COSSA’s Awards

The COSSA Distinguished Service Award recognizes leaders who have gone above and beyond to promote, protect, and advance the social and behavioral science research enterprise. The COSSA Public Impact Award is awarded to individuals or organizations who are using social and behavioral science research to achieve notable improvements in communities. Awardees are chosen by the COSSA Board of Directors, which represents COSSA’s governing member associations. The awards are presented during COSSA’s annual Social Science Advocacy Day.


2019 COSSA Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Katharine Abraham & Dr. Ron Haskins
2019 COSSA Public Impact Award: The Lab @ DC

COSSA’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Katharine Abraham and Ron Haskins, whose leadership of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking helped catalyze efforts across federal agencies to integrate science- and evidence-based decision-making into the everyday work of government. COSSA will also present its first-ever Public Impact Award to The Lab @ DC, a team of social scientists working within the District of Columbia government to use scientific methods and insights to test and improve District policies and programs. Both awards will be officially presented at a Celebration of Social Science Reception on April 30, 2019 as part of COSSA’s 2019 Social Science Advocacy Day festivities. (Press release)

2018 COSSA Distinguished Service Award: Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) & Dr. William Riley

Representative Lipinski and Dr. Riley represent the type of leadership across the legislative and executive branches of government the social and behavioral sciences need to flourish and continue to produce the type of findings that have already improved the lives of countless Americans. Representative Lipinski is one of social science’s most stalwart champions in Congress and has long been a vocal advocate for the many benefits research in the social and behavioral sciences have generated. Dr. Riley’s leadership of OBSSR has helped ensure that the social and behavioral sciences are thriving at NIH and continue to generate vital insights into the ways that behavioral and social factors shape our health. (Press release)

Members of the COSSA Board of Directors, representatives from COSSA governing member associations, Representative Lipinski, and his office staff

2018 Distinguished Award Recipient Rep. Dan Lipinski (center right) with members of the COSSA Board of Directors, representatives of COSSA governing associations, and members of Rep. Lipinski’s staff.

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2018 Distinguished Award Recipient William Riley and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus.


2017 COSSA Distinguished Service Award: Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) & Gary Peters (D-MI)

Senators Gardner and Peters were recognized for their bipartisan work on the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA), legislation that reauthorizes activities at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), STEM education programs, and seeks to reduce the administrative burden associated with federal grants. Senators Gardner and Peters worked to ensure an inclusive and bipartisan process when writing the AICA, engaging the scientific research community along the way. The AICA was one of the last bills signed into law by President Obama in January. (Press release)

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2017 Distinguished Award Recipients Sen. Gary Peters (center) and Sen. Cory Gardner (second from left) with COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus (right); Christina Ko, University of Michigan (second from right); and Myron Gutmann, University of Colorado, Boulder Institute of Behavioral Science (left).


2016 COSSA Distinguished Service Award: Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

In recognition of her unwavering support for social and behavioral science research and steadfast leadership on behalf of the U.S. scientific enterprise.

2016 COSSA Distinguished Service Award Winner Eddie Bernice Johnson and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus

2016 COSSA Distinguished Service Award Recipient Eddie Bernice Johnson and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus


2015 COSSA Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Philip E. Rubin, (former) Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy

In recognition of his career of service to the social and behavioral science community.

2015 COSSA Distinguished Service Award Recipient Philip E. Rubin (center) with COSSA Board Chair Felice Levine (left) and COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus (right)