January 13, 2015    Volume 34, Issue 1

In This Issue
COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 -- Registration Now Open
114th Congress Gavels In; Committee Leaders Appointed
President's FY 2016 Budget Request to be Released February 2
SACHRP Seeks Nominations for New Members
Profile of New BEA Director in Amstat News
NRC Roundtable Discusses Need for Improved Public Understanding of Social Science Research
NIJ: Forensic Science and Elder Abuse
COSSA Welcomes New Members in 2015

from the Executive Director

Happy 2015! COSSA is thrilled to kick-off the New Year with a brand new logo, look, and website. Check it out at www.cossa.org, where you will also find the latest news and analysis of policy developments impacting social and behavioral science research, archives of the COSSA Washington Update, details on the upcoming COSSA Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day (more below), information on how to become a COSSA member, and much more.


We are looking forward to working with you in the year ahead to promote social and behavioral science research!



Wendy A. Naus

COSSA Executive Director

featured News

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 -- Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public; however, the advocacy day meetings are reserved for representatives of COSSA member organizations and institutions.


The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. It provides an opportunity for COSSA members and others to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and institutions.


Confirmed speakers to date include France Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation, Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Erin Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative.


NEW THIS YEAR -- Coinciding with the Annual Meeting on March 10 will be the first-ever Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day. This event offers COSSA members an opportunity to meet with their elected officials to discuss the importance of federal funding for social and behavioral science research.


Visit the COSSA Annual Meeting page for full details, including hotel information for out-of-town attendees. Register today (rates increase after February 10)!

Congressional News

114th Congress Gavels In; Committee Leaders Appointed

The 114th Congress was officially sworn in on January 6. The new Congress includes a freshman class of 52 Representatives (36 Republicans and 16 Democrats) and 12 Senators (11 Republicans and 1 Democrat), as well as a new GOP majority in the Senate. The party split now stands at 246 Republicans to 188 Democrats (and 1 vacancy) in the House and 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 2 Independents in the Senate. 

Several committee chairs and ranking members have been announced in recent days, including for committees and subcommittees overseeing funding and policy issues important to social and behavioral science research. These appointments will weigh heavily on the priorities and activities of the committees over the next year. A few notable appointments known so far:

 House Appropriations Committee

                Chairman: Hal Rogers (R-KY), reappointed (majority press release)

                Ranking Member: Nita Lowey (D-NY), reappointed


Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science

                                Chairman: John Culberson (R-TX)

                                Ranking Member: Chaka Fattah (D-PA), reappointed


Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education

                                Chairman: Tom Cole (R-OK)

                                Ranking Member: Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), reappointed

Senate Appropriations Committee

                Chairman: Thad Cochran (R-MS)

                Ranking Member: Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

 Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee

                Chairman: John Thune (R-SD) (majority press release)

                Ranking Member: Bill Nelson (D-FL)


Subcommittee on Science and Space

Chairman: Ted Cruz (R-TX)

House Science, Space and Technology Committee

                Chairman: Lamar Smith (R-TX), reappointed (majority press release)

                Ranking Member: Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), reappointed (minority press release)

 House Energy and Commerce Committee

                Chairman: Fred Upton (R-MI), reappointed

                Ranking Member: Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

                Subcommittee on Health

                                Chairman: Joe Pitts (R-PA), reappointed

FEderal Agency & Administration News

President's FY 2016 Budget Request to Be Released February 2

In an effort to promote a return of the annual appropriations process to "regular order," the White House announced that it will release its fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress by the legally-mandated deadline of the first Monday in February (February 2). This will be the first time in five years that the request is submitted on time; the request was released several weeks late in previous years.

SACHRP Seeks Nominations for New Members

The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP), the advisory body of the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), is seeking nominations to fill two spots that will become vacant in July 2015. The Committee provides guidance on matters "relating to the responsible conduct of research involving human subjects with particular emphasis on special populations such as neonates and children, prisoners, the decisionally impaired, pregnant women, embryos and fetuses, individuals and populations in international studies, populations in which there are individually identifiable samples, data or information; and investigator conflicts of interest."


