Images of Washington Institutions
May 31, 2011      Volume 30, Issue 10

                                                                                                                                                                                                            COSSA Washington Update Find us on Facebook
In This Issue
Coburn Attacks NSF: Calls for Elimination of SBE Directorate
SBE Advisory Committee Meets: Looks to the Future
House Begins Appropriations Process: Cut! Cut! Cut!
Senate Finally Confirms Cora Marrett as NSF's Deputy Director
NCES Releases Condition of Education 2011
START Session Features Authors of Radicalization Volume
NIMH to Seek Proposals on Mechanisms Underlying Patterns of Depressive and Anxiety Disorders across Diverse Populations
NIH/PEPFAR Collaboration for Implementation Science and Impact Evaluation
History of Science Society Rejoins COSSA

Coburn Attacks NSF: Calls for Elimination of SBE Directorate


Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who in 2009 unsuccessfully tried to eliminate the Political Science program at the National Science Foundation (NSF), has issued a report The National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope that accuses NSF of mismanagement and wasteful spending.


The report also calls for the elimination of NSF's Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate.  The new call for SBE's demise follows unsuccessful attempts by then-House Science Committee Chairman Robert Walker (R-PA) in 1995-96 and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) in 2006 (see Update, May 15 and May 26, 2006.)


The Senator gives NSF credit for transformative research that led to the Internet, Cloud Computing, Bar Codes, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Buckyballs, but he is not happy with a whole slew of individual grants that he thinks are "questionable studies."  Back from 2009 are a number of political science awards.  The Senator has a problem with NSF-funded investigations of democratization and democratic processes.  As COSSA Executive Director Howard Silver told SCIENCE magazine, "His objections to research on democracy and democratic institutions seem odd in a world where building democratic institutions in the Middle East and elsewhere has become increasingly important."


Also back from 2009 is his categorizing of the American National Election Studies as wasteful, and this time he has added the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to the list.  These two studies, along with the General Social Survey, have told us more about Americans' political, economic, and social behavior during the past 60 years than any other source available.


Here is Coburn's brief for eliminating SBE.   "To varying degrees, each of these fields represents interesting and-many times-important areas of research and discovery.  But do any of these social studies represent obvious national priorities that deserve a cut of the same pie as astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and oceanography?  The recent tragedy in Japan highlights the importance of nearly all of these natural sciences and how a better understanding of each can improve our abilities to protect life and property from natural occurrences such as earthquakes and tsunamis... Rather than ramping up the amount spent on political science and other social and behavioral research, NSF's mission should be redirected towards truly transformative sciences with practical uses outside of academic circles and clear benefits to mankind and the world."  The tsunami example is quite startling given all the social science research on human behavior, particularly resiliency, in the face of natural disasters (see Update, November 21, 2005). 


Given this attitude, it is surprising that Coburn cites former Presidential Science Adviser John Marburger, who in addresses to the AAAS Meeting and two COSSA Annual Meetings urged the social and behavioral sciences to take up the issue of the impact of science and innovation policy.  SBE has led NSF's Science of Science and Innovation Policy program and has initiated the new STAR METRICS program, an inter-agency effort with research institutions to document the outcomes of science investments to the public.


Coburn's indictment of NSF also includes grant management failures including the lack of final reporting on grants.  He cites NSF Inspector General reports from 2004 and 2006 as indicators of waste and fraud.  He also appears interested in the sexual behavior of NSF employees.


(The report is available on the Senator's web page


House Panel to Scrutinize SBE


The Coburn report appears right before a scheduled hearing on June 2 before the Research and Science Education Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, The hearing will examine SBE and Myron Gutmann, the Assistant Director for the directorate, is the lead witness.  He will be joined by Hillary Anger Elfenbein, a psychologist at Washington University, St. Louis' School of Business;  Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist from the Hudson Institute, and Peter Wood, an anthropologist, now President of the National Association of Scholars.  In 2007, Elfenbein's research on human emotions was attacked by Reps. John Campbell (R-CA) and Scott Garrett (R-NJ), who tried to defund it.  Then Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) was able to repel the attack by noting the importance of the research to protecting American soldiers in Iraq (see Update, May 14, 2007). 

