Blog Archives

Coalition to Promote Research Launches Petition Drive: “Advancing Principles of Scientific Stewardship”

On June 12, the Coalition to Promote Research (CPR), which is co-led by COSSA and the American Psychological Association (a COSSA member), launched a petition drive, Advancing Principles of Scientific Stewardship. The effort is designed to make evident the support of the general public as well as the scientific community for America’s premier federal research enterprise, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The organizers hope to showcase the enormous unseen support for the peer/merit review process.

The CPR petition highlights the general public’s and scientific community’s recognition that “Effective policy planning and appropriate, stable funding levels are essential to producing outcomes that save lives and reduce health care costs; enhance the quality of life of our families and children; improve systems of health care delivery; and lay the scientific foundations for improvements in education, safety, governance, and commerce.” It urges “the U.S. Congress and Administration to act as responsible and effective stewards of the scientific infrastructure and to continue to uphold the quality of our nation’s research enterprise by embracing the fundamental values that have supported its development and maintained its quality.”

Specifically, the petition encourages Congress and the Executive Branch to support:

  1. Scientific merit review (also called “peer review”) to judge the quality and relevance of research proposals without Congressional interference.
  2. Federal science funding agencies’ efforts to assure the quality of federally supported research and its applicability to agencies’ missions and priorities.
  3. Adherence to and promotion of the highest standards of scientific integrity and transparency in developing and making scientific data available to the public.

CPR member-organizations represent hundreds of thousands of scientists, physicians, health care providers, and patients who support federal investments in basic and applied biomedical, behavioral, social, and population science research.

The coalition will be accepting signatures for the foreseeable future. COSSA/CPR encourage you to read and sign the petition and share it with your colleagues, family, and friends.

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 13), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

AAPOR Report Assesses 2016 Election Polling Performance

After Donald Trump’s surprise win in the 2016 election, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), a COSSA governing member, convened a committee to review the performance of pre-election polling (AAPOR has convened such committees after the past several elections). The committee, chaired by Courtney Kennedy of the Pew Research Center, recently released An Evaluation of 2016 Election Polls in the U.S., outlining its findings and recommendations.

According to the committee, “While the general public reaction [to the election result] was that ‘the polls failed,’ we found the reality to be more complex – a position held by a number of industry experts… Some polls, indeed, had large, problematic errors, but many polls did not. Critically, the reasons for the polling errors are no longer a mystery.” Overall, the committee found the national-level polls were “generally correct and accurate by historical standards,” but that many of the state-level polls were flawed. According to the report, underestimation of Trump’s support in state polls was due to late changing voter preferences, not sufficiently adjusting for overrepresentation of college graduates, and potentially, voters’ misrepresentation of their support for Trump.

The committee cautions against using the 2016 election as reason to discount the importance of polling and survey research: “Well-designed and rigorously executed surveys are still able to produce valuable, accurate information about the attitudes and experiences of the U.S. public.” To improve the outcomes of polling ahead of future presidential elections, the committee recommends finding ways to direct more resources toward critical state polls, which are often under-funded. The complete report is available on AAPOR’s website.

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 13), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

CJRA and COSSA to Host “Ask a Criminologist” Panel on Technology and Policing

The Crime & Justice Research Alliance (CJRA) (a collaborative effort of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science and the American Society of Criminology, both COSSA members) and COSSA will be hosting the second in a series of “Ask a Criminologist” Congressional briefings on Wednesday, June 21. This interactive event will feature criminologist experts who will provide an overview of research on the latest technologies police are using across the country. Experts include CJRA Chair Dr. Nancy La Vigne of The Urban Institute, Dr. Cynthia Lum of George Mason University, Dr. Eric Piza of John Jay College, and Eddie Reyes of the Police Foundation. More information, and a link to RSVP, can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 13), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • IES: Education Research Grants (FY 2018) (CFDA 84.305A)
  • IES: Partnerships and Collaborations Focused on Problems of Practice or Policy (FY 2018) (CFDA 84.305H)
  • IES: Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Education Interventions (FY 2018) (CFDA 84.305L)
  • IES: Special Education Research Grants (FY 2018) (CFDA 84.324A)
  • IES: Research Training Programs in Special Education (FY 2018) (CFDA 84.324B)
  • IES: Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Special Education Interventions (FY 2018) (CFDA 84.324L)
  • IES: Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Education Policy and Practice in Special Education (FY 2018) (CFDA 84.324N)

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 13), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Events Calendar

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA events page. COSSA members who have an upcoming event they would like to see listed in the Events Calendar and on our website should send an email to

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 13), Update, Volume 36 (2017)


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