Blog Archives

NIH Updates Diversity Statement

On November 22, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a notice updating the agency’s official statement on diversity in research settings. In a blog post by Deputy Director for Extramural Research at NIH Dr. Mike Lauer, the main reason for the updated statement was to expand the criteria for qualifying as an individual from a low socio-economic background. In the post, Lauer claims “this revised definition should better capture many scientists with a disadvantaged background, and be relatively easy to assess, ensuring we continue enhancing the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.” The updated diversity statement and the previous diversity statement can both be found on the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 24 (December 10), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Members of Congress Request Feedback on Cures 2.0 Legislation

On November 22, Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) released a statement detailing a vision for an updated version of the 21st Century Cures Act and calling for stakeholder input. The proposed legislation, colloquially known as “Cures 2.0,” would provide funding for research into cures for several life-threatening diseases. The Members will accept stakeholder comments until December 16. Information on how to submit comments can be found in the Members’ statement.

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Posted in Issue 24 (December 10), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NIH Requesting Comments on Newly Released Draft Policy for Data Management and Sharing

On November 6, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a draft of the new NIH Policy on Data Management and Sharing. The policy is intended to clarify rules on the handling and sharing of potentially sensitive NIH data while allowing access to the data to be more available for use in research. The draft policy requires all NIH-funded research resulting in the generation of scientific data to be submitted alongside a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlining any potential restrictions or limitations of data management.

NIH is accepting public comments on the draft policy until January 10, 2020. More information about NIH’s data management policy can be found on the NIH website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (November 26), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NIH to Host 2019 Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is hosting the 2019 NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival on December 6 on NIH’s main campus in Bethesda, MD. The festival brings together researchers from around NIH and will feature three plenary sessions. Chanita Hughes-Halbert from the Medical University of South Carolina will serve as a keynote presenter and Alia Crum from Stanford University will serve as a featured presenter. Registration details and more information about the festival may be found on the OBSSR website.

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Posted in Issue 22 (November 12), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

OBSSR Seeks Nominations for Matilda White Riley Keynote Lecture

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting nominations for an social or behavioral scientist to delivery the keynote address at the Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Science Honors on June 8, 2020. Nominees should have a research career that has “advanced behavioral and social scientific knowledge in areas within NIH’s mission and Dr. White Riley’s vision.” More information is available here. Nominations may be emailed to Erica Spotts by November 15, 2019.

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Posted in Issue 20 (October 15), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Senate Makes Progress on FY 2020 Appropriations for NSF, Census, NIH, Education, USDA

With the passage of a continuing resolution through Thanksgiving giving Congress some breathing room to complete fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations, the Senate Appropriations Committee has finally made progress in approving a number of its annual appropriations bills. COSSA has released analyses of three Senate bills that fund agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences:

Full coverage of FY 2020 appropriations, including analyses of the corresponding House proposals, is available on the COSSA website.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 1), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NICHD Releases 2020 Strategic Plan

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) released their 2020 strategic plan, a guiding document laying out the institute’s research priorities for the next five years. Earlier this year, COSSA submitted comments on behalf of the social and behavioral science community addressing a draft version of the strategic plan.

The NICHD strategic plan lays out five main research objectives:

  • Understanding the molecular, cellular, and structural basis of development;
  • Promoting gynecologic, andrologic, and reproductive health;
  • Setting the foundation for healthy pregnancies and lifelong wellness;
  • Improving child and adolescent health and the transition to adulthood;
  • Advancing safe and effective therapeutics and devices for pregnant and lactating women, children, and people with disabilities.

The full strategic plan and more information can be found on the NICHD website.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 1), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NIH Evaluates Strategy on Countering Foreign Influence in Research

On September 25, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released three reports addressing efforts to combat the prevalence of foreign influence in research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The OIG reports evaluate three tactics used in NIH’s strategy in securing research from foreign influence in institutional reporting of foreign financial interests and affiliations, reviewing financial conflicts of interest in extramural research, and securing the peer review process from foreign influence. The OIG reports each provide several recommendations to the NIH on how to improve these initiatives.

The strategy comes as a follow up to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins’ August 2018 letter to over 10,000 institutions expressing concern over foreign influence in research settings. You can find previous  coverage on a Congressional hearing concerning foreign influence at NIH on the COSSA website.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 1), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NIH Extends Enforcement Delay of Clinical Trials Policy Until September 2021

On July 24, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a notice announcing a further delay of enforcement of clinical trials reporting requirements for NIH-funded research designated as “basic experimental studies with humans.” The enforcement date, originally extended to September of this year, has been pushed to September 24, 2021. A blog post from the NIH Office of Science Policy describes the extension as necessary to address the challenges of reporting requirements for some researchers by continuing to search for common ground with the basic science community.

The notice is the latest iteration of NIH statements relating to changes to NIH’s clinical trial policy. As previously reported, NIH has established a new definition of “clinical trials” which includes some basic behavioral and social science research and mandates new reporting requirements. COSSA previously authored a Hot Topic piece detailing how the changes would affect basic research. Due to negative reactions from the basic science community on concerns of undue burden on the researchers, NIH announced a delay in the enforcement of the clinical trials policy and issued a Request for Information (RFI) to the community on best practices for implementing the policy. Read COSSA’s previous coverage for more details.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 6), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NIH Establishes Research Network on Opioid Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice System

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced the awarding of 12 grants to form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN), a network of institutions performing research on opioid use disorder in criminal justice settings. JCOIN will connect researchers, many of whom are social and behavioral scientists, with criminal justice stakeholders to help improve practices in responding to opioid abuse in high risk criminal justice institutions. The research institutions in JCOIN include treatment centers and universities – some of which are COSSA members. The network includes the following institutions:

  • New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Baystate Medical Center
  • Friends Research Institute, Inc.
  • Texas Christian University
  • New York University School of Medicine
  • Brown University
  • University of Chicago
  • Chestnut Health Systems, Inc.
  • University of Kentucky
  • Yale University
  • George Mason University (as an un-funded coordinating body)

More information about JCOIN may be found on the NIDA website.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 6), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

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