Blog Archives

OHRP Releases Information on Clinical Trial Consent Form Posting, GDPR Guidance

As part of the revisions to the Common Rule (the set of regulations that govern research involving human participants) going into full effect in January 2019 (see COSSA’s coverage for more details), clinical trials covered by these regulations must publicly post copies of the consent forms used to enroll participants. The Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) has announced that these consent forms must be posted either on clinicaltrials.gov or to a docket folder on regulations.gov (docket ID: HHS-OPHS-2018-0021).

OHRP has also made available guidance related to the European General Data Protection Directive (GDPR) to assist stakeholders conducting human subjects research in the E.U. The compilation is available on the OHRP website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 4), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Kelvin Droegemeier Nominated to Lead OSTP

On August 1, President Trump nominated Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier to serve as the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The OSTP director has traditionally, but not always, held the title of Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, otherwise known as the president’s science advisor, but it is not clear if Droegemeier would fill this role as well. Dr. Droegemeier holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric science and has served on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma in Norman for 33 years and as the university’s vice president for research since 2009. OU is a COSSA member university. Additionally, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to the National Science Board in 2004, was reappointed by President Obama in 2011, and served as the vice-chair of the board for four years.

Droegemeier’s nomination now awaits approval by the Senate but has come as a relief to much of the scientific community. President Trump took twice as much time as any other modern president to name an OSTP Director and his administration has routinely eschewed scientific expertise in its decision making. OSTP is responsible for providing scientific and technological analysis and judgment to the President, leading interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts, and assisting the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of Federal research and development in budgets.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 7), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

White House Outlines FY 2020 R&D Budget Priorities

On July 31, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Mick Mulvaney, with Michael Kratsios, Deputy Assistant Secretary to the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), issued a joint memorandum to federal agency and department heads on “FY 2020 Administration Research and Development Priorities.” The R&D memo lays out key White House priorities as agencies begin working on their budget submissions for the next fiscal year.

The FY 2020 memo shares many priorities with the FY 2019 memo, including acknowledging the important role of science and technology to America’s global leadership and emphasizing national security, American energy dominance, and medical innovation as research and development priorities. The memo also adds new priorities including space exploration, artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, advanced communication networks, and agriculture. Specific science priorities for the Trump Administration in FY 2020 include research “to improve the security and resilience of the Nation and its critical infrastructure from natural hazards, physical threats, cyber-attacks, and emerging threats from autonomous systems and biological agents;” fundamental and applied artificial intelligence (AI) research; research to “safely and efficiently integrate autonomous driving systems and unmanned aircraft systems;” and basic medical research for personalized medicine, areas underserved by industry, disease prevention, and health promotion.”

Unlike the FY 2019 memo, the FY 2020 memo does not include specific language about federal funding for research and development playing a supporting role to that of industry. The memo does reiterate, however, the administration’s view that federal research and development dollars should be used primarily on basic and early-stage applied research.

Additional details can be found in the memorandum.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 7), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Census Bureau Seeks Input on 2020 Data Products

In order to inform its plans for 2020 Census data products, the Census Bureau is soliciting feedback on how data products from prior decennial censuses (including summary and detailed tables, national and state demographic profiles, and topical briefs) have been used. According to the Federal Register notice, privacy concerns may lead the Bureau to reduce the amount of detailed data released to the public, so input on how to prioritize products for the 2020 Census is being sought. More information, including specific questions of interest to the Bureau and a spreadsheet containing a complete list of data products and tables, is available in the Federal Register. Comments must be submitted by September 17, 2018.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 7), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

NSF Prepares to Launch the 2026 Idea Machine

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is preparing to launch the NSF 2026 Idea Machine in late August. The NSF 2026 Idea Machine is a competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants in the Idea Machine have the opportunity to win prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade – these questions will become NSF’s next series of “Big Ideas.” This is an opportunity for researchers, the public, students and other interested parties to suggest pressing research questions.

The window to submit entries to the Idea Machine will run from late August 2018 to late October 2018. After entries have been submitted online, NSF staff will judge and select a representative group of submissions which will be available for public comment and invited to submit accompanying video pitches. Blue-Ribbon panels and NSF leadership will select two to four winning entries for public recognition, cash prizes, and other awards.

