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FABBS Member Update - December 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017  
Posted by: Psychonomic Society
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1.    NIH Clinical Trials Update

We are still hopeful that Congress will, in an appropriations package that eventually passes, roll back NIH’s expansion of the definition of clinical trials. Meanwhile, NIH is moving full-steam ahead with the changes. Therefore, if you are submitting an application to NIH for the January 25th round, you will need to make sure that you are responding to the right funding opportunity announcement (see: Also, if you are uncertain as to whether you are proposing a clinical trial or not, you should contact the relevant program officer. If your program officer is unsure, the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, Mike Lauer, has informed us that he welcomes the question and will make the decision. He can be reached at

2.    AERA Congressional Fellowships

December 15, 2017  is the deadline to apply for the 2018-2019 AERA Congressional Fellowship. The fellowship is a year-long opportunity, running from September 1st, 2018 through August 31st, 2019 to use education research skills to inform public policy in a Congressional office in Washington, D.C. This fellowship is open to doctoral scientists from any discipline relevant to education research. Researchers at all stages in their careers are encouraged to apply. More information about the Fellowships is available online. To apply to the fellowship, click here

3.    mHealth Training Institute

Applications for the 2018 mHealth Training Institute or mHTI (July 29 – August 3, 2018 at the University of California, Los Angeles) are now being accepted. Building on the success of past mHTIs, the week-long immersion program uses a blended learning environment to provide selected scholars with a core grounding in latest mHealth methodologies and develops their capacity to successfully contribute to team science. Through reflective and active learning guided by faculty mentors, scholars will apply the gained knowledge to developing transdisciplinary mHealth solutions for real-world health problems, while building an interdisciplinary learning community and a dense scientific network.

Scholars from previous institutes have highlighted a wide range of benefits, describing the mHTI as “transformative” and “a seminal experience in my professional development” with a “wonderful atmosphere and congeniality among scholars” and “terrific and generous faculty.” Independent post-institute surveys typically garner the highest ratings in scholar satisfaction. Details of previous mHealth Training Institutes including scholars, faculty, program, and lectures are available at:

The summer institute is underwritten by a NIH/OBSSR/NIDA training grant (1R25DA038167) and supported by the NIH Center for Excellence on Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K) and the UCLA CTSI (UL1TR001881). There is no tuition and the selected scholars will be provided with lodging and boarding at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center. Participation in the mHTI is by invitation only. Due to the intensive and team-science nature of the training, participation is limited to 30 scholars. Our target scholars are junior and experienced researchers with doctoral degrees who are interested in expanding their mHealth knowledge base and skills and forging interdisciplinary connections.  Preference will be given to academia-based applicants who plan to use the training to add a mHealth dimension to their research program.  The  application form as well as details and guidelines are available at  Application Deadline: January 27, 2018. Notifications of acceptance: April 15, 2018

4.    Fact Check on NSF Funding

Congressman Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Science Committee, has been a vocal critic of the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, calling for significant cuts in its funding. A recent op-ed by Smith calls for 10-20% cuts in SBE funding: BUT, responds to some of the false claims:

5.    Appropriations Update

Congress is operating under its second Continuing Resolution since the new fiscal year started on October 1, 2017. This essentially means flat funding for government programs until overall spending limits are set and an omnibus appropriations package is agreed to by the House and Senate. The deadline for the second CR is December 22, and there are signals that another CR may be needed to buy more time to negotiate the top-line numbers. Updates will be provided in our newsletter (sign up at and FABBS communications to societies.

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