SBE Advisory Committee Meets:  Looks to the Future


The National Science Foundation's Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate's Advisory Committee met on May 19-20 to hear about and discuss SBE's future.   The Advisory Committee is now led by Annalee 'Anno' Saxesian, Dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, who replaced Michael Goodchild, director of the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as Chair.


The Committee heard Myron Gutmann, Assistant Director for the Directorate, report on the effort called SBE 2020 that is helping frame the next generation of research that SBE will support.  Seeking advice from the scientific community, the SBE program officers, and the Advisory Committee, Gutmann noted the overlap among the three great challenges:  answering important scientific questions, improving data and infrastructure to help find those answers, and building capacity so that there is a sufficient and diverse workforce to pursue the science. 


One of the results from the consultations with the community, Gutmann told the Committee, is that the social and behavioral scientists seem much less focused on disciplinary science for its own sake, even though university reward systems are still geared in that direction.  They are aware that to engage with the fundamental problems facing the nation and the world interdisciplinary research is necessary. 


Those problems, Gutmann identified as: giving Americans healthy lives; making the most of new technology; dealing with a changing climate; building responsive, adaptable governance structures; producing economic growth and jobs; and improving opportunity and reducing inequality.   To accomplish this, he called for a data-intensive, multi-disciplinary collaborative science. 


At the same time, the existing program areas need to continue to advance, he indicated.  New research areas such as:  population change, particularly with respect to family, migration and aging; inequality as manifested in health disparities and other ways; communication and how it impacts learning and language; and new technologies, including social media and social networks, are also part of the future research landscape.


To move the science forward, the SBE sciences need new and improved infrastructure, Gutmann argued.  The development of research centers combining access to data, training, and support, similar to the Census Data Centers, but on a much larger scale, is one way to go.  An idea generated by Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google and Saxesian's predecessor as Dean at Berkeley, to develop "clinical trials" that would test interventions on a realistic scale, was another intriguing suggestion, Gutmann noted.


There were new "exciting" data suggestions, he said, for improving the science.  These included:  a new or updated household panel; coupled human-environmental data; more use of administrative data; commercial and social media data; embedded geospatial information; linguistic data; and digitized cultural heritage and collections.  


For 2012, Gutmann wants to encourage workshops organized by the current programs and the establishment of a multidisciplinary program with a standing advisory panel for reviewing proposals.  In order to improve training and data activities in 2012, Gutmann envisions increasing support for the Integrating Education and Research Training (IGERT) program as well as exploring other mechanisms for interdisciplinary training.  He also hopes to mount a competition for planning and pilots to develop new data opportunities and to improve the interoperability and metadata in the "gold standard surveys" - the American National Election Studies, the General Social Survey, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.


The great challenge for the Directorate in the near future, Gutmann concluded, is how to build the SBE data infrastructure for the 21st Century and how to introduce new research priorities while also prioritizing existing research areas.


Lynda Carlson, director of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, reported to the Advisory Committee on the division's many new activities.   The panel also heard about two cross-NSF initiatives: the Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) from Rita Teutonico, and the Cyberinfrastrucure Framework for the 21st Century from Alan Blatecky.


UK's ESRC Activities and Plans


Finally Paul Boyle, new President of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of the United Kingdom (UK), discussed his organization's current activities and future plans.  One of the ESRC's major new efforts is the Understanding Society Longitudinal Study.  A panel study with a sample of 40,000 households, it aims to understand the long term effects of social and economic change, as well as the impact of policy interventions on the general well-being of the UK population.  According to the ESRC, the study will benefit policy researchers and policy makers in the UK, and researchers and research users in a wide range of academic and non-academic environments around the world.  Budgeted at $15.5 million Pounds (close to $25 million), it will survey households about their attitudes and activities and collect biomarkers, while also using administrative data and geospatial data to supplement the survey responses.


The ESRC has also released its Delivery Plan for 2011-15.  It has three priority areas for strategic research investments:  Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth; Influencing Behavior and Informing Interventions; and A Vibrant and Fair Society.


The other parts of the plan include calls on the ESRC to:  Focus resources on longer, larger grants that deliver ambitious social science; Invest in future leaders by introducing a scheme for early career researchers; Concentrate Ph.D. training in the best centers and fund students working in strategic subjects such as behavioral economics; Protect core investments in the national data infrastructure, including the funding of longitudinal surveys and the exploitation of under-used administrative data; Prioritize the generation of economic and societal impacts; Expand collaborative activities with the private sector; and  Encourage and promote international collaboration by incorporating international perspectives across the full range of ESRC activities from an early stage.


