Blog Archives

U.S. Surgeon General Releases Landmark Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

On November 17, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy released the first-ever Surgeon General’s report on the substance abuse health afflicting communities. The comprehensive report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, reviews the science of substance use, misuse, and disorders, providing an in-depth look with chapters covering neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, health systems integration, as well as recommendations for the future.  It also calls for a “cultural shift in the way Americans talk about the issue,” and recommends actions that can be taken to prevent and treat these conditions, as well as promote recovery. According to Murthy, substance use disorders are identified as a public health problem that requires a public health solution. The full report and executive summary are available here.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Interagency Working Group on Language and Communication Seeks Input on R&D Report

The Interagency Working Group on Language and Communication (IWGLC) is seeking public input on its recently released report, which establishes a taxonomy to classify current federal research and development activities related to language and communication. Housed within the National Science and Technology Council, the IWGLC (charter) is made up of representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Commerce, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Transportation. The request for information was submitted by the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The IWGLC report suggests classifying ongoing language and communication R&D efforts according to the following four categories: (1) knowledge and processes underlying language and communication, (2) language and communication abilities and skills; (3) using language and communication to influence behavior and share information; and (4) language and communication technologies. The comment period closes on December 30, 2016. More information is available in the Federal Register notice.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Federal Interagency Policy Group Targets Bias to Increase Diversity in STEM

On November 30, the Interagency Policy Group (IPG) established by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released a report, Reducing the Impact of Bias in the STEM Workforce: Strengthening Excellence and Innovation and a companion digest. The report includes recommendations of actions and strategies the federal government can take to increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce “by mitigating the impact of implicit, institutional, or explicit bias that may exist in both the Federal Government and in federally funded institutions of higher education.” Created in October 2015, the IPG was co-chaired by OSTP Assistant Director for Broadening Participation Wanda Ward and OPM Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Training, and Compliance Bruce Stewart

On December 12, Jo Handelsman, OSTP; Suzanne Iaconon, National Science Foundation (NSF); Brenda Manuel, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Anna Han, National Institutes of Health (NIH); and Susan Fiske, Princeton University, discussed the report at the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Colloquium on Reducing Implicit Bias. Celeste Rohlfing, AAAS, moderated the event. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Holds Inaugural Research Festival

On December 2, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) held its inaugural NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival. The new annual event is designed to highlight the contributions of recently funded behavioral and social science projects to health research via presentations by extramural and NIH scientists from across the spectrum of disciplines. Panel discussions highlighted new directions for health-related behavioral and social science “addressing the synergy of basic and applied research, innovations in methodology and measurement, and the adoption of research findings into practice.” Welcoming festival participants, OBSSR Director William Riley explained that the event was designed to be a “day for behavioral and social sciences at NIH to get together to highlight some of the research” that the Office has funded over the past year. Riley also discussed the “state of the science,” highlighting some of the NIH-funded research.

Jim Anderson, Deputy Director of NIH Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiative, cited the rapidly advancing progress in digital capturing of behavior and social data and our ability to use big data patterns, interpret them, and return them to individuals to influence their behavior to improve health. He also praised OBSSR’s recently released strategic plan (see related story), noting that the plan “takes advantage of a lot of the research and technological digital data use, and also moving behavioral and social science closer to human applications.” Finally, Anderson pointed to NIH’s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, emphasizing the “exploding capability of dealing with data, finding patterns in data. It is just a golden age for behavioral and social sciences,” he concluded. A videocast of the Festival is available on the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

HHS Office of Minority Health Releases Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) recently announced the release of a new resource, the Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets and Other Data-Related Resources, to aid researchers, public health practitioners, and policymakers with data on health and health care disparities and social determinants of health. A free resource, the Compendium provides “descriptions of and links to 132 public datasets and resources that include information about health conditions and other factors that impact the health of minority populations.” The new resource was created by the Federal Interagency Health Equity Team of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) to advance research, public policy, and the public’s knowledge of issues related to health equity. The Compendium is available on the NPA website.

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Call for White Papers: Social and Behavioral Sciences for National Security

The Board on Behavioral, Cognitive and Sensory Sciences at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is leading a decadal survey to identify opportunities for the social and behavioral sciences to contribute to the analytic responsibilities of the intelligence community. This survey, sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, includes two separate calls for white papers. The Board is currently calling for input from academics and researchers in the social and behavioral sciences with experience in intelligence and/or insight into the needs and challenges of the intelligence community with respect to the use of social and behavioral science research. Complete instructions can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

AERA Holds Six-City Centennial Lecture Series

As part of a year-long celebration of its centennial year, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, is holding a Centennial Lecture Series, which reflects AERA’s “fundamental commitment to connecting education research on significant issues to wide public and policy audiences across our country.” The six-city series kicked off in Brooklyn in November 2016 and will continue through April 2017.

Webcasts of the November 30 lecture featuring Patricia Gándara discussing Educating Immigrant Students and Emergent Bilinguals (In an Anti-Immigrant Era), and the December 6 lecture in Seattle with Bruce McCandliss on Early Education and the Brain: Making Novel Connections are now available.

Future lectures include the following:

  • Los Angeles, CA — Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Bridget Terry Long, Supporting College Student Access and Success
  • Oklahoma City, OK — Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Deborah Lowe Vandell, The Opportunities and Challenges of Early Child Care and Education
  • Detroit, MI — Thursday, March 23, 2017, Charles Payne, The Limits of Schooling, the Power of Poverty
  • Boston, MA — Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Russell Skiba, School Discipline: Issues of Equity and Effectiveness

For more information and/or to register to attend the lectures, visit AERA’s website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

AAPSS Inducts 2017 Fellows

The American Academy of Political and Social Science, a COSSA member, has announced its 2017 class of Fellows. They include sociologist Lawrence Bobo (Harvard University); political scientist Margaret Levi (Stanford University); economist Timothy Smeeding (University of Wisconsin, Madison); psychologist Claude Steele (University of California, Berkley); and Martha Minow of Harvard Law School. COSSA congratulates these distinguished individuals on their achievement. Click here to read more about the 2017 class.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Funding Opportunities

NIH Opportunities

  • NCI: National Cancer Institute Youth Enjoy Science Research Education Program (R25) (PAR-17-059)
  • NCI: NCI Transition Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K22) (PAR-17-069)
  • NCI: The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) (RFA-CA-17-014)
  • NIA/NINR: Revision Awards to Institutional Training Programs to Advance Research on Alzheimers Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementias (T32) (PAR-17-072)
  • NIAAA: Leveraging Electronic Health Records for Alcohol Services Research (R21/R33) (PAR-17-071)
  • NIDA: Optimizing the HIV Care Continuum for Substance Abusing Populations at High-Risk and/or Living with HIV (R01) (RFA-DA-17-024)
  • NIGMS: Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) (R25) (PAR-17-070)
  • NIGMS: Maximizing Access to Research Careers Undergraduate – Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U-STAR) (T34) (PAR-17-068)
  • NIMHD: Research Centers in Minority Institutions (U54) (RFA-MD-17-003)
  • NINR: Promoting Caregiver Health Using Self-Management (R01) (PA-17-062)

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Events Calendar

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