Blog Archives

OBSSR Convenes Expert Panel to Provide Input into Strategic Plan

On January 19-20, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) convened an expert panel to provide input into the Office’s strategic planning process as it works to update the 2007 strategic plan for FY 2016-FY 2020. The meeting follows a series of internal meetings and a November 2015 request for information (RFI) (NOT-OD-16-018) seeking the broad input of the scientific community and the public, including academia, industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and/or professional organizations, and other federal agencies regarding the scientific priorities that should be considered in the update strategic.

In a January 26 blog post, OBSSR Director William Riley noted that he and the OBSSR staff were “energized and encouraged by the passion and urgency” the panel provided and highlighted some of the key messages observed during the meeting. A summary document will be developed based on the meeting discussions followed by a draft strategic plan, which will be made available for public comment. In addition, OBSSR plans to consult with relevant stakeholder groups to solicit feedback through an RFI and develop the proposed final plan to submit for final approval by the NIH director.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 9), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIDDK Publishes Annual Report of Recent Advances and Emergent Opportunities

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released its 16th annual compilation of the research and programs it supports. The report reflects the Institute’s broad research responsibilities. Included among the advances highlighted by director Griffin Rodgers in his introductory message is the finding that “overweight or obese preschoolers participating in Head Start programs were more likely to reach healthier weights by kindergarten age than other groups of overweight and obese children.” The full report is available on NIDDK’s website.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 9), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NSF Releases 2016 Science & Engineering Indicators

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) has released the 2016 edition of Science and Engineering Indicators. The congressionally-mandated report is produced under the guidance of the National Science Board (NSB) presents a collection of data “relevant to the scope, quality, and vitality of the science and engineering (S&E) enterprise.” The full report and additional resources are available on the S&E Indicators website.

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White House Announces National Cancer Moonshot Task Force

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Photo Credit: The White House

On February 1, the White House announced a new $1 billion initiative to jumpstart the new national “moonshot” initiative announced by President Obama in his 2016 State of the Union Address. The President established the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force via a presidential memorandum, which will be led by Vice President Biden. The goal of the initiative is “to eliminate cancer as we know it.” The Task Force’s membership will include the leadership of the Departments of Defense (DOD), Commerce (DOC), Health and Human Services (HHS), Energy (DOE), Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Office of Management and Budget, National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Science Foundation, among others as designated.  NIH is directed to provide “funding and administrative support” for the Task Force. Additionally, the presidentially-appointed National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) is directed to also serve on the Task Force and is “strongly encouraged to establish a working group consisting of a Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts.” The Task Force is charged with producing a detailed set of findings and recommendations and delivering a report to the President before December 31, 2016.

The $1 billion initiative will provide research funding to “accelerate the development of new cancer detection and treatments.” It includes $965 million in funding for new cancer activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year (FY) 2016. For FY 2017, the President’s budget request will include $755 million in mandatory funds for activities at NIH and FDA. In addition, DOD and VA are directed to increase their investments in cancer research through the funding of “Centers of Excellence focused on specific cancers, and conducting large longitudinal studies to help determine risk factors and enhance treatment.” The initiative’s HHS-supported research areas also include prevention and cancer vaccine development, early cancer detection, cancer immunotherapy and combination therapy, genomic analysis of tumor and surrounding cells, enhanced data sharing, and pediatric cancer. FDA will support an oncology Center of Excellence to “leverage the combined skills of regulatory scientists and reviewers with expertise in drugs, biologics, and devices.”

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FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship Accepting Applications

The Center for Tobacco Products within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting applications for its Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship. The year-long fellowship is open to mid-career professionals who have an advanced degree in fields including (but not limited to) behavioral science, communications, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, public health, and public policy. Fellows work within the Center to “regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products and educate the public about tobacco products and their dangers.” Applications are due on March 1, 2016.

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AAPSS Inducts 2016 Fellows

The American Academy of Political and Social Science, a COSSA member, announced its 2016 class of Fellows. They include economists Esther Dunflow (MIT) and James J. Heckman (University of Chicago); Sherman A. James, a social psychologist at Duke University (emeritus) and Emory University; NYU social historian Thomas J. Sugrue; and Philip Tetlock, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. COSSA congratulates these distinguished individuals on their achievement. Click here to read more about the 2016 class.

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SPSSI Accepting Applications for Summer Minority Policy Fellowship

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) is seeking applications for its Dalmas A. Taylor Memorial Summer Minority Policy Fellowship. The fellowship honors Taylor, a SPSSI president instrumental in establishing the Minority Fellowship at the American Psychological Association (APA). It is administered in conjunction with APA’s Minority Fellowship Office. The fellowship provides an opportunity for a graduate student of color to work on public policy issues in Washington, DC. Applications are due March 1. Information on applying is available on the SPSSI website.

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Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • NIA: Small Business Alzheimer’s Disease Research (R43/R44) (PA-16-091), (R41/R42) (PA-16-092)
  • HHS Office of Minority Health: Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma (ACT) (MP-CPI-16-002)
    The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) is seeking applications for its Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma (ACT) program (MP-CPI-16-002) for fiscal year 2016. ACT is “intended to test the effectiveness of innovative approaches to promoting healthy behaviors among minority and/or disadvantaged youth at-risk for poor health/life outcomes due to childhood trauma.” Specifically, the program “seeks to address unhealthy behaviors in minority youth and provide them with opportunities to learn coping skills and gain experiences that contribute to more positive lifestyles and enhance their capacity to make healthier life choices.” ACT is designed to promote the goals of the President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative which is based on the 2014 White House Council of Economic Advisers’ report. That report examined the obstacles that disadvantaged youth face, particularly young men of color. It also calculated the costs to society. OMH will host a technical assistance workshop on March 9; see the website for additional information.
  • RWJF: Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health
  • RWJF: Awards for Health Equity

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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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