In addition, in March 2011 the government announced that the ESRC along with the Medical Research Council will lead the Millennium Birth Cohort Study which will involve a sample of 90,000 families and their children from all backgrounds across the UK, and is nearly five times bigger than the previous study conducted in 2000.  For the first time in a study of this kind, a series of biological samples will be collected from parents and the child.  According to the ESRC, this should reveal more than ever before about the complex interplay between social, economic, biological, environmental and health related experiences and conditions, and how they relate to problems later in life.  In many ways it resembles the NIH-sponsored National Children's Study.


House Begins Appropriations Process:  Cut! Cut! Cut! 


The House of Representatives began the FY 2012 appropriations process with a series of Subcommittee and full Committee markups of three of the twelve spending bills.  Homeland Security and Military Construction/Veterans' Affairs have gone through the full Committee, while the Agriculture and Rural Development bill has come through the Subcommittee. Operating under the budget resolution drawn up by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and passed by the House, the spending panels are in the process of reducing spending by $30.4 billion from the FY 2011 levels.


Earlier, full Committee Chairman Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) announced his intention of moving nine of the twelve bills off the House floor by the August recess and completing the remaining three before the start of FY 2012 on October 1, 2011.  He also produced the 302b allocations to the Subcommittees.  Aside from Defense, which gets a $17 billion boost over FY 2011, all the other panels' funds from which they will allot spending for their many programs and agencies are reduced.  The Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee, which funds the National Science Foundation, the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the National Institute of Justice, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as well as NOAA and NASA, will have to find $3.1 billion in savings over FY 2011 and $7.4 billion in reductions from the President's FY 2012 request.


The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Subcommittee, which funds NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and all Department of Education programs, will need to find savings of $18.2 billion from FY 2011 and $41.6 billion from the President's FY 2012 request.


On May 24, on a party line vote of 27-20, the Appropriations panel reported out the Department of Homeland Security's FY 2012 spending bill.  Among its provisions are a cut of $290 million from the FY 2011 funding level of $829 million from the Department's Science and Technology directorate. This was also $637 million less than the FY 2012 request.


Also on May 24, the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), marked up its FY 2012 spending bill.  Totaling $17.2 billion in discretionary funding, the bill cut over $2.6 billion from last year's level, and was $5 billion below the President's budget request for these programs.   Rogers called these cuts "smart but significant."


The bill provides $2.2 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agriculture Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  This is a significant reduction of over $354 million from last year's level.  The panel provided $70 million for the Economic Research Service (ERS), significantly below the $81.8 million appropriated in FY 2011. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) received $149.5 million, down from $156.4 million in FY 2011.  The Subcommittee recommended that $40 million of the $149.5 million fund the Census of Agriculture.  NIFA was granted $600.8 million, an almost $100 million cut from FY 2011, for payments to agricultural experiment stations, cooperative forestry and other research, facilities, and other expenses, of which $208 million would fund the Hatch Act program.  The Agricultural Food and Research Initiative competitive grants program received $225 million from the Subcommittee, a reduction from the $264.5 million in FY 2011.


The Homeland Security spending bill should come to the House floor on June 1.  The full House Appropriations Committee will consider the Agriculture and Rural Development bill on May 31.  The Defense Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. C.W. 'Bill' Young, will consider its FY 2012 spending bill on June 1. 


In the meantime, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) has not brought a FY 2012 budget resolution before his panel.  He claims he is waiting for the 'Grand Deal' negotiations shepherded by Vice President Biden to reach a conclusion.


Senate Finally Confirms Cora Marrett as NSF's Deputy Director


Originally nominated on August 6, 2010 and when the Senate did not act on the nomination in the 111th Congress re-nominated by President Obama on January 5, 2011, the Senate confirmed, by voice vote, Cora Marrett as the next Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on May 27.


Marrett served as NSF's Acting Director in 2010 between the departure of director Arden Bement at the end of May and the arrival of current director Subra Suresh in October.  Since January 2011 Marrett has been a Senior Adviser to the director as she awaited her confirmation.


