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NSF Seeks Candidates for Division Director of Social and Economic Sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting applications for the position of Division Director for the Social and Economic Sciences (SES) Division within the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE). The Division Director “provides leadership and direction for the support of research and education activities that develop and advance scientific knowledge focusing on political, economic, and social systems and how individuals and organizations function within them.” More information on the position can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter from SBE. Applications may be submitted through USAJOBS.

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 34 Issue 18

Featured News

Federal Agency & Administration News

Publications & Community Events

Funding Opportunity Announcements

COSSA Member Spotlight

Events Calendar

Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Government Shutdown Averted, For Now

Congress was able to pass a continuing resolution (CR) on September 30, the final day of fiscal year (FY) 2015, within hours of a deadline that would result in a government shutdown. However, the CR simply kicks the can to December 11, the new deadline for coming to a final agreement on FY 2016 appropriations. While policymakers have provided themselves an additional 10 weeks to complete work on the annual spending bills, the path to the finish line remains unclear, complicated further by recent events like the announcement from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) of his retirement at the end of October and the upcoming Republican leadership elections. In addition, the Treasury Department announced last week that the federal government is expected to reach its borrowing limit (“debt limit”) by November 5, several weeks earlier than originally expected. These developments, coupled with real-time negotiations on a larger two-year budget deal, make for a challenging chess match that promises to continue well into December, if not longer. Observers fear that the real chance for a government shutdown will occur in December when the stakes for a budget deal are that much higher.

What’s the likely outcome? It’s anyone’s guess at this point. However, there are several scenarios that could take shape in the coming weeks, including (but certainly not limited to): a grand budget bargain that raises caps on discretionary spending similar to the bipartisan budget deal struck two years ago, which would provide some relief to federal agencies and programs that have been feeling the pinch in recent years; a year-long CR that would fund the federal government at FY 2015 levels for the balance of FY 2016, keeping sequestration in place for another year; or a government shutdown that eventually forces action on one of the aforementioned scenarios. Check out COSSA’s funding updates, policy statements, and letters for a refresher on the latest developments impacting federal agencies and programs of interest to the COSSA community.

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NAS Releases New Reports on Immigrants, Forensic Science

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has recently released two noteworthy reports. The first, The Integration of Immigrants into American Society, compiles the available evidence on “how immigrants and their descendants are integrating into American society in a range of areas such as education, occupations, health, and language. The second report, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), examined NIJ’s efforts to advance forensic science research and recommend ways to improve its research program. The report, Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice, finds, “NIJ has made progress in the past five or six years toward improving its research operations and expanding efforts to build a research infrastructure in forensic science… However, although these improvements are commendable and important, more work is needed to bolster NIJ’s ability to advance forensic science research.”

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • NEA: Research: Art Works (2016-NEA-ORA)
  • NIJ: Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes (NIJ-2016-4305)
  • NIFA: Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program (USDA-NIFA-FINI-005395)
  • IES: Low-Cost, Short Duration Evaluation of Education Interventions (84.305L)
  • IES: Low-Cost, Short Duration Evaluation of Special Education Interventions (84.324L)

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Events Calendar

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

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Friends of IES Briefing Highlights Research on Improving Early Math Education

The Friends of the Institute of Education Science (IES), of which COSSA is a member, held a congressional briefing on September 25 on “Building Strength in Numbers: How Do Early Interventions in Math Instruction Add Up?” The briefing highlighted IES-funded research into how to improve math education for young children. It featured presentations from Prentice Starkey, WestEd; Douglas Clements, University of Denver; and Hirokazu Yoshikawa, New York University. Deborah Phillips, Georgetown, introduced the topic and moderated the session, and Taniesha A. Woods, NYC Administration for Children’s Services, made concluding remarks. The briefing was a follow-up to one held the previous day for staff at the Department of Education. More information can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

USDA Starts Collecting Data on Post-Harvest Food Safety Practices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), under an agreement with the Economic Research Service (ERS), has begun collecting data on food safety practices from fruit and vegetable packers and processors. The survey, the 2015 Produce Post-Harvest Microbial Food Safety Practices Survey, marks the first time since 1998 that USDA has collected such data. Information from the survey will be used to understand how businesses are implementing the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In addition, ERS will use the data to document changes in food safety practices, examine costs associated with compliance with the FSMA, and identify areas for future research.

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

White House Holds Forum on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing; OSTP Issues Memorandum to Agencies

On September 30, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) hosted a live-webcast forum on citizen science and crowdsourcing. The forum, Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People, recognized that a small portion of Americans are formally trained as “scientists;” however, citizen science and crowdsourcing can “educate, engage, and empower the public to apply their curiosity and talents to a wide range of real-world problems.” Participants in the forum included citizen-science professionals, researchers, and stakeholders from Federal, state, local, and Tribal governments. It also included individuals from nonprofits, academia, and the private sector.

Also on September 30, OSTP director John Holdren issued a Memorandum to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies that lays out principles and steps for agencies to follow for utilizing citizen science and crowdsourcing. Check out the memorandum for full details.

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

SRCD Seeks Applications for 2016-2017 Policy Fellowships

The Society for Research and Child Development (SRCD), a COSSA governing member, is accepting applications for its 2016-2017 Policy Fellowship. The fellowship provides an opportunity for scientists to use their research skills in child development to inform public policy by working as resident scholars in congressional offices or executive branch agencies. Applications are due by December 15, 2015.

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

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