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COSSA Washington Update, Volume 38 Issue 3

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

COSSA Releases 2019 Rankings of College and University Social Science Investment

COSSA recently released its 2019 College and University Rankings for Federal Social and Behavioral R&D, which highlight the top university recipients of federal research dollars in the social and behavioral sciences. This year’s rankings also feature a dashboard with an interactive map of recipients of social and behavioral science R&D funding so you can see how your university stacks up against more than 450 U.S. institutions. Based on the most recent available federal data, the COSSA rankings use an inclusive selection of fields representing the breadth of the social and behavioral sciences to calculate the total federal R&D funding received by universities in the social and behavioral sciences. More information on how the rankings are produced is available on the COSSA website.

The top 10 recipients for 2019 are:

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill* (NC) – $126,694,000 (#1 in 2018)
  2. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor* (MI) – $117,218,000 (#2 in 2018)
  3. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities* (MN) – $44,272,000 (#4 in 2018)
  4. University of Maryland, College Park* (MD) – $42,681,000 (#7 in 2018)
  5. Pennsylvania State University, University Park and Hershey Medical Center* (PA) – $37,794,000 (#3 in 2018)
  6. University of Washington, Seattle* (WA) – $36,061,000 (#5 in 2018)
  7. University of Pennsylvania* (PA) – $32,888,000 (#6 in 2018)
  8. New York University* (NY) – $32,384,000 (#11 in 2018)
  9. University of Southern California (CA) – $31,958,000 (#10 in 2018)
  10. University of South Florida, Tampa (FL) – $31,580,000 (#9 in 2018)

* Indicates COSSA members

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Government Reopens; Final Funding for FY 2019 Still Unclear

Following the longest partial-government shutdown in U.S. history and the passage of a short-term stopgap measure to reopen the government, the fate of fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations is still unclear. On January 25, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to reopen all federal agencies until February 15, allowing more time to negotiate a compromise on border security—the policy issue at the center of the government funding debate. While the timing for finalizing FY 2019 spending remains uncertain, negotiations on all spending levels (except for Homeland Security) have been finalized. The end product for agencies awaiting their final appropriation is not likely to diverge much, if at all, from the levels that have already been reported. COSSA will release a full analysis reviewing the FY 2019 outcomes for programs and agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences once Congress and the White House come to a final agreement.

Prior to the reopening of the government, COSSA signed on to a letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders as a part of the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) expressing concern about the impact of government shutdowns on America’s research enterprise. The scientific community is bracing for another potential shutdown should agreement not be reached before the next deadline on February 15.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Seeking Nominations for New Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Science Research Related to Alzheimer’s Disease: DEADLINE FEBRUARY 6

The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is seeking nominations to a committee that will be charged with developing a Decadal Survey of Behavioral and Social Science Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias. The study will identify research opportunities throughout the social and behavioral sciences, including psychology, sociology, demography, economics, anthropology, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience, that can be brought to bear on prevention, care, and better understanding of the effects of the disease on society. Various techniques will be used to identify the community of experts outside of the appointed committee including town halls, the use of social media directed towards science (e.g. IdeaBuzz), and webcasting of special workshops to draw attention to the initiative. Nominations may be submitted by filling out this form by February 6, 2019.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

COSSA Joins Call for Department of Education to Halt Proposed Title IX Amendments

COSSA joined over 60 other organizations in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Education to halt its proposed amendments to Title IX implementing regulations that would restrict the definition of sexual harassment in academic institutions and the overall scope of the Title IX regulation. The letter recognizes that “existing legal structures (including Title IX) alone are insufficient to create the needed changes of conduct to reduce barriers to full participation,” adding that the proposed regulations “are without an evidence-based justification and are not consistent with Title IX.” The signatory societies, including COSSA, emphasize the importance that rules concerning sexual harassment be made “with serious regard for the facts, evidence, and research.”

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

February’s Headlines Webchat to Feature a Deep Dive on Evidence-Based Policymaking

headlines bannerCOSSA members are encouraged to sign up for the monthly Headlines webchat on February 14 at 2:00 pm Eastern, in which COSSA staff will recap the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answer participants’ questions. The February chat will feature a deep dive discussion on the recently-passed Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 with special guest Nick Hart, Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Evidence Project. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Social Scientists Encouraged to Explore NSF’s Ten Big Ideas Solicitations

Arthur Lupia, Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) of the National Science Foundation (NSF), is calling on social and behavioral scientists to learn more about, and consider applying for, the funding opportunities associated with the NSF Ten Big Ideas for Future Investment. The Ideas focus on critical issues in science and society and provide potentially substantial opportunities for social and behavioral scientists—from planning grants to research infrastructure. The letter includes details of the Big Ideas, links to more information, and directions to join informational webinars. Read the letter below for detail. More information about the Ten Big Ideas can be found on the NSF website.


