure, information systems, communication, rewards, work flow, culture.

Research career priorities cited by the agency  include the development of researchers interested in conducting rigorous demonstrations and evaluations that show which system designs and redesigns are most effective, under what circumstances, and for whom.  Applicants may also focus their research and career development plans on strategies utilized to foster the dissemination and uptake of evidence-based delivery system designs and practices.  They can also focus their plans on a wide range of issues within delivery system research, including: the organization and management of health care delivery (e.g., primary care medical home, the development of accountable care organizations, other forms of bundling care); strategies for increasing providers' compliance with evidence-based guidelines; transition support for patients with complex health care needs, including ways to reduce unnecessary re-hospitalization; care delivery and coordination for chronic care patients; and payment and reporting strategies for improving access, quality, and/or the value and administration of health care and its delivery. 


Applicants are encouraged to: ground their proposed projects in theory,  linking designs to expected outcomes; employ longitudinal designs and mixed analytic methods (e.g. quantitative and qualitative) as appropriate to their research questions of interest; and assess and measure the influence of contextual factors in projects focusing on the implementation of redesign initiatives. 

AHRQ further encourage applications to evaluate practices of particular importance to priority and studies of how to implement and spread these practices within and across safety net institutions.


Information and details on the scope, eligibility, deadlines, and application procedures for these grants can be found at:, or  Inquiries can also be addressed to:  Kay Anderson, Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations, AHRQ; 301-427-1555; or

NIA and AoA to Support Joint Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence


The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Administration on Aging (AoA) are seeking applications for translational research that moves evidence-based research findings towards the development of new interventions, programs, policies, practices, and tools that can be used by community-based organizations to help elderly individuals remain healthy and independent, and living in their own homes and communities.  Such organizations include:  city and state health departments, city/town leadership councils, and Area Agencies on Aging.


The funding opportunity announcements (FOA),Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence in the Community, (PA-11-123) and (PA-11-124),addresses complementary goals of the two agencies to improve the health and well-being of older Americans.  Applications may be submitted no earlier than May 5, 2011 and May 16, 2011 respectively.


NIA has long been the primary sponsor of research in social and behavioral sciences on the processes of aging at both the individual and societal levels.  Accordingly, this long-term investment in research has generated a large body of knowledge about how people change over the adult life course (both physically and in such areas as cognition, motivation, emotion, personality, and memory), on the inter-relationships between older people and social institutions, and on the economic impact of both changing age-composition of the population and public/private programs that serve older populations.  The institute, for many years, has also supported research at both (1) the population level, on the antecedents and impact of changing social, demographic, economic, and health characteristics of the older population, and (2) the individual level, on the bio-psychosocial processes linking health and behavior, cognitive and emotional functioning, human factors, and integrative approaches to the study of social, psychological, contextual/environmental, genetic, and physiological influences on health and well-being over the life course.


Recent years have seen an explosion of fundamental insights in the social and behavioral sciences.  Translating this knowledge into practical advances to benefit the health and well being of older Americans has increasingly become a priority for the NIA.


The mission of AoA is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated system of services and supports at the community level that helps elderly individuals maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities. AoA advances its mission by working with and through the national Aging Network that includes 56 State and Territorial Units on Aging (SUA), 629 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), 246 Indian Tribal and Native Hawaiian organizations, nearly 20,000 direct service provider organizations, and more than 500,000 volunteers.  Each year this network provides directly a wide array of services and supports to over 10 million older individuals and almost 1 million family caregivers.   Although there is some adoption of translated evidence-based interventions into practice by the Network, it has been limited thus far and few evidence-based interventions have been brought to scale nationwide.


For that reason, the FOAs encourage applications that focus on the translation of evidence-based  behavioral and social research in aging into the development of new interventions, programs, policies, practices, and tools that can be used by community-based organizations to help elderly individuals remain healthy and independent, and living in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. 


