Join Login

Email Archive - October Policy Update

October Policy Update





SPSSI'S 2019 Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. SPSSI will be organizing an advocacy day to coincide with the winter meeting of SPSSI's Council in Washington, DC. Our topic this year is "promoting the human rights of scientists, scholars, and students around the world." The advocacy day will take place on Thursday, January 31, 2018, with participants attending a training at SPSSI's Capitol Hill office in the morning and then visiting with the offices of their lawmakers in the afternoon. Registration is free, although there are a limited number of spaces. If you are able to be in Washington on Thursday, January 31, 2018, please consider joining us. Email SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll to express your interest in this event. 

Responding to White Supremacy, Prejudice, and Hate-Based Violence. With memories of SPSSI's 2018 Summer Conference fresh in our minds, it was with heavy hearts that we learned about the anti-Semitic killing of 11 people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this past weekend. Only a few days before, two African-Americans were killed near Louisville, Kentucky by a white man spewing racist language. As SPSSI wrote in an open letter to Congress in the aftermath of Charlottesville, "the United States has a long and painful history of white supremacy and hate-based violence, but it also has a long and revered history of pluralism and progress." We must "remain vigilant and vocal against white supremacy in the hope that pluralism and progress continue to win out."

Apply Now: Local- and State-Level Policy Work Awards. SPSSI is still accepting proposals for Local- and State-Level Policy Work Awards. This grant initiative, begun in 2015, has three goals: 1) to influence policy at the local and state levels through applied research, 2) to increase the availability of policy opportunities for SPSSI members who are interested in applied research, and 3) to encourage students and early career scholars to become more involved in SPSSI. SPSSI will fund up to three groups, at up to $2000 each. Click here to see previously funded projects. Proposals are due by or on Thursday, November 1, 2018. 

SPSSI Signs Open Letter Regarding Clinical Trial Policy. In October of 2018, SPSSI joined with many other scientific organizations in writing to the Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to express concern about basic human research being divided into "clinical trial" and "non-clinical trial" categories. The letter calls for NIH to create a registration and reporting system that is appropriately tailored to basic science.

*   *   *   *   *


U.S. Capitol Dome



APA President Responds to Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting. As Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniel writes in her statement, hate crimes "send the message to members of the victim’s group that they are unwelcome in the community, decreasing feelings of safety and security. Furthermore, witnessing discrimination against one’s own group can lead to psychological distress and lower self-esteem." 

Last Call for Nominations: APA’s Advocacy Coordinating Committee. Nominations are sought for the inaugural Advocacy Coordinating Committee (ACC). The ACC will consist of at least 12 members serving staggered 3-year terms. All terms on the ACC will begin on January 1, 2019. Nominations may originate from individuals (including self-nominations), APA boards and committees, divisions, and state, provincial and territorial psychological associations (SPTAs). The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

APA Seeking Chief Advocacy Officer. APA is seeking a dynamic, innovative leader for the new position of Chief Advocacy Officer. The Chief Advocacy Officer will implement a unified, strategic vision for the association’s government relations efforts and coordinate the association’s broader advocacy initiatives in nongovernmental sectors. This position will report to the Chief of Staff, serve on the Executive Management Group, and work with APA’s Board of Directors and governance groups.

*   *   *   *   *


Immigration Policy Protesters

The White House has proposed several rules that would affect immigrants.


Executive Committee Releases SPSSI’s Strategic Plan Draft for Public Comment. SPSSI’s Executive Committee invites your feedback on this draft of the strategic plan, which sets organizational goals for the next 3-5 years. SPSSI has been developing this plan through several meetings, focus groups, questionnaires, discussions, and phone calls. The draft of the strategic plan has taken shape, but it is not fixed. We welcome your ideas, comments, suggestions, and criticisms.  Please email our planning consultant Dr. Elizabeth Scott directly with your feedback no later than November 6, 2018. 

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Are Rights A Reality? Evaluating Federal Civil Rights Enforcement. The Commission will be holding a day-long public hearing on Friday, November 2, 2018 to evaluate federal civil rights enforcement. The Commission welcomes the submission of additional material for consideration as they prepare their report. Please submit such information to no later than December 17, 2018.

Proposed Federal Rule Would Expand and Prolong Detention for Families and Children. This rule, if created, would effectively end the Flores Settlement Agreement, which allows for immigrant families to be detained together at the border and limits the amount of time children can be held in federal detention to 20 days. For more information on this issue, visit the website of Families Belong TogetherWritten comments and material may be submitted by or on November 6, 2018.

Proposed Federal Rule Would Make It Harder for Legal Immigrants to Get a Green Card. According to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the “Public Charge” rule would greatly expand the number of factors that federal immigration officials can weigh when determining whether a person applying for a green card is likely to be a “public charge” — meaning they would have to rely primarily on government assistance to survive. Being considered a public charge is grounds for being denied a green card. Comments may be submitted by or on December 10, 2018. 

*   *   *   *   *




Landmark Ruling on Climate Change in the Netherlands. A Dutch appeals court upheld a lower court decision that ordered the Dutch government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 from benchmark 1990 levels. It was a historic ruling in that the court ruled that a national government was legally bound to follow through on promises made in international climate agreements in a judgment that relied on the European Convention of Human Rights.

New Report: International Movement and Science. Together Science Can, a global campaign to support scientific collaboration, has issued a new report with research conducted by RAND Europe entitled "International Movement and Science." The report examines researchers’ attitudes to travel, the barriers they face, and the impact that travel has on research and on the people who carry out that research. The findings demonstrate that while the vast majority of researchers think travel is important to research, opportunities to travel are not equally available to all. Nationality, family responsibilities, and a host of other factors affect an individual’s ability to travel.

*   *   *   *   *


AAAS Fellowship Alumni

AAAS Science Policy Fellowships


Apply to become an APA Congressional or Executive Branch Science Fellow - Applications due January 6, 2019

Apply to become a AAAS Congressional, Executive Branch, or Judicial Branch Science Policy Fellow - Applications due November 1, 2018

Fellowships for Threatened Scholars (IEE Scholar Rescue Fund) - Applications due November 5, 2018

NIH launches new training program to enhance quantitative training in behavioral and social sciences research

NIH Loan Repayment Programs – Applications due November 15, 2018

Bringing the Field to the National Institute of Justice — Introducing the Practitioner-in-Residence Program

National Center for Health Statistics Releases Latest "Report Card" on the Nation's Health

New National Academies Report: The Criminal Justice System and Social Exclusion: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Bureau of Justice Statistics Releases New Report on Contacts Between Police and the Public

From JAMA: An Editorial on Race, Ancestry, and Medical Research

From the Washington Post: Many Teens Drink. Rich Ones Like Kavanaugh are More Likely to Abuse Alcohol

From the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: How Scientists Can Protect Themselves from Legal Attack

From NPR: Why Public Service Loan Forgiveness Is So Unforgiving

Why Social Science? Because It Helps Build Resilience in the Face of Disasters (Why Social Science? blog)

*   *   *   *   *