March 24, 2015    Volume 34, Issue 5

In This Issue
Summaries Available from COSSA Annual Meeting
COSSA Joins Coalitions Requesting Strong FY 2016 Appropriations
House Funding Panel Discusses NSF Budget, Social Science Funding
House Funding Panel Discusses NIH Budget
Senate HELP Committee Examines "U.S. Leadership in Medical Innovation," NIH/FDA Budgets
House Panel Discusses Department of Education's FY 2016 Budget Request
NSF Releases Public Access Plan
NIGMS Releases 2015-2020 Strategic Plan
White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team Seeks Fellows and Associates
COSSA/CPR Sponsor "NIH 101" Congressional Briefing
NRC Workshop Discusses Changing Social Norms
NIH: Research Education Program Funding Opportunities
NIH: Mobilizing Research - A Research Resource to Enhance mHealth
COSSA Welcomes Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

featured News

Summaries Available from COSSA Annual Meeting

Thank you to all who attended the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on March 9-10.  Summaries and presentations from several of the sessions are available on the Annual Meeting webpage.  Speakers included France Cordova, Director of the National Science Foundation, William Riley, Acting Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, among others. 


COSSA Joins Coalitions Requesting Strong FY 2016 Appropriations

As Congress begins to consider funding for fiscal year (FY) 2016, COSSA has joined dozens of other organizations and coalitions on letters to appropriators in support of strong levels of funding for the federal agencies that support social and behavioral science research. Check our website for the most updated list of letters COSSA has joined.

Congressional News

House Funding Panel Discusses NSF Budget, Social Science Funding

On March 17, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) held a hearing to discuss the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The hearing featured testimony from NSF Director France Córdova.

Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson (R-TX) noted in his opening remarks his and the committee's strong support for NSF, but added that the current budgetary environment requires that NSF ensure money is "well spent and not wasted." Ranking Member Chaka Fattah (D-PA) expressed his concern with U.S. investment in science and engineering falling behind other countries, such as China, adding that U.S. science leadership used to be an absolute but now has become relative.

Dr. Córdova addressed three general questions in her statement before the subcommittee: (1) why does NSF fund what it funds, including the social, behavioral and economic sciences; (2) how does NSF set priorities; and (3) what is NSF's long-range plan and vision for science.

Read on for full details.

House Funding Panel Discusses NIH Budget

On March 3, National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins and five of the NIH's 27 Institute and Center directors made their first appearance before the new chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor, HHS), Tom Cole (R-OK).  Collins was joined by Anthony Facui (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), Tom Insel (National Institute of Mental Health), Jon Lorsch (National Institute of General Medical Sciences), Nora Volkow (National Institute on Drug Abuse), and Gary Gibbons (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute).


Read on for full details.

Senate HELP Committee Examines "U.S. Leadership in Medical Innovation," NIH/FDA Budgets

On March 10, the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held its first in a series of anticipated hearings on the "U.S. Leadership in Medical Innovation."  The hearing included testimony from National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.


Opening the hearing, HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced that he and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) intend to focus on three major actions over the next two years:  (1) "fixing" the No Child Left Behind Act; (2) simplifying and reauthorizing the federal government's supervision of higher education in America; and (3) dealing with the "exciting new era of medicine." Regarding the latter, Alexander noted that the House is moving on a parallel track via its 21st Century Cures initiative (see Update, February 24, 2015).


Read on for full details.

House Panel Discusses Department of Education's FY 2016 Budget Request

On March 4, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to discuss the President's fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request for the Department of Education. 


Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) opened the hearing by noting the "education of America's children is critical, not only to prepare them for the workforce, but to strengthen the economic health of our nation as a whole."  Cole noted that he also sits on the House Budget Committee and expressed his hope for a bigger deal between Congress and the Administration that will allow for a more "realistic allocation" to the Subcommittee.  Congress will have "tough choices for every agency," said the Chairman.


Read on for full details.

FEderal Agency & Administration News

NSF Releases Public Access Plan

On March 18, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a framework for increasing public access to federally-funded scientific research results made possible through NSF support. The plan aligns with a 2013 memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which called on each federal agency to develop public access plans. The NSF plan calls for "versions of record" or final manuscripts accepted to peer-reviewed journals to be deposited into a publicly accessible repository (designated by NSF) and be available for download free of charge within 12 months of initial publication. The guidance will apply to new awards in 2016. A Federal Register notice outlining additional details is expected next month. Refer to the NSF website for additional information. 

