Public Interest


Webinars and Public Lectures

FABBS periodically hosts educational events for the public. We aim to foster conversations on connecting behavioral and brain sciences to policy, facilitate dialogue among our member societies, and provide a forum for researchers to share their work with the public. 

ARPA and You: Research Process and Funding Opportunities at Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)

November 16, 2022

The federal Advanced Research Projects Agencies (ARPA) include behavioral and social sciences research in their funding portfolios, yet many psychologists are unaware of the opportunities and know little about how the agencies work. APA, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences are teaming up to sponsor a series of three educational webinars to give psychological scientists the inside track on applying to these well-funded agencies. Not only are IARPA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency looking for high-quality projects to fund, a new ARPA agency, ARPA-H, will be established in 2023 to support next-generation health research. While there are some differences in how these agencies solicit and choose proposals, there are many similarities: research teams submit proposals in response to a posted a research and development opportunity. The organization chooses which to fund. All successful projects must meet performance milestones for funding to continue. Could you design a research plan that one of these organizations would fund? Join us and find out.

Watch the video recording here.

See the slide presentation here.

See the transcript here.

See the ARPA-H slides presented at the 2022 FABBS Annual Meeting here.

Engaging with Government Agencies

October 6, 2022

The Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) hosted a webinar on working with government agencies. Attendees learned how to identify opportunities to communicate their research and influence practice, initiate communication, build relationships, and foster collaboration with relevant agency staff.

Featured speaker: Lizzy Ghedi-Ehrlich, Director of Policy at the Scholars Strategy Network

See the flyer here.

See the slide presentation here.

Watch the video recording here.

Public Scholarship Series

June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 at 12:00pm (ET)

The Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS), in collaboration with the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), is excited to present a June webinar series on Public Scholarship. FABBS and SSN brought together scientists, policy professionals, and public scholarship experts to discuss how to effectively engage with federal policymakers and translate your research for a broader audience. Join us in these sessions to build new tools to connect your research to policy.

See the flyer here.

Raising the Profile of Behavioral Sciences on Campus

Wednesday, June 2 at 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ET)


  • Dr. Jennifer Mangels, CUNY Baruch College, Chair of the Psychology Department for the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (bio here)
  • Dr. Devon Brenner, Mississippi State University, Assistant Vice President of Outreach & Initiatives (bio here)
  • Philip Harman, University of California, Director of Research at Office of Federal Government Relations (bio here)

Connecting to Congress
Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ET)


  • Dr. Parisa Parasafar, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), U.S. Federal Policy Fellow for the Child Development and Behavior Branch (bio here)
  • Joanna Ten-Kate, Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), Policy Associate (bio here)
  • Dr. Taylor Scott, Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC), Co-Director (bio here)


Communicating with Federal Agencies
Wednesday, June 16 at 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ET)


  • Dr. Vivian Tseng, William T. Grant Foundation, Program Senior Vice President (bio here)
  • Dr. Jeremy Wolfe, Harvard Medical School, Director of the Visual Attention Lab (bio here)
  • Dr. Ann C. Rivera, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Senior Social Science Research Analyst for The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) (bio here)


Drafting a Policy Brief
Wednesday, June 23 at 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ET)


  • Lizzy Ghedi-Ehrlich, SSN, Director of Policy (bio here)
  • Joanna Ten-Kate, Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), Policy Associate (bio here)

[Registration Link]

How to Write and Place an Op-ed
Wednesday, June 30 at 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ET)


  • Dominik Doemer, Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), Director of Communications (bio here)

[Registration Link]

LGBTQ+ and Multiracial Demographics in WMPD: Opportunities and Challenges for Inclusion

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 1:00pm (ET)

This event was recorded — WATCH

Dr. Jon Freeman’s presentation — SEE THE SLIDES

Drs. Nishina and Medina’s presentation — SEE THE SLIDES

More information about WMPD day here.

See the poster here.

On April 29th, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released the 2021 report ‘Women, Minorities, and People with Disabilities (WMPD) in Science and Engineering.’ (See the report here.) This biennial report by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the NSF provides critical information about underrepresented groups in science education and employment. In this panel, scholars discuss LGBTQ+ and multiracial demographics in our country and within STEM fields – and how this report might best serve diversity and inclusion in the future.

Moderated by Dr. Sandra Graham, Presidential Chair in Education and Diversity at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and FABBS Board member.

Panelists include:

Dr. Jon Freeman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University and director of the Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab (website here). His research focuses on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying stereotyping and less conscious forms of bias, including bias based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and their unique intersections, using brain-imaging, computational modeling, and behavioral paradigms. Recently, he has investigated LGBTQ disparities in U.S. STEM education and the workforce, and he has written about sexual orientation and gender identity data collection issues and policy implications in the context of STEM institutions and federal agencies. Freeman also has led initiatives to encourage the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity data on survey collections by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics at the National Science Foundation. Check out Dr. Freeman’s website here.

Dr. Freeman’s article, “Measuring and Resolving LGBTQ Disparities in STEM,” is published in the scientific journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (PIBBS). See the article here.

Dr. Adrienne Nishina, Associate Professor of Human Ecology at University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on adolescent peer relationships and ethnicity within broader social contexts. With an eye toward preventive interventions, she studies the individual and contextual factors under which peer victimization or bullying predicts greater psychosocial, physical, and academic maladjustment. She also examines the interplay between ethnic diversity in peer groups—primarily in school or friendship settings—and adolescent functioning. Check out the UC Davis Peer Relations lab here.

Dr. Nishina’s publications look into the unique situations and challenges faced by biracial, multiracial, and multiethnic youth and adolescents within developmental research. See a list of her publications here.

Dr. Michael Medina, Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Davis. He received his doctorate in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, and currently studies ethnic identity development and socialization among youth of color across adolescence.

See Dr. Medina’s recent publications on ethnic-racial identity and peer relations here.

Connecting Research to Policy at the Nexus of Health and Education

Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 at 11:00am (ET)

Zewelanji “Zewe” Serpell, Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, presents on the challenges and opportunities for connecting research to federal policy. She draws from her experiences serving on the House Education and Labor Committee as a Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Technology Congressional, sponsored by the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Serpell shares her insights about what congressional staffers might be working on this session, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and offer actionable ideas for FABBS members interested in using their research to inform policy. This event was recorded: WATCH or SEE THE SLIDES

Connecting & Building Relationships

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 3:00pm (ET)

This training gives scholars an introduction to practical and effective strategies to ensure that researchers’ findings and perspectives inform policy. Even for researchers with a working knowledge of policymaking spaces (like state legislatures and agencies) and a clear goal for their public engagement, questions about how exactly to approach targeted audiences and build trusting relationships for maximum impact may remain. This session provides evidence-based instructions for how to begin and maintain productive relationships with policymakers, how to engage with civic intermediaries in order to better reach policymakers, and what strategies are critical for creating mutual trust. This workshop is appropriate for researchers with varying levels of experience engaging with policymakers. Hosted by the Scholars Strategy Network.