Qualified candidates will possess expertise and experience in a field relevant to human subjects protection, including "public health and medicine, behavioral and social sciences, health administration, and biomedical ethics." Nominations should consist of a letter of nomination as well as the candidate's CV and contact information. They must be received by February 12, 2015. More information is available in the Federal Register notice.

Public Comment Sought for Death Master File Certification Program

On December 30, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register for the establishment of a certification program to "certify" persons to access Death Master File (DMF) information about an individual within three years of that individual's death. The new program would replace the temporary certification program in place since 2013. Comments are sought through January 29.

Profile of New BEA Director in Amstat News 

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Director Brian Moyer was recently profiled in Amstat News, the membership newsletter of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The piece gives readers a closer look at the new BEA head, whose tenure began in September 2014, as well as a deeper understanding of the agency itself.

PUblications & Community events

NRC Roundtable Discusses Need for Improved Public Understanding of Social Science Research 

On January 8, the National Research Council (NRC) Roundtable on the Application of Social and Behavioral Science Research convened its first meeting. Chaired by Arthur "Skip" Lupia from the University of Michigan, the Roundtable brings together a diverse set of stakeholders in the social and behavioral science community to discuss ways to improve public understanding of social science research as well as the research community's understanding of the uses of research by various sectors, such as industry, military, or public health. Membership includes "those who create SBS research, those who use it, and those who know how to communicate about it." COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus made a presentation to the Roundtable at the January meeting, setting the political context for social and behavioral science research, particularly in the Congress.


COSSA members including the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and the Institute for Social Research are sponsors of the Roundtable.

Funding Opportunities

NSF: Science of Learning Collaborative Networks

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites proposals for the creation of new research networks to address important questions in the Science of Learning (SL). The networks are intended to "foster the creation of new networks of investigators who will integrate scientific ideas across disciplines and professions to conduct novel, exploratory research that has the potential to provide transformative advances in our understanding of learning."


The solicitation and NSF's new Science of Learning Program represent the next phase in NSF's support for SL after the recent sunsetting of its Science of Learning Centers (SLC) program, which launched in 2003. The goals the SL Program are to "advance fundamental knowledge about learning through integrated research; connect the research to specific scientific, technological, educational, and workforce challenges; and enable research communities to capitalize on new opportunities and discoveries." Letters of intent must be received by February 6, 2015; full proposals are due on March 18, 2015. More information can be found on NSF's website.

NIH: BD2K Biomedical Science Training Coordination Center

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications for a coordination center designed to narrow the gap between the availability of biomedical big data and the ability of biomedical scientists to utilize such data accurately, effectively, and efficiently. The funding opportunity announcement, NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Biomedical Science Training Coordination Center (RFA-ES-15-004), responds to increasingly large, diverse, and complex biomedical datasets. These datasets tax conventional methods for sharing, managing, and analyzing data. Researchers' abilities to capitalize on biomedical big data science-based approaches are limited by poor data accessibility and interoperability, the lack of appropriate tools, and insufficient training.


The Big Data to Knowledge initiative is a trans-NIH initiative; the term "Biomedical Big Data" includes the "diverse digital objects which may have impact in basic, translational, clinical, social, behavioral, environmental, or informatics research questions."


Achieving the FOA's goals will require: (1) bringing together individuals involved in training and career development programs to network and share experiences; (2) engaging individuals developing open educational resources in meaningful dialogue to ensure that the resources they develop will be freely available and easy to access by the broader biomedical community; and (3) creating an online discovery index with personalized views of educational resources. Accordingly, the Biomedical Data Science Training Coordination Center (TCC) is expected to have: (1) developed a network of scientists involved in biomedical big data science, and (2) produced a discovery index that serves as a primary source for personalized access to publicly available biomedical data science educational resources. In addition, the TCC will sponsor and coordinate meetings, workshops, and rotations. It is also expected to develop technology and a web portal to communicate activity and provide personalized access to educational resources.


For more information see the announcement.

