From the Science Directorate

Bush Administration's Proposed Budget May Well Leave Some Scientists Behind

Bush Administration's Proposed Budget May Well Leave Some Scientists Behind

by Karen Studwell

On February 6th, the Bush Administration released its budget for Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07), which called for level funding or budget cuts for most agencies responsible for funding scientific research. Reflecting the President’s priorities for the coming year, including boosting the nation’s investment in basic science, the budget also includes some modest increases for a few science agencies in FY07.

Following on the heels of the first budget cut for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in nearly 35 years, the President’s President provides for no increase for NIH in FY07 and its budget would remain flat at $28.6 billion. When inflation is factored in, as measured by the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index (BRDPI), the result is close to a 3.5 percent cut for FY 2007. Every institute except the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which received additional resources to fund avian flu and bioterrorism research, would receive slight budget cuts, including $9 million from National Institute of Mental Health, $5 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, $7 million from the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, and $40 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Another casualty in the President’s budget is the proposed National Children’s Study (NCS), which has been in the planning stages for five years. NICHD is the lead agency for the study, but language accompanying its budget indicated that there were no funds in the FY07 budget to continue to pursue implementation of the full study. While planning will continue throughout FY06, an additional $57 million is needed for the study to begin implementation in FY07.

Striking a positive note for basic science, the National Science Foundation (NSF), which received a small increase in its FY06 funding level, fared uncommonly well in the President's FY07 proposed budget (a 7.9% increase for a total of $6.02 billion). This is in part because of its physical sciences portfolio, an area of science singled out for increased support by the Administration this year. The increase would be spread across the NSF directorates in terms of percentage increases, resulting in a 6.9% increase (to $213.7 million) for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, the primary source of NSF funding for psychological research.

Within the Department of Defense (DoD), the President proposed $11.08 billion in total support for basic and applied research within the FY07 science and technology account, approximately $2 million (v CHECKING FIGURES) and 16.3% less than the amount appropriated in FY06. At this point, it is unclear how much support psychological research is slated to receive within this overall account.

After years of basically flat budgets, the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) FY06 medical and prosthetic research account finally got an increase to $412 million. Congress went further and dictated that the mental health research budget be doubled within that larger account. Disappointingly, the President's proposed budget for FY07 included only $399 million for VA research.

Within the Department of Homeland Security, funding for research and development increased by 3.1 percent for FY06. The Center for the Study of High Consequence Event Preparedness and Response, the fifth University-based Center of Excellence, was awarded to Johns Hopkins University. One hundred twenty nine new Scholars and Fellows were named, thirty percent of who were psychology or other social science majors. But new leadership for the department brings a new set of priorities, and while Secretary Chertoff is focused on border security and Weapons of Mass Destruction, new behavioral science staff are committed to involving psychologists at many levels in the implementation of the DHS R&D portfolio. Having said that, the recent resignation of Charles McQueary, head of the Science and Technology Directorate, and a proposed 5.6% cut in R&D at the DHS for FY ’07 suggest an uncertain future for research in the department.

Within the Department of Education, the proposed budget for research, development and dissemination at the Institute of Education Sciences is equal to its FY 2006 appropriation of $162.6 million. Likewise, the National Center on Special Education Research would receive level funding of $71 million. The Administration proposed a slight increase of $3 million for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which would allow it to begin a new secondary longitudinal study of the educational experiences of middle and high school students. Also within the Department of Education, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) is slated to receive level funding of $106.5 million.

The President’s Budget is only the first step in a year long process to fund the federal government. In the coming weeks, the House and Senate will each develop their own congressional budget resolutions, which will serve as blueprints for the appropriations committees that fund these agencies. As the process moves forward, APA’s Science Policy Office will work with Congress to enhance federal support for behavioral research and to educate Members about the importance of these critical research programs.


Distinguished Scientist Lecturers to Speak at 2006 Regional Meetings

by Jeanie Kelleher

Psychologists Jeffrey R. Alberts, Alan E. Kazdin, and Shigehiro Oishi have been selected to participate in the 2006 APA Distinguished Scientist Lecture Program. Through the program, sponsored by APA’s Science Directorate, each psychologist will give a featured address at a regional psychological association annual meeting.

Jeffrey Alberts will speak on “Anatomy of a Super-Organism” at the Southwestern Psychological Association meeting in Austin, TX, April 13-15. Alberts is a professor at Indiana University. His research is dedicated to describing and elucidating functional and mechanistic aspects of the development of species-typical behavior in rodents. He studies sensory and motor capabilities in fetal rats as a means of understanding adaptation to prenatal life as well as anticipation of the postnatal environment. His research reflects the combined behavioral and physiological approach often used in his laboratory. Alberts’ lab is also devoted to novel analyses of parental behavior, including biparental care and parent-offspring interactions.

Alan Kazdin will speak on “Child Adolescent Psychotherapy: Needed Changes in Clinical Research and Practice” at the Eastern Psychological Association meeting in Baltimore, MD, March 16-19. Kazdin is Director and Chairman of the Child Study Center and John M. Musser Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and Director of Child Psychiatric Services, Yale-New Haven Hospital. Kazdin’s research focuses primarily on the development, treatment, and clinical course of aggressive and antisocial behavior in children and adolescents; child, parent, family, and contextual influences that contribute to child dysfunction; and critical processes within and outside of treatment that contribute to therapeutic changes in children, parents, and families.

Shigehiro Oishi will speak on “Cultural Differences in the Self-concept and Subjective Well-being” at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting in Chicago, IL, May 4-6. Oishi is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. Oishi’s research has explored individual and cultural differences in well-being, self, and values. Early in his career, he developed an interest in the link between “subjective” and “societal” well-being, which led to collaborative projects on pro-community behavior. He is currently interested in feelings of understanding and misunderstanding in cross-cultural interactions and in the effect of residential mobility on morality, self-concept, and well-being.

The Board of Scientific Affairs, with support of the regional association presidents, developed the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Program 16 years ago as part of its ongoing mission to promote scientific psychology. The Distinguished Scientist Lecturers, together with APA’s G. Stanley Hall Lectures, sponsored by APA’s Education Directorate, allow APA to support invited talks at each regional meeting.


2007 APA Scientific Awards Program: Call for Nominations

The APA Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) invites nominations for its 2007 scientific awards program. The Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award honors psychologists who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. The Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology honors psychologists who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical advances in psychology leading to the understanding or amelioration of important practical problems.

To submit a nomination for the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for the Applications of Psychology, you should provide a letter of nomination; the nominee's current vita with list of publications; the names and addresses of several scientists who are familiar with the nominee's work; a list of ten most significant and representative publications; and at least five reprints representative of the nominee’s contribution (preferably in electronic form).

The Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology recognizes excellent young psychologists. For the 2007 program, nominations of persons who received doctoral degrees during and since 1997 are being sought in the areas of:
applied research (e.g., treatment and prevention research, industrial/organizational research, educational research) behavioral and cognitive neuroscience individual differences (e.g., personality, psychometrics, mental ability, behavioral genetics) perception, motor performance social

To submit a nomination for the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, you should provide a letter of nomination, the nominee's current vita with list of publications, and up to five representative reprints (preferably in electronic form).

To obtain nomination forms and more information, you can go to the Science Directorate web page or you can contact Jennifer Webb, Science Directorate, American Psychological Association, at the APA Address; by phone, (202) 336-6000; by fax, (202) 336-5953; or via Email.

The deadline for all award nominations is June 1, 2006.