From 1992-96, Marrett was the first Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate.  She returned to NSF in 2007 to serve as the Assistant Director for the Education and Human Resources Directorate.  In early 2009, she became NSF's Acting Deputy Director. 


In between her stints at NSF, Marrett served as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin System, as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and on the COSSA Board of Directors. 


Prior to arriving at NSF in 1992 to head the SBE Directorate, she taught Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Western Michigan University, and the University of North Carolina.  She has also served on advisory committees for the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council, and was a member of President Carter's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island. 


Marrett is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She holds a B.A. from Virginia Union University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin.

NCES Releases Condition of Education 2011


On May 25, the National Center for Education Statistics released The Condition of Education 2011 report.  The Condition of Education is a congressionally mandated report that provides an annual portrait of education in the United States. This year's report includes 50 indicators covering all aspects of education, including early childhood through postsecondary education, student achievement and outcomes, and school environments and resources.  The report also describes the current state of postsecondary education and how it has been changing in recent decades. 


"We are seeing a shift in postsecondary education," said NCES Commissioner Jack Buckley.  "In 2000, private for-profit institutions represented only three percent of undergraduate enrollment.  However, since then these institutions have added 1.2 million students and now account for nine percent of enrollment."


Some other findings from the report:  


  •  Enrollments:  From 2008-09 through 2020-21, public elementary and secondary school enrollment is projected to increase from 49.3 to 52.7 million students, but with differences across states (indicator 2).
  • Race and Ethnicity:  Between 1989 and 2009, the percentage of public school students who were White decreased from 68 to 55 percent, and the percentage of those who were Hispanic doubled from 11 to 22 percent (indicator 5).
  • On-time High School Graduation Rates: There were significant variations across the states.  Three-quarters of public school students graduated on time in 2008. The District of Columbia and Nevada reported the lowest average freshman graduation rate (AFGR), or percentage of students who graduated from public high school on time with a regular diploma, at 56 percent. Wisconsin had the highest, at 90 percent.
  • Enrollment Growth in Higher Education:   From 2000 to 2009, undergraduate enrollment in postsecondary institutions increased from 13 million students to 18 million. Of this increase, 27 percent (representing 1.2 million students) occurred at private for-profit institutions.
  • Higher Education ChoiceSome 30 percent of full-time students age 35 and over attended private for-profit four-year institutions in 2009, compared with three percent of full-time students under the age of 25.
  • Number of Degrees:  There were 41 percent more associate's degrees, 33 percent more bachelor's degrees, and 49 percent more master's degrees awarded in 2008-09 than were in 1998-99.

The Condition of Education 2011 complete report is available at


START Session Features Authors of Radicalization Volume


On May 25th, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and responses to Terrorism (START), a center of excellence of the US Department of Homeland Security led by COSSA Board Member Gary LaFree, hosted a discussion on radicalization and terrorism.  Speaking at the event were the authors of a recent book Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us, Sophia Moskalenko, Research Associate at the Solomon Asche Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at Bryn Mawr Collge, and Clark McCauley, Co-Director of the Solomon Asch Center.  Arif Alikhna, Professor of Homeland Security & Counterterrorism at the National Defense University, also spoke.


According to Moskalenko, a social psychologist, radicalization is a common event, while terrorism is rare and highly bimodal-someone is a terrorist or isn't.  In contrast, radicalization exists along a spectrum-it is a process towards the support of violence.  The research she and McCauley conducted for their book involved identifying a list of 12 mechanisms for radicalization.  The two acknowledge that this list is not exhaustive and further work remains to be done.  The 12 mechanisms are broken down into three categories: individual radicalization, group level radicalization, and mass level radicalization.  Individual mechanisms include such varied factors as personal grievance, a desire for justice or revenge, and love, a desire simply to be near a loved one or to protect them.  Group level factors include things like group psychology, often unexplainable to people affected by it, and group polarization, pulling a group of moderate individuals to an extreme.  An important underlying point of the mechanisms theory is that many of them can work together to push an everyday person to terrorist action.