NIH: BD2K MOOC on Data Management for Biomedical Big Data

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications designed to develop an open, online educational course that complements and/or enhances the training of a workforce to meet the nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA), NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Data Management (RFA-LM-15-001), focuses on curriculum or methods development.


The agency's Research Education Program (R25) funding mechanism supports educational activities that complement other NIH formal training programs. In addition to complementing and enhancing the training of a workforce to meet the nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs, the program's overarching goals also include: enhancing the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce; helping to recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds; and fostering better understanding of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research and its implications.


For more information and/or to apply see the FOA.

NIJ: Forensic Science and Elder Abuse

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has issued a solicitation for proposals on research and development in forensic science for criminal justice purposes. The agency is looking to fund research that will "(1) Increase the body of knowledge to guide and inform forensic science policy and practice or; (2) Result in the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods that have the potential for forensic application." Proposals examining human factors as they relate to specific disciplines within forensic science will be accepted. More information is available in the full solicitation. The deadline for proposals is April 8, 2015.


The Institute is also seeking applications for research and evaluation related to the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elderly individuals. NIJ is especially interested in proposals that will "(1) determine an estimate of the financial costs associated with elder abuse; (2) develop a taxonomy of case outcomes that can be used to define success from multiple perspectives; and (3) examine theoretical perspectives on elder abuse that move the field toward a better understanding of why perpetrators abuse, neglect, and/or exploit elderly individuals." See the full solicitation for more information. Proposals must be received by April 7, 2015.

COSSA Member Spotlight

COSSA Welcomes New Members in 2015

COSSA welcomes two new members this year. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) has joined as COSSA's 19th Governing Member association. As a Governing Member, SPSP holds a seat on the COSSA Board of Directors. SPSP is the largest organization of social psychologists and personality psychologists, with more than 5,500 members.


COSSA is also pleased to welcome the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research (OIBR) at the University of Georgia as a new member in the Centers and Institutes category. OIBR strives to "catalyze high-impact interdisciplinary research" in the social and behavioral sciences across the university.


COSSA's full membership list can be viewed here.

Events Calendar 

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, January 14-18, 2015


Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, January 15-17, 2015


Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 3-7, 2015


Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations Annual Meeting, New Brunswick, NJ, March 5-7, 2015


COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, Washington, DC, March 9-10, 2015


A list of COSSA members' annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA webpage.

Consortium of Social Science Associations 

Governing Members  

American Anthropological Association
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
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Society for Research in Child Development
Membership Organizations
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
American Evaluation Association
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
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
Rural Sociological Society
Social Science History Association
Society for Research on Adolescence
Society for Social Work and Research
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Society of Behavioral Medicine
Southern Political Science Association
Southern Sociological Society
Southwestern Social Science Association
Centers and Institutes

American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Political and Social Science
American Council of Learned Societies
American Institutes for Research
The 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 Social Science Research,
        University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Institute for Women's Policy Research
NORC at the University of Chicago
Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia
Population Reference Bureau
RTI International
Social Science Research Council
Vera Institute of Justice

Colleges and Universities  
Arizona State University
Boston University
Brown University
Carnegie Mellon University
Clark University
Columbia University
Cornell University
Duke University
George Mason University
Georgetown University
Harvard University
Indiana University
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Johns Hopkins University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan State University
New York University
Northwestern University
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Stanford University
Stony Brook University, SUNY
Texas A&M University
The George Washington University
The Ohio State University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Chicago
University of Illinois
University of Iowa
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of Oklahoma
University of Pennsylvania
University of South Carolina
University of Texas, Austin
University of Texas, San Antonio
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Washington University in St. Louis
West Virginia University
Yale University


    Executive Director:  Wendy A. Naus
Deputy DirectorAngela L. Sharpe
Assistant Director for Public Affairs: Julia Milton

Address all inquiries to COSSA at newsletter@cossa.orgTelephone: (202) 842-3525


The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to promote sustainable federal funding for social and behavioral science research and federal policies that positively impact the conduct of research.


ISSN 0749-4394.