Substantial Funding Opportunities from NSF Relevant to SBE Scientists

Dear Colleague,

There are new funding opportunities at NSF that might be of interest to you. They are called the “Big Ideas” and they focus on critical issues in science and society. The purpose of each Big Idea is to motivate dynamic and innovative scholars to create and implement new and potentially transformative interdisciplinary approaches to some very large societal challenges.

I encourage

  • every social scientist,
  • every behavioral scientist,
  • every member of an organization who is willing to collaborate with social or behavioral scientists, and
  • every scholar who is looking for new opportunities to advance science in ways that best serve the public

to think “big”.

Here are some of the opportunities now available:

  1. Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Data are being created, distributed, and used at a scale that is unprecedented in human history. This Big Idea encourages NSF’s research community to pursue broad, interdisciplinary research in data science and engineering, and to explore its implications for social interaction and organization. This Big Idea seeks to help society better understand, and more effectively develop, a cohesive, federated, national-scale approach to research data infrastructure, and knowledge needed to empower a 21st-century data-capable workforce. The HDR vision is realized through an interrelated set of activities and funding opportunities. Each of these efforts is designed to amplify the intrinsically multidisciplinary nature of the emerging field of data science.
    Multiple Funding Opportunities:

  2. The Future of Work at the Human Technology Frontier: This Big Idea seeks to help society better understand, and more effectively build, the human-technology relationship in the context of work. Relevant activities include assessing the social and behavioral implications of automation; producing new technologies to augment human performance; developing and evaluating mechanisms to foster lifelong and pervasive learning with technology; and many more.
    Funding Opportunity:

  3. Navigating the New Arctic: The Arctic is undergoing rapid biological, physical, and social change, not only its shape and surface properties, but also the ways in which humans can interact with it. This Big Idea seeks to help society better understand, and more effectively adapt to how Arctic change will influence communities both in the Arctic and beyond. This initiative is not just for people already studying the Arctic. It is for anyone whose work is potentially pertinent to New Arctic issues.
    Funding Opportunity:

  4. Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure: At NSF, the term “mid-scale” infrastructure refers to projects that, once built, can help many researchers conduct diverse analyses from a single platform. The budget for these projects can range from $6.0 million to $70.0 million over a five-year period. This Big Idea is designed to motivate entrepreneurial research teams to create new and innovative research platforms.
    Two Funding Opportunities:

  5. Growing Convergence Research: Research relying on convergence is needed to solve complex scientific and engineering problems that require integrating knowledge, methods, and expertise from different disciplines and forming novel frameworks to catalyze scientific discovery and innovation. This is research driven by a specific and compelling problem and features deep integration across disciplines.
    More details are expected soon.

Two additional Big Ideas do not currently have open funding opportunities; but could be a source of new solicitations in the future.

Understanding the Rules of Life: This Big Idea seeks broad interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the regularities that guide or influence the emergence of observable characteristics, i.e., phenotype, in organisms across the tree of life, including humans. Previously, this program sought proposals in two areas: Epigenetics, and Building a Synthetic Cell. While the subject matter of future calls has not been determined, we anticipate calls that include a significant role for social and behavioral scientists.

NSF INCLUDES: This Big Idea seeks to help scholars develop, implement, and evaluate new ways to transform education and career pathways in ways that broaden participation in science and engineering.  The INCLUDES initiative is aimed at expanding the number of underrepresented scientists and engineers within the U.S. scientific workforce.  To accomplish this, NSF INCLUDES has supported the development of a national network of a broad array of research centers and sites, both public and private, with varied STEM foci ranging from community water research to environmental engineering.

Please spend a few minutes learning about the Big Ideas. These new funding opportunities, along with NSF’s existing social and behavioral science programs, offer exciting opportunities for innovative scholars who are interested in transformative, problem-inspired, basic research. If you have questions about these or other SBE programs, please contact the program officers listed at the bottom of each opportunity’s main page.

The Big Ideas offer a great opportunity for social and behavioral scientists to advance science and address important social problems. We would like to see strong proposals from our community in the weeks and months to come.

Sincerely,

Arthur Lupia
Assistant Director
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
National Science Foundation

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

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