COSSA Washington Update, Volume 33 Issue 16

In this issue…

Congressional Activities & News

Federal Agency & Administration Activities & News

Notable Publications & Community Events

Funding Opportunities

COSSA Member Activities

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Congress Returns this Week for Short, Packed Work Period

The House and Senate return to Washington this week from their month-long August recess. They have only a couple of weeks to address a number of major policy issues, such as immigration, the child migrant crisis on the border, and ongoing foreign conflicts, before both chambers adjourn again until after the November midterm elections. Among the to-dos in the coming weeks is consideration of a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government operating into fiscal year (FY) 2015, which begins on October 1. The outcome of the elections weighs heavily on potential end-game strategies for the FY 2015 appropriations bills, with much hinging on whether the Democrats maintain control of the Senate or lose the majority to the Republicans.

For a recap on the current status of the FY 2015 appropriations bills important to the COSSA community, please see the August 11, 2014 COSSA Washington Update.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NSF Seeks Social Science Public Affairs Specialist

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA) is seeking to fill a position for a public affairs specialist. The agency is particularly interested in receiving applications from qualified professionals with experience in “developing and implementing integrated communications strategies to promote basic research about social, behavioral and economic sciences to a variety of audiences and stakeholders.” The opportunity closes September 19, 2014. More information can be found on USAJOBS.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

IES Seeks Input to Guide Future Education Research Activities

The Institute of Education Sciences of the Department of Education has issued a “Dear Colleague” letter soliciting public input to guide the future activities of the agency’s two research centers, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER). The letter states that the effort is intended to “make sure that the two centers are contributing to significant advances in research and building knowledge that is useful to education policymakers and practitioners.” Comments are due October 31, 2014.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Census, NCHS Hold Joint Technical Meeting Ahead of Release of Insurance Coverage Data

On September 16, the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) will release the first federal statistics on health insurance coverage during the period after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The agencies held a technical meeting on August 18 to go over what will be released later this month and provide background on the methods used in the respective household surveys. Census Bureau Director John Thompson and NCHS Director Charles Rothwell introduced the meeting. A webcast is available here.

Two sources of data will be used together to assess the impact of the ACA on health insurance coverage. The Census’ Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) asks participants about their health insurance status in the previous calendar year, providing a baseline estimate of health insurance coverage before the ACA’s coverage expansion went into effect. NCHS’ National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) collects data on participants’ current health insurance coverage. The upcoming data release will cover the first quarter of 2014 (coverage expansion began in January 2014). Read more ›

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NASS Invites Suggestions for Next Census of Agriculture

The National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) is seeking comments from the public on changes for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years, the Census provides detailed information on nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture down to the county level. In a press release, NASS Associate Administrator Renee Picanso said, “Many industries want data that we currently don’t collect…There are also some data that people think are no longer relevant with changing trends in agriculture. This is the time to express those ideas and concerns.” Comments may be submitted via an online form. NASS will notify the public before the comment period closes.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIJ Seeking Researchers to Support Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking social scientists to work in residence at NIJ and participate in the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. The jobs are two-year details (with the option for renewal for a third year) through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) and are open to employees of federal, state, and local governmental agencies; institutions of higher education; Indian tribal governments; federally funded research and development centers; and qualified non-profit organizations.

The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative is “a large-scale, integrated research effort designed to increase the safety of schools nationwide by developing knowledge about the most effective and sustainable school safety interventions and programs and by testing innovative approaches.” (More information is available here.) Selected candidates will “work closely with NIJ staff responsible for the design and management of the Initiative, with responsibilities ranging from establishing a research agenda to providing assistance to NIJ grantees conducting a variety of research projects to conducting small research projects in furtherance of Initiative objectives.”

More information about the position, including information on how to apply, is available on NIJ’s website. Applications are due September 30, 2014.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

NIH Seeks Input on Resources for Data-Related Standards Used in Biomedical Science

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI): Input on Information Resources for Data-Related Standards Widely Used in Biomedical Science, seeking comments and ideas to inform the consideration of an NIH Standards Information Resource (NSIR) that would collect, organize, and make available to the public trusted, systematically organized, and curated information about data-related standards. Read more ›

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

AHRQ Solicits Scientific Information on Health Information Exchange

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Healthcare Program is soliciting submissions of scientific information to inform its review of Health Information Exchange, which AHRQ defines as the “electronic sharing of clinical information among users such as health care providers, patients, administrators or policy makers across the boundaries of health care institutions, health data repositories, States and others.” The agency is particularly interested in scientific information related to the effectiveness, harms, prevalence, facilitators and barriers, and sustainability of Health Information Exchange. More information is available in the Federal Register notice. Submissions must be received by September 29, 2014.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Social Scientists among 2014 Golden Goose Awardees

On September 18, the scientific community and policy makers will come together to celebrate the winners of this year’s Golden Goose Award at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The Golden Goose Award honors scientists whose research funded by the federal government has yielded major benefits to society, which could not have been anticipated at the time of funding. Among the 2014 awardees is a group of scientists whose research studying the impact of maternal absence on infant rats has significantly improved the ability of premature babies to thrive and has saved billions in health care costs and a group of economists who applied basic research on game theory to assist the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in setting allocations for auctioning the telecommunications spectrum, which has yielded more than $60 billion in revenue for the federal government. COSSA is a supporter of the 2014 Golden Goose Award.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 33 (2014)