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COSSA has released a new publication in its HOT TOPICS series, Reducing the Regulatory Burden on Federally-Funded Researchers. HOT TOPICS are periodic, featured articles prepared by COSSA staff members offering insights into timely issues important to the social and behavioral science community. This edition was written by Camille Hosman, who joined the COSSA team earlier this year.
The report provides an overview of some of the major efforts made in recent years to better understand issues of regulatory burden and to begin to develop roadmaps for addressing it. While there is no shortage of ideas, given the complexity of the topic and the many players– federal agencies, Congress, research institutions, and researchers themselves– the path to relief is less clear. Read on for the full report.
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) introduced legislation on June 24 intended to develop ways to alleviate some of the administrative burden placed on federally funded researchers and institutions. The University Regulations Streamlining and Harmonization Act of 2016 (H.R. 5583), which is co-sponsored by Lipinski’s Illinois colleague from across the aisle, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), builds on recommendations from a 2015 National Academies report, Optimizing the Nation’s Investment in Academic Research: A New Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century, Part 1 (part 2 of the report will be released on June 28). The improvements and efficiencies proposed in the bill include establishing a Research Policy Board to advise on proposed regulations and ways to improve existing regulations, streamlining the procurement process for universities, and simplifying the application process across multiple agencies. More details can be found in the press release. The bill has been referred to the House Science, Space and Technology and Oversight and Government Reform committees.