AERA Takes Action on Research Policy and Funding Priorities
AERA Takes Action on Research Policy and Funding Priorities

February 2019

Throughout February, AERA has joined the scientific community in several efforts to enhance sound research and statistical policy.

AERA Thanks Appropriators for Language on Proposed ERS Relocation and Reorganization

On February 1, AERA joined 57 organizations on a letter thanking House and Senate appropriators for including language in the final FY 2019 omnibus bill on the proposed relocation of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) outside the DC area and the move of the ERS out of the USDA Research, Education, and Economics mission area.

The final conference report language stated: “The conferees support an indefinite delay in the proposed transfer of ERS to the Office of the Chief Economist. At this time, the conferees find it appropriate for ERS to remain under the Research, Education and Economics mission area. The conferees take this position as several questions remain about the merits of the proposed transfer as well as the proposed relocation of ERS outside of the National Capital Region. Insufficient information and justification relating to the reorganization and relocation make moving forward on these proposals premature at this time.”

AERA signed earlier letters opposing both moves in November 2018 and September 2018.

AERA Signs On to FY 2020 Appropriations Letters Impacting Education Research

On February 21, AERA joined more than 160 organizations on a letter to House and Senate appropriations chairs and ranking members urging $50 million in FY 2020 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct public health research into firearm morbidity and mortality prevention in FY 2020. In 2018, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stated that the Dickey Amendment does not prevent CDC from conducting research on gun violence prevention. According to the letter, the requested $50 million could support 10 to 20 new large multi-year studies.

COSSA Submits Comments on NICHD Strategic Plan Draft

On February 15, the Consortium of Social Science Associations, of which AERA is a governing association, submitted comments on the proposed strategic plan for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The recommendations for the strategic plan include:

1. The Strategic Plan should focus on the “whole person,” to include research on development at the molecular, cellular, social, environmental, behavioral, biobehavioral, and other levels.

2. The Strategic Plan should not overlook the importance of research at all stages of child development, from prenatal/infancy through adolescence, and in normative and non-normative or at-risk environments.

3. The Strategic Plan should strongly emphasize research on social determinants of health.