Thursday, November 19, 2015

Universities Report Continuing Decline in Federal R&D Funding in FY 2014

By Ronda Britt
The National Science Foundation
November 17, 2015

Federal funding of higher education research and development failed to outpace inflation for the third straight year, according to data from the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey. When adjusted for inflation, federal funding for higher education R&D declined by 5.1% between FY 2013 and FY 2014 and has fallen over 11% since its peak in FY 2011. This is the longest multiyear decline in federal funding for academic R&D since the beginning of the annually collected data series in FY 1972.


Monday, November 9, 2015

What Open-Access Publishing Actually Costs

By: Ellen Wexler
The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 9, 2015

In academe, ideas cost money. But how much?
Advocates for open-access journals say that academic research should be free for everyone to read. But even those proponents acknowledge that publishing costs money — the disagreement is over the amount.
The issue was highlighted last month, when all six editors and all 31 editorial-board members resigned from Lingua, a prominent linguistics journal, after a disagreement with the journal’s publisher, Elsevier, over how much libraries and authors should pay.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Spotlight on Research: Harvard Kennedy School’s Faculty Research Working Paper Series

November 5, 2015
By Meghan Guidry

How can the political ideologies of American lawyers be quantifiably measured? What can London’s developmental history teach us about sustainability and policy-making? And how well do middle school math initiatives prepare students for college?

These are just a few of the questions being asked by HKS faculty in the Faculty Research Working Paper Series (FRWP), the Kennedy School’s forum for cutting-edge social research in progress. Since its founding in 2001, the FRWP has published nearly 700 working papers, many of which go on to become books, journal articles, and the foundations of major research initiatives.

While the scholarship and research evident in these papers is a boon to the University, the true power of the series is that it gives researchers the opportunity to share insights on work-in-progress, and to collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders around the world. This real-time collaboration helps generate new insights and new hypotheses across the social sciences by engaging scholars, practitioners, and informed citizens in an ongoing dialogue about the impact of new research.

Take Professor Maya Sen, for instance. Her paper “The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers” was originally published jointly by the FRWP and the University of Chicago. Sen’s ambitious paper offered the first comprehensive study of the political ideologies of American lawyers. But for Sen, getting her research out into the world was only the beginning. “Very astute readers from around the world have emailed us with comments and questions. It's been very productive, very public exchange.” Using reader comments, Sen and her co-authors further revised “The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers,” which is now slated for publication in The Journal of Legal Analysis.

In order to promote new research and scholarship by Kennedy School faculty, the HKS Research Administration Office, in collaboration with the HKS Office of Communications and Public Affairs, has been increasing its efforts to bring new readers to the Faculty Research Working Paper Series. Using the @HKS_Research Twitter handle, the RAO promotes every new working paper to thousands of followers around the world. Coupled with the quarterly Social Science Research Network E-Journal, which showcases six HKS faculty working papers, the RAO hopes to bring even more attention to the cutting-edge research being generated by the HKS faculty.

To learn more about the working paper series, please visit the Faculty Research Working Paper homepage on the Faculty Research Connection. For the latest Faculty Research Papers, please follow HKS Research on Twitter: @HKS_Research.

For more information about the working paper series, or other questions about research publications and dissemination, please contact Meghan Guidry:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Large Foundations Making 'Big Bets' on Social Change

Philanthropy News Digest
November 3, 2015

A growing number of large, national foundations are making "big bets" on structural solutions to complex problems in an effort to bring about lasting social change, the New York Times reports.
Earlier this year, for example, the Ford Foundation announced that it was refocusing its grantmaking — about $500 million annually — on inequality in all its forms, while the Rockefellerand MacArthur foundations announced that they are redoubling their commitments in the areas of climate change, urban resilience, and criminal justice reform. Philanthropic organizations have long supported efforts to alleviate poverty and inequities, of course, but many of the largest increasingly are seeking to address not just the symptoms but the structural causes of those problems — inspired, in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's efforts to not only treat or prevent diseases such as polio and malaria but to eradicate them altogether, the Times suggests.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Accurate Data that Drives Educated Policy Decisions

The National Science Foundation
October 20, 2015

Every day, scientists collect, interpret and analyze data--measuring phenomena in order to understand them. And every day, at the National Science Foundation, there's a dedicated group of people doing its own statistical analyses, studying the organizations, agencies and people that constitute the scientific community.

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is one of 13 federal statistical agencies, and its role within NSF gives it a unique mission.

"Our main focus is the science and engineering enterprise," says Jeri Mulrow, deputy division director for NCSES. "How many scientists and engineers are there? What are their degrees? What are their fields of study? Where are they employed?"


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dr. Michael Lauer Selected as Deputy Director for Extramural Research, NIH

September 28, 2015

On September 28, NIH Director Francis Collins announced the selection of Dr. Michael Lauer as the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, and director of the NIH Office of Extramural Research.
The following is Dr. Collins’s statement announcing Dr. Lauer’s selection:
Dear Colleagues,
I am extremely pleased to announce the selection of Michael S. Lauer, M.D., as the new Deputy Director for Extramural Research.  I have worked closely over the years with Mike on a number of issues related to the NIH and the broader biomedical research community and we are delighted to have him join the NIH leadership team.  He brings both research expertise and administrative skills to the job, as well as keen insights into world of extramural research.  He is expected to begin in this new position within the coming weeks.
Read More... 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Consistent Research Regulations Could Ease the Burden on Scientists, Panel Says

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 22, 2015

Federal regulation "steals from the nation’s investment in research and has become self-defeating," a National Academies panel told Congress on Tuesday. But the burden could be eased through more-uniform federal rules and the creation of a new independent oversight board, the panel said.
The 18-member panel, formed by the National Academy of Sciences in response to a congressional request, produced a 144-page reportdescribing unrelenting growth in both university research and government attempts to quantify and police it. In doing so, the report reiterated previous analyses by the National Science Foundation, theAssociation of American Universities and the Council on Governmental Relations, and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.