COSSA Resources | COVID-19 & Social Science at Federal Funding Agencies

COSSA Headlines: A monthly look at what's new and noteworthy in social science policy

The current COSSA Washington Update contains a wealth of information to help social scientists follow the changing landscape of rules and resources at the federal agencies that fund social science research, as the government responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the highlights below, and subscribe to the COSSA Washington Update to stay abreast this of fast-changing context.


FEATURED NEWS

 
COSSA Compiles Social Science Resources Related to COVID-19

COSSA is compiling a list of resources for social scientists and stakeholders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The list includes guidance from federal science agencies, collections of publicly available peer-reviewed research related to the crisis, resources from COSSA member associations, and more. It will be updated frequently; if you would like to share resources for inclusion, please contact us.
 
There are a number of new databases for researchers wishing to amplify their work that may have relevance to the current crisis, including the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset, supported by the Allen Institute for AI, and a grassroots effort on GitHub to compile new social science research related to COVID-19. COSSA also encourages any social scientists sharing their work on these platforms to send it to COSSA to help us explain to policymakers the impacts of our sciences on crises like this.
COSSA's Analysis of Enacted COVID-19 Supplemental Funding Legislation, FY 2020

Over the past month, Congress has passed three large stimulus bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the three bills comprise the largest economic stimulus package in American history and touch nearly all aspects of American life, including scientific research, support for key economic sectors and small businesses, direct financial support to Americans, and boosts to social safety net programs. All three bills enacted in response to the crisis, so far, have been supplemental appropriations bills, meaning they provide funds to federal agencies and programs in addition to what has already been appropriated for the current fiscal year (FY 2020), which began on October 1, 2019. It remains to be seen how this infusion of funds will impact, if at all, appropriations for next fiscal year (FY 2021), beginning on October 1, 2020. Follow COSSA's FY 2021 coverage here.
 
The House of Representatives and Senate are in recess until further notice. Still, Congress is expected to consider additional stimulus legislation in the months ahead. Read on for COSSA's summary of the three bills that have been enacted so far.
April's Headlines Webchat to Feature Deep Dive on Social Science During the Coronavirus Crisis
 
COSSA members are encouraged to sign up for the monthly Headlines webchat on Thursday, March 12. The COSSA team will break down the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month, including how the coronavirus pandemic has affected infrastructure and operations at science agencies, organizations, and universities. As always, COSSA staff will be standing by to answer your questions. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.
Census Bureau Temporarily Suspends 2020 Field Operations, In-Person Survey Interviews

The Census Bureau has announced further adjustments to its planned 2020 decennial census operations in response to the coronavirus epidemic (see previous coverage). On March 18, Census Director Steven Dillingham announced a two-week suspension of 2020 field operations. In addition, the Bureau's two major facilities in Jeffersonville, IN, the National Processing Center and Paper Data Capture Center East, have dramatically reduced on-site staff to the minimum necessary to continue operations. These measures were further extended by an additional two weeks, through April 15, and could be extended even longer in accordance with public health guidelines. In addition, the Census Bureau has temporarily suspended in-person interviews for its ongoing surveys, including the American Community Survey. Where possible, field workers will call participants and seek to collect information by phone. This marks the first major interruption for some of these surveys in over 50 years of data collection.
 
At the same time, the Census Bureau is strongly encouraging all American households to respond to the 2020 Census online-both for convenience and to minimize in-person contact. The questionnaire can be filled out here-even households who have not received or lost their Census ID code can respond by clicking "if you do not have a Census ID, click here." The Census Bureau has also published a response rate map, updated daily, that allows users to see the self-response rate in their state, city, or census tract.
NSF Creates Resource Webpage for Information on COVID-19

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has established a resource webpage compiling relevant information about NSF activities addressing the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Some of the resources available on the webpage include a FAQ about NSF awards, a document describing NSF's implementation of an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directive, a Dear Colleague Letter inviting research proposals through the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program, and a list of NSF deadlines that have changed due to COVID-19. This resource page is frequently updated to include the most relevant and accurate information.

In addition, on March 30, leadership from the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) circulated a letter to the social and behavioral science community providing additional details on NSF's COVID-19 resources and encouraging proposals from SBE fields.
Notable COVID-19 Resources