Protecting social, behavioral science research funding on Capitol Hill and within federal agencies

Psychologists spoke up for the discipline to protect research funding and to educate policymakers on psychology’s contributions to society.

The Science Directorate continued its emphasis in 2013 on securing funding for psychological research and coaching psychologists to advocate on the discipline’s behalf. Staff lobbied against sequestration and other proposed cuts to science funding and launched a new “Stand for Science” campaign to mobilize psychologists in the face of congressional attacks on social and behavioral sciences research funding, particularly at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Staff prepared testimony in support of the NIH and NSF, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Defense and other federal agencies that support psychological research. 

APA worked to influence initiatives that will strengthen the research infrastructure, including co-sponsoring with NIH and NSF a workshop on enhancing diversity in science, as well as co-hosting a congressional briefing on innovative strategies for building a diverse scientific workforce.

To help train psychologists to advocate for research, APA hosted lobby days on Capitol Hill for VA psychologists, the APA Science Student Council and the APA Committee on Animal Research and Ethics. Staff also conducted advocacy training for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and Georgia State University.

APA brought psychologists to Capitol Hill throughout the year to present their research on various topics, including substance abuse and military and veteran populations, eyewitness reliability, early math and science learning, violence prevention, veterans’ mental health, prescription drug abuse and benefits of nonhuman animal research.