The implication of this research, and the resulting theory and mechanisms, according to McCauley, is that producing a profile of radicalization or short list of people who are likely to become terrorists remains difficult.  In McCauley's words "there is no conveyor belt to terrorism." At least nine of the 12 mechanisms were at work on Osama Bin Laden, and his decision to become a terrorist was the result of conflict over time-he was not the same person in his youth as he was when Americans became familiar with him. 


Another important point to note in this theory is something that is not in it-religion.  In fact, of the 12 mechanisms, only two have any religious connection.  McCauley listed seven reasons to doubt that radical religion produces terrorism.  Moskaleko and McCauley acknowledge that there is far more work to be done examining the path of radicalization, and hope that other studies and research will be sparked by their work.

NIMH to Seek Proposals on Mechanisms Underlying Patterns of Depressive and Anxiety Disorders across Diverse Populations


The National Institute of Mental Health has issued a Notice (NOT-MH-11-009) of its intention to promote a new initiative that encourages innovative, multilevel approaches that integrate epidemiology with genetics, neuroscience, biology, and the social and behavioral sciences. 


Of particular interest to the Institute are two "key areas:" First, research to advance understanding of the biological and social processes that influence how racial and ethnic differences in the reported prevalence rates and distribution of the core group of depressive and anxiety disorders unfold over the life course.  (These disorders include:  major depressive disorder, dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder).  The initiative seeks to encourage research that capitalizes on existing longitudinal data and integrates biological and social information.  Second, research to understand whether and why racial and ethnic differences exist in intermediate phenotypes related to the core group of depressive and anxiety disorders of interest by using neuropsychological, cognitive, neurophysiological, neuroanatomical, and biochemical measures.


The notice explains that descriptive epidemiologic studies drawn from representative samples of racial and ethnic groups in the United States-the National Comorbidity Study Replication, the National Survey of American Life, and the National Latino and Asian American Study-document substantial variation in the aggregated prevalence of these disorders by race/ethnicity.  The reasons for these differences, however, are poorly understood. 


Accordingly, NIMH intends to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) in the summer of 2011 to invite investigator-initiated applications for research in this area.  The initiative will seek to stimulate innovative research that will expand current knowledge of the affective, biological, cognitive, behavioral, social, and/or developmental mechanisms underlying racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of these depressive and anxiety disorders.


Although applications are not being solicited at this time, inquiries regarding the Notice can be directed to:  LeShawndra N. Price, Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health, (301) 443-2847 or

NIH/PEPFAR Collaboration for Implementation Science and Impact Evaluation


The National Institute of Health (Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Cancer, Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Child Health and Human Development, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health) in collaboration with the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator is soliciting applications for support of implementation science projects that will inform the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) as it develops more efficient and cost-effective methods to deliver HIV prevention, treatment, and care on a large scale.


Launched in 2003, PEPFAR is a global health initiative with the goal of comprehensively combating HIV/AIDS around the world.   Implementation science is defined as the study of methods to improve the uptake, implementation, and translation of research findings into routine and common practices. Its scope is broader than typical biomedical research and seeks to improve program effectiveness and optimize efficiency, including the effective transfer of interventions from one setting to another.  There is an unmet need for implementation science research to inform approaches and investments for public health programming and policy making.  There is substantial expertise in the scientific community to address implementation science research questions, including questions in the fields of operations research, epidemiology, sociology, health economics, health services research, anthropology, statistics, political science, policy analysis, and ethics.


Accordingly, there is recognition of the need for a rigorous implementation science research agenda to improve program delivery in PEPFAR and to increase the global impact of proven HIV/AIDS modalities in prevention, treatment, and care.   While scientific knowledge to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS has expanded substantially, scientific advances regarding the implementation of effective interventions have not kept pace.


The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), NIH/PEPFAR Collaboration for Implementation Science and Impact Evaluation (RFA-AI-11-003) is designed to solicit implementation science research relevant to programs supported by PEPFAR.   These studies should address the challenges that PEPFAR encounters in the implementation of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care programs in resource-limited countries.   Studies that address program effectiveness and cost efficiency are particularly important to meeting PEPFAR program goals.  Studies that are designed specifically to improve prevention, care and treatment outcomes in most-at-risk populations and those marginalized by gender inequities are high priorities for PEPFAR.


