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)

Researchers Discuss Projects Targeted by Wastebooks at Capitol Hill Poster Exhibition

cpr 4-13On April 13, the COSSA-led Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) and the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) sponsored a Congressional exhibition and reception, “Wasteful” Research? Looking Beyond the Abstract, designed to provide researchers whose work had been targeted in the various Congressional “wastebook” publications an opportunity to put their research into context for Members of Congress and their staff. The unique Congressional exhibition and reception featured nine researchers from across the disciplinary spectrum. Also presented were posters on the peer/merit review process by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Participating researchers included: Aletha Akers, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Karen Ingersoll, University of Virginia School of Medicine; Jeff Leips, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Frederick Muench, Northwell Health, New York; Sheila Patek, Duke University; Kimberley Philips, Trinity University; Narayan Sastry, University of Michigan; David Scholnick, Pacific University, Oregon; and Megan Tracy, James Madison University. Joshua Shiode of AAAS provided information on the Golden Goose Awards along with this year’s first announced recipients of the 2016 award for the Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health, recently renamed the Longitudinal Study on Adult Health (Add Health). (more…)

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 19), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

CPR Briefing Highlights NIH Peer Review Process

September 22 CPR posterThe COSSA-led Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) recently organized its second congressional briefing of 2015 (see Update, March 24, 2015) designed to provide an overview of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) peer review process for congressional staff.

The briefing, NIH Priority Setting: How Peer Review Assists the NIH in Selecting the Best Science, highlighted the process used by the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR) with the help of scientific experts from around the country.  Briefing speakers included CSR director Richard Nakamura and Danielle Li of Harvard University.  Felice Levine, executive director of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), served as the moderator. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 18 (October 6), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

COSSA/CPR Sponsor “NIH 101” Congressional Briefing

yamamotoOn February 27, the COSSA-led Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) organized a Congressional briefing designed to provide an overview of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review process and the types of grants funded by the agency.

The briefing’s speaker, Keith Yamamoto, vice chancellor for research and executive vice dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is a leading molecular biologist and has served on the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review’s advisory committee, as well as other NIH advisory panels and peer review committees. Using contemporary biology, Yamamoto discussed the NIH priority-setting process for determining research priorities as well as its methods for soliciting input from the scientific community and the public.

Yamamoto explained what he characterized as the complexities of peer review and the limits of knowledge; NIH peer review acknowledges and manages intrinsic conflicts of interests, operates on a massive scale across a broad scope, incorporates complex metrics for merit and success, and is imperfect, but continues to evolve and improve. “By any measure, NIH peer review is best,” Yamamoto concluded.

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) acting executive director for science, Howard Kurtzman, moderated the briefing, which was attended by more than 60 congressional staff members and representatives of organizations that support the NIH.

The briefing sponsors included the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, APA, Association of American Medical Colleges, Coalition for Life Sciences, CPR, COSSA, Population Association of America, and Research!America.

CPR is a coalition of national organizations committed to promoting public health, innovation and fundamental knowledge through scientific research. The organizations represent hundreds of thousands of scientists, physicians, health care providers, and patients who support federal investments in basic and applied biomedical and behavioral research.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 24), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Events Calendar

Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, February 26-28, 2015

Congressional Briefing – NIH 101: Peer Review & Priority Setting, Washington, DC, February 27, 2015

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, March 3-7, 2015

Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations Annual Meeting, New Brunswick, NJ, March 5-7, 2015

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, Washington, DC, March 9-10, 2015

American Psychosomatic Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Savannah, GA, March 18-21, 2015

Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, March 19-21, 2015

Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 25-29, 2015

Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, March 26-29, 2015

Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MO, March 26-29, 2015

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA webpage.

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 3 (February 24), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Scientific Community Expresses Support for NIH and Its Peer Review Process

On December 2, the Coalition to Promote Research (CPR) sent letters to Congress expressing its “continued and strong support for the competitive peer review process used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).” The letter, signed by 128 diverse organizations, noted that the scientific community is “extremely concerned about the recent criticism of the NIH’s funding decisions and the accompanying mischaracterization of NIH-supported research in the media and by some in Congress. The ongoing targeting of specific grants produces a chilling effect across the entire scientific community. These attacks inhibit the very scientific progress the critics claim to support. Our organizations strongly oppose these mischaracterizations and the associated undue criticism of the NIH peer review process.” (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)


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