June 2, 2015    Volume 34, Issue 10 

In This Issue
House Advances Bills to Cut Social Science Funding
Census Bureau Outlines Content Changes to American Community Survey
NIH Requests Comment on Precision Medicine Cohort, Strategies to Address Community Engagement and Health Disparities
"Marshmallow Test" Researchers Named First 2015 Golden Goose Award Recipients
The Census Project Sheds Light on the American Community Survey
NRC Board on Children, Youth, and Families Seeks Director

featured News

House Advances Bills to Cut Social Science Funding


As we have been reporting over the last several weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives has been busy considering legislation to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act, landmark legislation first enacted in 2007 to reignite U.S. investment in scientific research.  It serves as authorizing legislation for the National Science Foundation (NSF), among other agencies.  The House version of COMPETES reauthorization is a major departure from earlier versions, garnering deep opposition from the broader scientific community, including from COSSA. Among the many problematic provisions in the bill is language to cut NSF's Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate by half.  Despite widespread opposition, the House passed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) on May 20 by a narrow margin (217-205).  The COMPETES bill now heads to the Senate, where we don't expect to see any action until later in the summer or fall.


Also on May 20, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill (H.R. 2578). This is annual legislation to appropriate funding to NSF, the Census Bureau, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), among other federal agencies.  COSSA's analysis is available here.  Despite efforts by Democratic appropriators to increase funding for NSF and the Census Bureau and otherwise improve the bill, it passed by voice vote.  If enacted, this bill would further signal bad news for social science funding at NSF, Census, and NIJ.  Regarding NSF, the cut to SBE could be potentially worse than the cuts proposed in the COMPETES bill.  Instead of placing a spending cap on SBE funding like COMPETES seeks to do, the CJS bill would prioritize funding to non-SBE sciences, leaving very limited funds for SBE (and the geosciences). The CJS bill is being considered on the House floor this week and is likely to pass. COSSA issued a statement in opposition last week. 

On June 1, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy, recommending that the President veto the bill. In its section on NSF, the statement highlights the cuts to SBE and the geosciences: "Especially hard hit by this reduction would be the geosciences and social, behavioral, and economic sciences, which would be reduced by 20 percent. The Committee's allocation of resources to specific disciplines would interfere with NSF's ability to respond to scientific opportunity." The Senate may begin consideration of its CJS spending bill next week; we expect the Senate bill to take a different approach from the House bill. 

FEderal Agency & Administration News

Census Bureau Outlines Content Changes to American Community Survey

The Census Bureau issued a Federal Register Notice on May 29 outlining its proposal for updating the content and methodologies of the American Community Survey (ACS). As previously reported the Census Bureau proposes to retain the field of degree and marriage questions originally slated for elimination from the ACS beginning in 2016.  In addition, the proposal plans to remove a couple of other questions that have been deemed of no or low benefit.  The Notice states these changes are an "initial step in a multi-faceted approach to reducing respondent burden."

Public comment on the proposal is due by June 28; the proposal will be submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance. 

NIH Requests Comment on Precision Medicine Cohort, Strategies to Address Community Engagement and Health Disparities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking feedback (NOT-OD-15-107) to help it in creating a national research cohort of one million or more Americans as part of the President's proposed Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) (see Update, May 19, 2015).  The agency is specifically interested in feedback relating to the development and implementation of effective community engagement strategies for the cohort, and the ability to conduct transformative research to address health disparities.  The aim is to assemble a "cohort reflective of the rich diversity of the U.S. population."

Read on for more details.

PUblications & Community events

"Marshmallow Test" Researchers Named First 2015 Golden Goose Award Recipients

The first of the 2015 Golden Goose Awards, which recognize federally funded research that has had unanticipated societal and economic benefits, will go to three psychologists, Walter Mischel, Philip Peake, Yuichi Shoda, for their work related to self-control in children. In the late 1960s, Mischel developed the "marshmallow test" as a simple way to measure children's ability to delay gratification. However, follow-up studies revealed an unexpected correlation between ability to exert self-control at a young age and success later in life. The work has had an enormous impact on our understanding of human behavior and changed the way we approach a whole host of topics from early childhood education to retirement planning. More information on the research is available on the Golden Goose website.


The researchers, along with the other still-unnamed Golden Goose Award recipients, will be honored at a ceremony in September. COSSA is a sponsor of the awards.

The Census Project Sheds Light on the American Community Survey

The Census Project held an informational briefing, The Census Bureau's American Community Survey: Ten Years of Delivering Data for Smart Decision-Making, on May 27 that focused on the wide use of data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) and the reasons to support keeping the survey mandatory. COSSA was one of the cosponsors of this event.  Read on for details. 

NRC Board on Children, Youth, and Families Seeks Director

The Board on Children, Youth, and Families (BCYF) at the National Research Council is inviting applications for a new Board Director. The Director is responsible for overseeing activities of the Board, which "brings a multidisciplinary and evidence-based perspective to bear on the development of policies and programs for children, youth, and families, drawing upon the collective knowledge and analytic tools of the behavioral, health and social sciences." More information and application instructions are available here.

Funding Opportunities

Events Calendar 


Making Changes: Learning from Social Science Research to Drive Behavior Change, Washington, DC, June 18, 2015

OBSSR 20th Anniversary Celebration, Bethesda, MD, June 23-25, 2015

OBSSR Capitol Hill Exhibition & Reception, Washington, DC, June 24, 2015

American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada, August 6-9, 2015

Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Madison, WI, August 6-9, 2015

American Statistical Association Joint Statistical Meetings, Seattle, WA, August 8-13, 2015

American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, August 22-25, 2015

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 jmilton@cossa.org.

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 Colorado, Boulder
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
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. 

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