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SMRB Accepts Working Group Report on Pre-college Engagement in Biomedical Science

On December 15, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) unanimously approved the Report of the SMRB Working Group on Pre-college Engagement in Biomedical Science. Chaired by Clyde Yancy, Northwestern University, the working group was charged by NIH director Francis Collins “to recommend ways to optimize NIH’s pre-college programs and initiatives that both align with the NIH mission and ensure a continued pipeline of biomedical science students and professionals.” The group released preliminary findings at its October meeting (see Update, October 28, 2014). (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 33 Issue 22

Featured News

COSSA in Action

Congressional News

Federal Agency & Administration News

Publications & Community Events

Funding Opportunities

COSSA Member Spotlight

Events Calendar

Next COSSA Washington Update—December 19

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

SAVE THE DATE: COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day

The COSSA Annual Meeting and inaugural Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day will be held in Washington, DC on March 9-10, 2015. The meeting will feature presentations from federal agency leaders and other officials and will provide an excellent opportunity to network with others from throughout the social and behavioral science research community. New in 2015 will be the first-ever Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day in which COSSA members will have an opportunity to educate their elected officials about the value of social and behavioral science research and the importance of federal funding. Additional details, including registration information, will be available in early 2015.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Scientific Community Expresses Support for NIH and Its Peer Review Process

On December 2, the Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) sent letters to Congress expressing its “continued and strong support for the competitive peer review process used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).” The letter, signed by 128 diverse organizations, noted that the scientific community is “extremely concerned about the recent criticism of the NIH’s funding decisions and the accompanying mischaracterization of NIH-supported research in the media and by some in Congress. The ongoing targeting of specific grants produces a chilling effect across the entire scientific community. These attacks inhibit the very scientific progress the critics claim to support. Our organizations strongly oppose these mischaracterizations and the associated undue criticism of the NIH peer review process.” (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

COSSA and Partners Urge Support for International and Foreign Language Education for FY 2015

On November 19, COSSA joined a Coalition for International Education letter to House and Senate appropriators in support of strong funding levels for the Department of Education’s international and foreign language education programs (Title VI and Fulbright-Hays) as Congress attempts to wrap up funding for fiscal year (FY) 2015. As the letter notes, “Title VI and Fulbright-Hays are the nation’s longest-serving, most comprehensive programs that develop and maintain a strong, world-class foundation for international education and foreign language studies.”

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

FY 2015 Funding Bills Approaching December 11 Deadline

As previously reported, the 113th Congress still has more work to do to complete the fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations process before adjourning at the end of the month. At the time of this writing, negotiations between House and Senate appropriators and leadership continue, all working toward some form of final agreement to fund the federal government before the current temporary spending measure expires on December 11. Latest reports suggest that an omnibus appropriations bill that consolidates most of the 12 appropriations bills is still the preferred option, but a hybrid approach that includes an omnibus for some bills and a continuing resolution (CR) for others may be needed in order to get to the finish line. Details of the omnibus bill currently being developed could be released publicly as early as Monday, December 8. Either way, Congress must act in some manner by December 11 in order to avoid a government shutdown.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Deadline Extended for Applications to SBE Leadership Posts

As previously reported, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) is seeking to fill a number of leadership positions. Deadlines for applications have been extended through December 31. The open positions include:

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIH to Use Single IRB to Speed the Initiation of Clinical Research, Seeks Comments

On December 3, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a draft policy to promote the use of single institutional review boards (IRB) in multi-site clinical research studies. The draft policy proposes that all NIH-funded multi-site studies carried out in the U.S. utilize a single IRB regardless of the funding mechanism. Hence, the agency is seeking public comments on the draft policy through a 60 day comment period closing January 29, 2015.

According to the release announcing the draft policy, exceptions would be allowed if local IRB review is necessary to meet the needs of special populations or where it is required by federal, state, or tribal laws and regulations. Wider use of single IRB review in multi-site studies is expected to help achieve greater efficiencies in the initiation of studies across NIH’s entire clinical research portfolio.

Several NIH institutes and centers, including the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have been supporting the use of a single IRB in multi-site studies. NIH director Francis Collins noted that the use of single IRBs in multi-site studies will “reduce duplication of effort, speed the initiation of important research, and save time and taxpayer funds.”

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIH Seeks Comments on Draft NIH Policy on Dissemination of NIH-Funded Clinical Trial Information

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking comments on its draft policy “to promote broad and responsible dissemination of information on clinical trials funded by the NIH” through registration and submission of summary results information to ClinicalTrials.gov.

NIH has a number of policies designed to promote the distribution of research results and guide funding recipients in disseminating their results, including the NIH Data Sharing Policy, the NIH Public Access Policy, the NIH Research Tools Policy, and the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy. According to the NIH, a recent study found that the results of less than half of NIH-funded clinical trials had been published in a peer-reviewed biomedical journal within 30 months of trial completion. “Selective publication of the results of some trials and not others – or publication of incomplete or partial findings from a particular trial – can lead to inappropriate conclusions about the usefulness of particular therapies.”

Compliance with the new policy will be a term and condition in the Notice of Grant Award and a contract requirement in the Contract Award. When the final policy is issued, NIH will provide more specific procedural guidance.

Comments are due on the draft policy by February 19, 2015. For more information see the notice.

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

OMB Finalizes New Statistical Policy Directive

On December 2, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Statistical Policy Directive No. 1, “Fundamental Responsibilities of Federal Statistical Agencies and Recognized Statistical Units.” The Directive provides “a unified articulation of Federal statistical agency responsibilities.” In order to implement the Directive, federal statistical agencies will report to OMB on their progress toward fulfilling four key responsibilities: (1) Produce and disseminate relevant and timely information, (2) Conduct credible and accurate statistical activities, (3) Conduct objective statistical activities, and (4) Protect the trust of information providers by ensuring the confidentiality and exclusive statistical use of their responses. A draft version of the Directive was released for public comment in May (more information here).

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

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