Priority research areas include but are not limited to:


Social/behavioral approaches that prevent HIV transmission. --There are significant science-to-practice gaps in the area of social/behavioral interventions for HIV prevention. A wide range of implementation science studies are needed, particularly in the areas of dissemination, adoption, fidelity/adaptation, and sustainability of interventions. These studies may include innovative methods for evaluating the effectiveness and added value of incorporating promising but less tested interventions into a combination prevention package.  Translating effective prevention interventions from selected populations under controlled conditions into a variety of real world settings and scaling up these interventions also requires an understanding of the elements of the intervention that are essential for efficacy and those elements that allow some flexibility for a specific target population.  A critical question is how best to combine efficacious interventions for specific populations and settings.   Examples of priority research areas include:


  The prevention interventions that have the highest levels of acceptability and adherence in different populations at high risk of HIV infection.

  Approaches that increase the acceptability of and adherence to prevention interventions of known efficacy.

  Factors influencing impact of efficacious interventions after transfer into broader community and clinic-based settings.

  How target audiences for prevention interventions are defined, how evidence is packaged for various audiences, and how message framing can enhance uptake.

  How individuals can manage the implementation process and whether mentoring can enhance adoption of interventions.

  The essential elements for success of effective interventions in "real world" settings, including interventions to prevent high risk sexual exposure.

  How the financing of organizations affect intervention adoption, effectiveness, and sustainability.


Role of nutrition and nutritional status in prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS. -- Implementation research addressing nutrition and HIV/AIDS within PEPFAR is needed to develop optimal cross-cutting nutrition activities.  Implementation science in this area includes the evaluation of delivery systems and integration of PEPFAR activities with other nutrition and food support programs as well as the assessment of effectiveness and cost-efficiency of specific nutrition interventions related to PEPFAR programs. 


Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). --  Implementation science research is needed to determine how to best recruit and retain women and their infants at each point of the cascade of antenatal, PMTCT, and postnatal interventions. 


Engagement and retention of individuals (adults, adolescents, and children) in HIV care and treatment. -- Continuing the scale-up of PEPFAR treatment services within budget constraints requires an effort to ensure efficiency and effectiveness for care and treatment services.  Implementation science methodology can help to identify and evaluate innovative practices that will lead to the early diagnosis of HIV-infected individuals, improve the speed of enrollment in care and initiation of appropriate HIV treatment, and maximize adherence and long term follow-up.  Research is needed to identify and strengthen linkages between testing and care services for patients with newly diagnosed HIV; to improve the capacity, effectiveness, and cost effectiveness in providing care to HIV-infected patients prior to eligibility for ARV therapy; and to guide PEPFAR in promoting smooth transitions into treatment programs while maintaining consistency of care and effectively managing the diseases that commonly jeopardize outcomes for HIV-positive individuals.  Studies are needed to evaluate approaches to improve the effectiveness of treatment programs in retaining patients, reducing morbidity, and minimizing ARV toxicity while maximizing the durability of first-line regimens.  Comparative efficiency studies or other types of effectiveness studies are also needed to determine the optimal use of resources for monitoring viral suppression, to monitor and prevent HIV drug resistance, and to evaluate the impact of HIV drug resistance. 


Integration of primary health care, HIV/AIDS services and treatment of common co-morbidities. --  Implementation science approaches can provide information about whether addressing HIV disease and common co-morbidities in primary care facilities compromises the quality of either HIV care or primary health care.  In addition, serious co-infections, such as tuberculosis, and co-morbidities (e.g., cancer, liver disease, alcohol or drug use, and mental health conditions) often are not addressed in ARV clinics. Implementation science could address practical questions related to the integration at scale of these services into HIV care.


Scale-up of male circumcision to prevent HIV acquisition. -- Implementation science is needed to develop the safest, most acceptable, and most cost-effective way to scale up sustainable programs. 


Letters of Intent are due on June 7, 2011 and applications are due by 5:00 pm on July 7, 2011.   For more information or to apply see:


History of Science Society Rejoins COSSA


After a hiatus, the History of Science Society the world's largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in historical context, has rejoined COSSA.  We are delighted to welcome HSS back and look forward to working with them on matters of mutual interest. 

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
History of Science Society
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 Anthropological Sciences
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
Assistant Director for Government Affairs:  LaTosha C. Plavnik
Assistant Director of Public Affairs: Gina Drioane 

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.