NIGMS Releases 2015-2020 Strategic Plan


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) recently released its 2015 -2020 strategic plan.  According to NIGMS director Jon Lorsch, the plan outlines the Institute's priorities and activities, including "the goals, objectives and implementation strategies that the Institute-in partnership with the scientific community at universities, professional societies and other federal agencies-will engage in over the next five years."  Additionally, the plan provides "snapshots" of specific institute priorities and achievements.


In his director's message, Lorsch emphasizes that the Institute continues to place "great emphasis on supporting investigator-initiated research grants" and highlights NIGMS emphasis on "the critical importance of rigor, reproducibility and transparency in all biomedical pursuits." He also underscores the Institute's research training programs which recognize "the interdisciplinary nature of biomedical research... [and] emphasize experiences that cut across fields of inquiry."  This includes the recognition of "a compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical research workforce." Lorsch further emphasizes that NIGMS is "committed to galvanizing efforts to diversify the workforce by recruiting talented researchers from all groups and supporting quality educational and training environments in a wide variety of scientific areas."

White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team Seeks Fellows and Associates


The White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST) has issued a call for fellows and associates to "translate insights from the social and behavioral sciences into concrete recommendations for how to improve federal programs, policies, and operations..." This activity was referenced in the President's FY 2016 Budget Request (see page 5).  Fellows tend to be researchers holding a PhD in a social science field who take leave from their university, government agency, etc. to serve in this position.  Associates are researchers currently pursuing a PhD in a related field, or who have a Master's degree plus two years or more of relevant experience.  Fellows and associates sought for this opportunity would begin in September 2015. Applications are due April 12.

PUblications & Community events

COSSA/CPR Sponsor "NIH 101" Congressional Briefing

On February 27, the COSSA-led Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) organized a Congressional briefing designed to provide an overview of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review process and the types of grants funded by the agency to Congressional staff and other interested individuals.


The briefing's speaker, Keith Yamamoto, vice chancellor for research and executive vice dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is a leading molecular biologist and has served on the NIH's Center for Scientific Review's advisory committee, other NIH advisory panels and peer review committees.  Using contemporary biology, Yamamoto discussed the NIH priority setting process for determining research priorities as well as its methods for soliciting input from the scientific community and the public. 


Read on for more details.

NRC Workshop Discusses Changing Social Norms

The National Research Council's Committee on the Science of Changing Behavioral Health Norms held its first workshop on March 18, "Lessons Learned from Diverse Efforts to Change Social Norms." The project, which is housed within the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, is co-sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The committee is charged with helping SAMHSA "implement strategies that improve attitudes and beliefs about mental and substance use disorders."

Sessions focused on messaging strategies, methods for communications efforts, big-picture looks at social change, and case studies, with speakers discussing lessons learned from past efforts to educate and reduce negative attitudes toward mental illness, HIV/AIDS, and epilepsy; prevent bullying of gay and lesbian teens; and decrease tobacco use in youth. Common themes of the presentations included the importance of building evaluation into campaigns from the start, tailoring the message and strategy to the habits of the target population, and having the flexibility to adapt efforts to changing environments.

The webcast and slides will be made available on the committee's website. A follow-up workshop, on "Opportunities and Strategies to Promote Behavior Change in Behavioral Health," is planned for April 15.

Funding Opportunities

NIH: Research Education Program Funding Opportunities


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH institutes and centers.  Additionally, the program goals include an effort to enhance the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce; recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences; and foster a better understanding of this research and its implications.


Several of the institutes recently released funding opportunity announcement seeking applications for activities related to their research domains.

Read on for additional details.

NIH: Mobilizing Research - A Research Resource to Enhance mHealth

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NBIB), and the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have released a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) designed to support the development of Mobilizing Research, a research resource that would allow researchers to more efficiently and rapidly evaluate mobile and wireless (mHealth) technologies. 


The purpose of the FOA, Mobilizing Research - A Research Resource to Enhance mHealth (RFA-OD-15-003), is to create a research resource that utilizes mobile phone technology to create a registry of demographically and geographically diverse individuals interested in potential research projects. 


Read on for details.

COSSA Member Spotlight

COSSA Welcomes Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies  

COSSA is pleased to welcome the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) as its newest member. Headquartered in New York, NY, ABCT works to promote "advancement of scientific approaches to the understanding and improvement of human functioning through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to the assessment, prevention, treatment of human problems, and the enhancement of health and well-being." 

COSSA's full membership list can be viewed here

Events Calendar 

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

COSSA members who have an upcoming event they would like to see listed in the Events Calendar and on our website should send an email to

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 Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
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
Fielding Graduate 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.