Government Funding Remains Uncertain; Another Stopgap Likely

Four months after fiscal year (FY) 2018 began, Congress seems no closer to appropriating funds for the remainder of the fiscal year or agreeing on top-line spending levels. The government is currently operating under a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) until February 8 and some Congressional leaders are considering a fifth CR that could fund the government into March. Larger policy debates, including immigration, have created a stalemate that must be resolved before spending levels or FY 2018 appropriations can be finalized. Further complicating this dynamic is the fact that Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced that he will retire at the end of this Congress after leading the committee for only one year, injecting even more confusion into an already uncertain future of Congressional appropriations.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 6), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

OBSSR Soliciting Papers for 11th Annual Matilda White Riley Honors

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking paper submissions for its Early Stage Investigator Paper Competition as part of the 11th Annual Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Science Honors. Early stage investigators are encouraged to submit one published article from 2017 that reflects social and behavioral science advancements helping to enhance life, lengthen life, reduce illness, and reduce disability. Honorees will present their findings on May 31, 2018 in a public event on the NIH campus. Submissions are due by February 18 and more information can be found on the OBSSR website.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 6), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

National Science Board Releases Policy Statement on U.S. STEM-Capable Workforce

On February 1, the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body of the National Science Foundation (NSF),  released a companion policy statement to the 2018 Science and Engineering Indicators entitled “Our Nation’s Future Competitiveness Relies on Building a STEM-Capable U.S. Workforce.” The statement highlights the Board’s view that growing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is critical to our economy and global competitiveness. The NSB also emphasized in its statement that STEM is not just for researchers with advanced degrees, but for all Americans and all segments of our population. More details can be found on the NSB website.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 6), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

ASA Launches New “Count on Stats” Initiative

The American Statistical Association (ASA), a COSSA governing member, has launched a new initiative called Count on Stats to “enhance awareness about the importance, reliability, and trustworthiness of government data” and defend the federal statistical system against political attacks. ASA’s partners in the initiative include COSSA governing members the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Sociological Association. More information about the program is available on ASA’s website.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 6), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

After Three-Day Shutdown, Congress Passes Funding through February 8

Congressional leaders came to an agreement on January 22 to reopen the government after a three-day shutdown by passing another stopgap spending bill, this time to keep the government open and flat-funded until February 8. Fiscal year (FY) 2018 started October 1, 2017 and Congress has yet to pass any appropriation bills for the year.

Congress came to the funding impasse on January 19 after the Senate failed to reach an agreement on immigration policy, which will now likely occupy much of Congress’ energy until the continuing resolution expires on February 8, at which point the federal government could be facing yet another shutdown. As COSSA has previously reported, Congress must also come to an agreement on the top-line spending levels allowed by law before finishing the FY 2018 appropriations process. Read more of COSSA’s reporting on FY 2018 here.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 23), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Reduced-Price Registration Available to Students Attending COSSA Conference

COSSA is offering deeply discounted registration rates to students attending the 2018 Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day on April 30 and May 1. Undergraduate and graduate students can register for only $50, a savings 75% off the base price for early bird registration. Interested students should send an email to jmilton@cossa.org with their program, university, and anticipated year of graduate to receive the discount.

Remember:  All participants affiliated with COSSA member organizations and universities are eligible for a discount on Conference registration. Check your inbox for a previous email from COSSA with the discount code or email jmilton@cossa.org. Register now— Early bird registration ends January 31!

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 23), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Common Rule Implementation Delayed Six Months; Further Delays Likely

The 16 U.S. federal agencies subject to the Common Rule, the set of regulations governing research involving human subjects, announced a six-month delay on the implementation of revisions originally announced in January 2017 (see COSSA’s analysis of the changes). The delay was announced as an Interim Final Rule in a Federal Register notice published on January 17, 2018, two days before the changes were scheduled to go into effect. According to the notice, federal agencies subject to the Common Rule are “in the process of developing a proposed rule to further delay implementation of the 2018 requirements,” and the six-month delay will allow for a full notice and comment period on this proposal. Details on what this second delay would entail—including whether the agencies are considering more substantive changes to the revisions—are not provided. A statement issued by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests a possible proposed implementation date of January 21, 2019, but this could change. As the regulations currently stand, the new implementation date is July 19, 2018.

The fate of the changes had been left in limbo since the presidential transition, as one of the Trump Administrations’ first acts was to freeze the implementation of new regulations pending review by the Office of Management and Budget, leading to uncertainty over when—and whether—the changes would go into effect.

A number of the changes to the Common Rule were designed to make the regulations less burdensome for research that posed no or minimal risk to participants, like a lot of social and behavioral research. Until the changes are implemented, research involving human subjects will continue to be guided by the existing regulations, which have not been updated since 1991. You can follow COSSA’s ongoing coverage of this issue here.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 23), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Chief Statistician Seeks Information on Combining Data

The Chief Statistician of the United States has issued a Request for Information on how best to integrate data from multiple sources to inform the development of standards for using combined data for federal purposes. Specifically, the request is seeking information on: “(1) Current and emerging techniques for linking and analyzing combined data; (2) on-going research on methods to describe the quality of statistical products that result from these techniques; (3) computational frameworks and systems for conducting such work; (4) privacy or confidentiality issues that may arise from combining such data; and (5) suggestions for additional research in those or related areas.” More information can be found in the Federal Register notice. Information should be submitted by March 13, 2018.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 23), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

NSF Releases 2018 Science & Engineering Indicators

The National Science Board (NSB), the Presidentially-appointed advisory body to the National Science Foundation (NSF), has released the 2018 edition of its Science and Engineering Indicators, a congressionally-mandated compendium of data “relevant to the scope, quality, and vitality of the science and engineering (S&E) enterprise.” Published every two years, the indicators compile data on science and engineering education and the STEM workforce, international comparisons, and public attitudes toward science and engineering.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 23), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

COSSA Washington Update, Volume 37 Issue 2

Featured News

COSSA in Action

Federal Agency & Administration News

Community Publications & Events

COSSA Member Spotlight

Events Calendar

Posted in Issue 2 (January 23), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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