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Email Archive - SPSSI's April Policy Update

SPSSI's April Policy Update

SPSSI Policy Update

Call for papers: American Psychologist

Call for Papers: Public Psychology: Cultivating Socially Engaged Science for the 21st Century. American Psychologist invites submissions for a special issue on psychology’s role in social transformation, including research, advocacy, and practice that foregrounds psychologists’ roles as agents of positive social change. 2-page abstract due: May 1, 2020. Invitation to submit a full-length manuscript will be sent: June 1, 2020. Deadline for manuscript submission based on approved abstracts: September 1, 2020.

Call for papers: Journal of Applied Psychology invites quantitative and qualitative papers directly related to the pandemic - rapid review process. The goal of this call for papers is to understand work- and employment-related phenomena associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, although data collected prior to COVID-19 could be used for comparison or linkage purposes, we are interested in research that directly informs our scientific understanding of the COVID-19 experience.

Hand holding machinery gears

Student training opportunities through U.S. federal agencies. Thank you to Alycia Boutté at the National Cancer Institute for sharing this wonderful resource with SPSSI. In this document, students will find links to a variety of grants, fellowships, internships, trainings, and other opportunities that are offered in the social and behavioral sciences across different federal agencies, including NIH, NSF, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

OBSSR seeks feedback on scientific priorities. The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is seeking stakeholder feedback on research directions to support OBSSR’s strategic plan. Specifically, “OBSSR would like input on the most important or cutting-edge, trans-disease research directions that would accelerate progress” in the following areas: synergy in basic and applied BSSR; BSSR resources, methods, and measures; and adoption of effective BSSR in practice. Responses are due by April 30, 2020 via

From the OBSSR blog: How to help people do what they need to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. OBSSR Dirrector Bill Riley writes: "'You tell me what you need people to do, and I’ll tell you how to help them do it.' Although a simplification, this statement by social and behavioral scientists to our infectious disease colleagues illustrates the nature of our collaboration during an infectious disease outbreak like the current COVID-19 outbreak. Without this collaboration, we risk that people will not do what we are telling them to do."


APA requests better data collection and reporting of COVID-19 health disparities. In a letter to the U.S. President, APA's CEO has requested that the Department of Health and Human Services establish within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a public-private partnership to coordinate with state and local public health authorities to collect, disaggregate and report on data related to COVID-19, specifically as it relates to underrepresented groups, to more effectively address this current pandemic and any future outbreaks.

From NIH: COVID-19 impacts on peer review. NIH’s Review Policy Officer and Extramural Research Integrity Liaison Officer Sally Amero authored an April 21, 2020 Open Mike blog post to address applicant concerns about the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on NIH peer review outcomes. In the post, Amero reminds applicants that recently released guidance for reviewers asks that they assume applicants are facing significant and unusual challenges such as decreased support from grant personnel, difficulties achieving direct patient access due to increased human subjects protections, and impacts of closed laboratory and animal research facilities. Amero encourages applicants to continue to submit proposals with the best application they can submit at this time.

From the COSSA blog: Institutional racism exacerbates our health and economic challenges. Allison Plyer of the Data Center of Southeast Louisiana writes in a blog post for the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA, of which SPSSI is a member): "As of this writing, 70% of all COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana are black residents in a state where only one-third of the population is black. To date, few states have released COVID-19 data by race, but the scant available information reveals that African Americans in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit are being infected with and dying of COVID-19 at disproportionate rates...Addressing racism, much of it unconscious, in our healthcare, employment, housing, banking, education, and criminal justice systems will be critical to effectively addressing our health and economic challenges going forward."

New fact sheet on utilizing NSF-funded research in the fight against COVID-19. This two-page fact sheet, recently released by the National Science Foundation (NSF), provides an overview of how insights from long-term research investments have been critical to helping us during this pandemic. The fact sheet specifically calls out social, behavioral, and economic sciences, which have been important to understanding disease transmission and informing public health efforts. 

Man running to take care of family and work responsibilities

JSI paper cited in New York Times article on paternity leave. In an article republished this month, journalist Nathaniel Popper uses his own experience as a father to launch an exploration of the research behind why men do or don't take paternity leave, and what the ramifications are for families. In the article, he draws on research from a paper published in the Journal of Social Issues (JSI) entitled "Penalizing Men Who Request a Family Leave: Is Flexibility Stigma a Femininity Stigma?" The paper, by Laurie A. Rudman and Kris Mescher, shows that men who request a family leave are viewed as poor organizational citizens and ineligible for rewards. (Image credit: Golden Cosmos)