NSF is seeking ambitious and challenging entries that require the talents of the research community and will attract creative contributions from many researchers while benefiting stakeholders both inside and outside of the research community. Stay tuned to COSSA Washington Update and the NSF Website for updates on the launch of the NSF 2026 Idea Machine.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 7), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Steven Dillingham Nominated to Lead Census Bureau

Dr. Steven Dillingham was nominated on July 18 by President Trump to serve as the Director of the Census Bureau within the Department of Commerce. Dillingham currently directs the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning for the Peace Corps and previously led the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. He holds a Ph.D. in political science, as well as a law degree, an MBA, and a master’s degree in public administration. Given his record of leadership within the federal statistical system, Dillingham’s nomination is a welcome departure from the type of controversial, politically-motivated candidates the Administration was previously reported to have considered.

The job of the director of the Census Bureau has been empty for more than a year and, if confirmed by the Senate, Dillingham will direct the Bureau through a difficult time, as the 2020 Census quickly approaches and the Bureau is under heightened scrutiny for the controversial decision to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 questionnaire. Upon his confirmation, Dillingham would serve out the remainder of the current five-year term, ending in December 31, 2021.

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Posted in Issue 15 (July 24), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Draft Guidance Documents Related to Revised Common Rule Released

On July 20, the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released three draft guidance documents that relate to the three provisions in the revised Common Rule that institutions may choose to implement during the period between July 19, 2018 and January 20, 2019, when the revised Common Rule becomes effective (see COSSA’s coverage of the delay).

The three draft guidance documents are:

OHRP will issue a formal Notice of Availability about these guidance documents in the Federal Register but has posted the draft documents on its website in recognition of the beginning of the general compliance delay period, which began July 19, 2018. More of COSSA’s coverage of the Common Rule can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 15 (July 24), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

NSF Announces new STEM Education Advisory Panel

The National Science Foundation (NSF), along with the Department of Education, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the appointment of 18 members of the new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education advisory panel on July 11. The panel, authorized by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, was created to encourage U.S. scientific and technological innovations in education.  Gabriela Gonzalez, deputy director of the Intel Foundation at the Intel Corporation, will chair the panel and David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, will serve as vice chair. More information and a complete list of panel members can be found on the NSF website.

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Posted in Issue 15 (July 24), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Arthur Lupia to Lead NSF’s Social Science Directorate

Dr. Lupia at COSSA's 2018 Science Policy Conference

Dr. Lupia at COSSA’s 2018 Science Policy Conference

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that it has chosen Dr. Arthur “Skip” Lupia to serve as the next head of its Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE), following the expiration of Dr. Fay Lomax Cook’s term. Dr. Lupia is currently the Hal R. Varian Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is also the chairman of the board for the Center for Open Science and the chair of the National Academies Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Lupia served on COSSA’s Board of Directors in 2014 and participated in a panel discussion on “Reestablishing Trust in Social Science and Data” during COSSA’s 2018 Science Policy Conference. His research interests include voting, elections, persuasion, opinion change, civic education, coalition governance, legislative-bureaucratic relationships, and decision-making under uncertainty.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, NSF Director France Córdova states, “Arthur Lupia takes leadership of a directorate whose research portfolio touches on major challenges our nation faces. Better understanding human behavior is important to improving cyber security and increasing resilience in the face of natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and broad ecological changes. The social sciences have made a profound contribution to the efficiency of markets, organ donations, and the safety of the skies and our inner cities. Dr. Lupia’s outstanding ability as a communicator will be instrumental to making the value of the social sciences widely understood.”

Dr. Lupia’s term as Assistant Director for SBE will begin on September 1. COSSA congratulates him on his appointment and looks forward to working with him in his new role to continue to advance the social and behavioral sciences.

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Posted in Issue 14 (July 10), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

William Bryan Nominated to Lead DHS Science and Technology

William Bryan has been nominated by President Trump to serve as the Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Bryan is currently the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. If confirmed, Bryan will serve as the science and technology advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and lead the research, development, innovation, and testing activities to support the department’s operations and first responders across the country. Bryan is a U.S. Army veteran who has previously held leadership roles at the Departments of Energy and Defense and served as president of ValueBridge International’s Energy Group. He holds a Master of Science in strategic intelligence and a Bachelor of Science in logistics systems management.

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Posted in Issue 14 (July 10), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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