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COSSA Washington Update, Volume 33 Issue 21

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

More Questions than Answers Following Midterm Elections

Following last week’s midterm Congressional elections, Republicans have gained control of both chambers of Congress when the 114th Congress is seated in January. Congress returned last week for the start of a month and a half-long lame duck session. On their plate includes must-pass legislation such as the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills and defense authorization bill. However, with the party calculus significantly changed starting next year, action on spending bills and other legislative issues in the lame duck will be all but easy. See the articles that follow for more information. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

COSSA & Partners Urge Congress to Complete FY 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill

On November 12, COSSA joined the biomedical and behavioral science community in signing the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research letter to Congress. The letter, which was signed by 303 organizations, urges Congress to “complete an omnibus spending package [that] includes a Labor-HHS-Education bill that restores funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to at least pre-sequestration levels.” The letter also notes, “An omnibus spending bill with a Labor-HHS appropriation restoring NIH to at least pre-sequester funding levels would mark an important step toward a more sustainable, predictable research environment for patients and their families, as well as for those working to address disease. It also would be a step in the right direction to close the innovation deficit.”

On November 14, COSSA joined its partners in the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) on a letter similarly urging Congress to appropriate sustainable funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in a FY 2015 omnibus bill.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Scientific Community to Congress: Close the Innovation Deficit

On November 12, COSSA joined 133 partners throughout the scientific, higher education, business and patient communities on a letter to Congress urging passage of an omnibus fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills addresses the “innovation deficit” by including increased investments for scientific research and higher education. As the letter states, “the innovation deficit is the widening gap between the actual level of federal government funding for research and higher education and what the investment needs to be if the United States is to remain the world’s innovation leader… [T]oday, our leadership faces a serious challenge from other nations that are rapidly increasing their investments in these critical areas while our own spending lags.”

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Congress Returns for Lame Duck Session

Congress returned to Washington on November 12 for the start of the post-election lame duck session. Among the must-pass actions in this lame duck session are the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills. The current continuing resolution (CR) that has kept the federal government in operation since the start of the fiscal year on October 1 expires on December 11. Leadership and staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have been working behind the scenes on an omnibus bill that would package all twelve of the unpassed appropriations measures into a single package. The goal is to bring the bill to the floor in the House and Senate during the week of December 8, prior to the expiration of the CR. However, support on this approach from rank-and-file members of both parties appears to be waiting on the details of the bill. Other issues—such as impending Executive action on immigration—could further complicate the final negotiations on an FY 2015 appropriations package. Another short-term CR may be in the offing to avoid another government shutdown after December 11. See the articles above for recent COSSA action on FY 2015 funding.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NSF Releases Report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science

The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has released its biennial report, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, which provides statistical details on women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. The data in the 2013 Digest, which is released every two years as mandated by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (Public Law 96-516), are publicly accessible online and organized by the following themes: enrollment, field of degree, employment status, occupation, academic employment, and persons with disabilities.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

White House Issues Report on Expanding Opportunity and Addressing Challenges Facing Women and Girls of Color

On November 13, the White House Council on Women and Girls (CWG) released a report, Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity. The Council is chaired by Valerie Jarrett. The report highlights the tremendous achievements women of color have made; it also examines the inequities and “distinct” challenges facing women of color and looks at efforts underway to close the gaps in educational outcomes, pay, career opportunity, and health disparities, among other areas. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Academies Board Seeks Nominations for “How People Learn II” Study Committee

The National Academies’ Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the study committee for a new project, “How People Learn II: The Science and Practice of Learning.” The study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will build on the 2000 National Research Council report How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School “by reviewing and synthesizing research that has emerged across the various disciplines that focus on the study of learning from birth through adulthood in both formal and informal settings.”

BBCSS is particularly interested in individuals with experience in cognitive science, learning theory, cognitive neuroscience, learning sciences, educational psychology, workforce development, language and linguistics, culture and diversity, educational assessment, and education technology. Nominations should consist of the candidate’s name, affiliation, contact information, area(s) of expertise, and a brief statement on why he or she is relevant to the study topic. Nominations should be sent to Tina Winters at twinters@nas.edu by November 30, 2014. More information is available on the BBCSS website.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIH: Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently issued a funding opportunity announcement, Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award (PAR-15-033). The award supports the career development of junior investigators with research or health professional doctoral degrees who want to become cancer-focused academic researchers in cancer prevention, cancer control, or the behavioral or population sciences. The award provides salary and mentored research support for a sustained period of “protected time” to junior investigators who are interested in developing academic and research expertise in these health-related fields. NCI will contribute up to $100,000 per year toward the salary of the career award recipient and $30,000 per year toward research development costs.

For more information or to apply see the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Pedro Noguera Receives SAGE-CASBS Award

The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (CASBS), a COSSA member, and SAGE Publications have named Pedro Noguera, New York University, as the 2014 recipient of the SAGE-CASBS award. Now in its second year, the SAGE-CASBS award recognizes “outstanding achievement in advancing the understanding of the behavioral and social sciences as they are applied to pressing social issues.” Noguera, a sociologist, is being recognized for his work on “how schools are influenced by social and economic conditions as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.” More here.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

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