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Email Archive - SPSSI's July Policy Update

SPSSI's July Policy Update

SPSSI Policy Update


LGBTQ Youth and Emerging Adults: A Pre-Convention Workshop. Join SPSSI in Chicago on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 for an all-day APA pre-convention workshop entitled "Setting a New Agenda for the Psychology of LGBTQ Youth and Emerging Adults." Presentations and discussions will focus on a range of topics including: Building resistance and resilience in LGBTQ youth; addressing health disparities in LGBTQ youth; working with LGBTQ youth asylum seekers; and strengthening LGBTQ youth family supports. Registration is $25 for students and $50 for professionals. Registrants also have the option of earning 5 APA-approved Continuing Education (CE) credits for $10. 

Local- and State-Level Policy Work Awards: Proposals due Friday, November 1, 2019. Each fall, SPSSI gives three awards of up to $2,000 for projects that aim to influence policy at the local and state levels through applied research. This is a great opportunity for students and early career scholars to partner with more seasoned scholars to carry out research that can directly inform local- and state-level policy discussions. Research/policy groups outside of the United States who are looking at local and/or regional issues within their countries are also encouraged to apply. Click here to see examples of previously awarded projects.

Judicial Notebook: Bullying is not just a problem for teens. As Brittany Wiegand and Jennifer K. Robbennolt of the University of Illinois College of Law explain in a recent issue of APA's Monitor on Psychology, a lawsuit brought by the resident of a senior living center raises the issue of bullying among older adults. According to the column, instances of bullying among older adults are likely to increase in frequency as this population grows. Unfortunately, most state anti-bullying laws and education efforts to prevent bullying conceptualize bullying as a problem that primarily or only affects adolescents. Judicial Notebook is a project of SPSSI.


Tell NIH what you think: Which accomplishments in social and behavioral sciences research have had a substantial health impact? The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) writes: "We want everyone in the behavioral and social sciences research community to submit an accomplishment, add information to a submitted accomplishment, and/or vote on the ones that have had a substantial health impact and for which behavioral and social sciences research was critical to achieving." Please do not limit yourself to only recent research, NIH-supported research, or research from your own area of study. The goal of this project is to create a resource for NIH and the social and behavioral sciences community that showcases the importance of the behavioral and social sciences to health. Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 pm Eastern on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

NSF's Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide: Request for comments. The National Science Foundation (NSF) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of a “for comment” draft of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The draft PAPPG is available on the Policy Office website. To facilitate review, revised text has been highlighted in yellow throughout the document and explanatory comments have been included in the margins, where appropriate. Any questions should be directed to the Policy Office at The Foundation is accepting comments from the external community until close of business on Monday, July 29, 2019.


United Nations adopts new Convention and Recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the workplace.The new international labor standard aims to protect workers and employees, irrespective of their contractual status, and includes persons in training, interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers, and job applicants. 

U.S. executive order calls for the elimination of one third of federal advisory committees by September 1, 2019. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chair Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) has expressed concern about this order and has called for eight science agencies to provide information by August 1, 2019 about their strategy for implementing the executive order.

U.S. federal research agencies issue statements on funding source disclosure. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently issued statements and/or guidance to emphasize that grantees are required to disclose all other sources of support, including support from foreign governments. As noted recently in Science, "Since August 2018, Bethesda, Maryland-based NIH has sent roughly 180 letters to more than 60 U.S. institutions about individual scientists it believes have broken NIH rules requiring full disclosure of all sources of research funding. To date, the investigation has led to the well-publicized dismissals of five researchers, all Asian Americans, at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and Emory University in Atlanta." The Washington Post has reported that scrutiny of Chinese American scientists is raising fears of ethnic profiling.

Legislation would establish a Science Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Justice. On June 19, 2019, APA issued an open letter to Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) thanking him for introducing a bill that would re-establish a Science Advisory Board. The Board would provide an extra-agency review of and recommendations for Office of Justice Programs research, statistics, and grant programs, ensuring that its activities were scientifically sound and pertinent to policymakers and practitioners. A previously chartered Science Advisory Board ran from from 2010 through 2017.

Twenty-one state attorneys general argue against proposed changes to Official Poverty Measure. On June 21, 2019, 21 U.S. state attorneys general responded to a request for comment issued by the federal government, as they believe that using any of the alternative measures of inflation being considered by the government would have a disastrous impact on residents who are eligible now or in the future for a variety of federal and state benefit programs (e.g., Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and that adoption of such alternative measures would be unlawful. 

New York just passed the most ambitious climate target in the United States. As reported in Vox, New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was signed into law on July 22, 2019. The act sets the country’s most ambitious climate targets, including 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040 and economy-wide, net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 


Free webinar: A scientific approach to social science communication. Learn best practices for communicating with policymakers in this one-hour webinar on Thursday, July 25 at 4 pm Eastern. Presenters from the American University School of Public Affairs, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Durham University will distill what they learned through interviews with 600 scientists, 22 legislators, and 20 congressional staffers.

National Science Policy Network Symposium: November 1-3, 2019 in Madison, WI. This annual two-day event brings together early career scientists with an interest in science policy, advocacy, and diplomacy. Intended for all levels of experience, the schedule includes speakers, panels, and workshops, and aims to provide an environment where scientists nationwide can interact and form connections that will lead to new collaborations and projects. 

AAAS Science & Human Rights Conference: October 23-25, 2019 in Washington, DC. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Conference, participants will learn from successes and challenges of collaborations between scientists, engineers, health professionals, and human rights defenders; identify emerging needs and opportunities; and help set the agenda for future collaborative action and impact. SPSSI's UN Committee will be one of the groups presenting. 

Become a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. Applications are now being accepted for the 2020-2021 fellowship year. Spend 12 months serving as a fellow for a U.S. congressional office or a U.S. executive branch agency. Applications are due by 11:59 pm Eastern on November 1, 2019.

Position announcement: Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellow. The Fellow will be part of the inaugural class of Civic Science Fellows, which aims to build the capacity of emerging leaders, networks, and institutions working to meaningfully connect science and society in a time of rapid change. Applications are due by August 15, 2019.

Request for nominations: National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality. This body advises the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) with respect to activities proposed or undertaken to carry out AHRQ’s statutory mission. Nominations are due by August 12, 2019.


NIH issues first NIH Strategic Plan for Tribal Health ResearchThe FY 2019–2023 Strategic Plan marks a milestone for the NIH in that it establishes a roadmap for the agency to address health research needs for American Indian and Alaska Native communities. 

The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. This new Consensus Study Report from the National Academies identifies the characteristics unique to adolescent brains as well as environmental challenges to the development of adolescent brains, especially economic, social, and racial inequities. 

What Conservation efforts can learn from indigenous communities. As reported in Scientific American, a major United Nations-backed report says that nature on indigenous peoples’ lands is degrading less quickly than in other areas. According to the report's authors, "This is a watershed moment in acknowledging that indigenous and local communities play really important roles in maintaining and managing biodiversity and landscapes that the rest of us can learn from." 

Siri and Alexa reinforce gender bias, United Nations finds. According to a recent report from the UN, a lack of diversity within the tech industry is reinforcing problematic gender stereotypes. To build inclusive artificial intelligence, the UN makes several recommendations: Establish a regulatory body to audit algorithms, investigate complaints, and ensure bias is taken into account in the development of new technology.