Applications should also be able to demonstrate that the research used has reasonable potential for practicability and scalability.  They should also show evidence of collaboration between academic research centers and community-based organizations.  Ideally such collaborative applications will result in partnerships that will move evidence-based science findings into practice.  Applications are especially encouraged that involve community-based organizations as full partners in each phase of work (e.g., from conception, design, conduct, analysis, interpretation, conclusions to communication of results).  Applications are encouraged across a broad range of studies needed for the translation of evidence-based behavioral and social science research on aging.  Similarly, applications are encouraged that leverage the work of AoA-supported community-based organizations and networks. 


Examples of potential application topics include:


  Translation of research on how subjective well-being is impacted by aging-relevant life transitions, including changes in employment or health status, marital status, and social engagement, where potential modifiable factors at the individual or population level have been identified that might serve as cost-effective intervention targets at the community level to promote improvements or maintenance of subjective well-being in later life.

  Translation of research results that improve home and community based services (e.g. transportation, including older-driver skills building, and in-home services such as personal care). 

  Translation of research results that focus on positive health behavior change (e.g., smoking cessation, improvements in diet, increasing physical activity), especially recent results from the literature on self-regulation and behavioral economics (e.g., the use of "nudges" and defaults, explicit manipulation of gain and loss frames).

  Translation of research results and models that focus on cost-effective health promotion and disease and disability prevention (e.g. chronic disease self-management; illness awareness models; falls prevention; physical fitness programs; and interventions that remediate cognitive or physical decline).

  Translation of research that supports informal caregiving, such as REACH II.  This includes evaluation of the impact on caregivers in terms of their health, functioning and well-being. Of particular interest are models that build the clinical and non-clinical skills of unpaid caregivers (e.g., training/skills building on medication management; nutrition; assistance with ADL and IADL management; and self-management).

  Translation of research results on chronic care models that improve coordination of care, reduce fragmentation, and improve health outcomes. 

  Translation research that enhances social connections and the role of older individuals in promoting productive aging, such as volunteerism.

  Translation of research on workplace factors that promote flexibility, productivity, and work-family balance to enhance the health and well-being of older workers and to maintain older adults in the workplace.

  Translation research that seeks to improve the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of older at-risk and vulnerable adults (e.g., caregivers, minorities, persons with limited English proficiency, geographically and socioeconomically disadvantaged).    

American Finance Association Newest COSSA Member


The American Finance Association (AFA) has joined COSSA in its Membership Organization category.  The AFA is the premier academic organization devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics.  It publishes the Journal of Finance.

Consortium of Social Science Associations 

Governing Members

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

Membership Organizations

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
American Finance Association
American Psychosomatic Society
Association for Asian Studies
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations
Association of Research Libraries
Council on Social Work Education
Eastern Sociological Society
Economic History Association
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

Centers and Institutes

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
RTI International
Social Science Research Council
Vera Institute of Justice
Colleges and Universities

Arizona State University
Boston University
Brown University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
Carnegie-Mellon University
University of Connecticut
University of Chicago
Clark University
Columbia University
Cornell University
University of Delaware
Duke University
Georgetown University
George Mason University
George Washington University
Harvard University
Howard University
University of Illinois
Indiana University
Iowa State University
Johns Hopkins University
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Kansas State University
University of Maryland
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse
University of Michigan
Michigan State University
University of Missouri, St. Louis 
University of Minnesota  
Mississippi State University
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
New York University
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
University of Oklahoma
University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
University of South Carolina
Stanford University
State University of New York, Stony Brook
University of Texas, Austin
University of Texas, Brownsville
Texas A & M University
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


Executive Director:  Howard J. Silver
Deputy Director:  Angela L. Sharpe
Asst. Director for Gov't Affairs:  LaTosha C. Plavnik

President:  Kenneth Prewitt 


Address all inquiries to COSSA at  Telephone: (202) 842-3525


The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) is an advocacy organization promoting attention to and federal support for the social and behavioral sciences.

UPDATE is published 22 times per year.  ISSN 0749-4394.