FABBS scientists have invaluable perspectives and firsthand experiences to share with policymakers. FABBS periodically hosts educational events to help our members engage with government agencies on policies that impact the behavioral and brain sciences. We aim to foster conversations on connecting behavioral and brain sciences to policy, facilitate dialogue, and provide a forum for researchers to share their work with the public.
Government Agency Actions
- Implement policy
- Rulemaking – agencies make key decisions on particulars of legislation, such as rules and regulations
- Monitor and report on impact or success of a given policy, which can inform the future of a policy
- Provide government services
- Communicate policies and critical messages with constituents
- Give legislative feedback, answer questions, and provide testimonies when legislators are in session
- Conduct their own research to prove the efficacy and impact of their programs and services
General Ways to Influence Agencies’ Decision-making
ARPA and You: Research Process and Funding Opportunities at Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA)
March 7, 2023
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. Now is the time to learn more. APA, the Association for Psychological Science, and FABBS teamed 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 Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and DARPA looking for high-quality projects to fund, a new ARPA agency, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (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 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.
FABBS hosted the Deputy Director for ARPA-H at the 2022 FABBS Annual Meeting; see the presentation [PDF] to FABBS members.
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.
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
Public Scholarship Series
June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2021
The Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS), in collaboration with the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), presented 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.
Raising the Profile of Behavioral Sciences on Campus
June 2, 2021
- Dr. Jennifer Mangels, CUNY Baruch College, Chair of the Psychology Department for the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology [full bio]
- Dr. Devon Brenner, Mississippi State University, Assistant Vice President of Outreach & Initiatives [full bio]
- Philip Harman, University of California, Director of Research at Office of Federal Government Relations [full bio]
Connecting to Congress
June 9, 2021
- 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 [full bio]
- Joanna Ten-Kate, Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), Policy Associate [full bio]
- Dr. Taylor Scott, Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC), Co-Director [full bio]
Communicating with Federal Agencies
June 16, 2021
- Dr. Vivian Tseng, William T. Grant Foundation, Program Senior Vice President [full bio]
- Dr. Jeremy Wolfe, Harvard Medical School, Director of the Visual Attention Lab (bio [full bio]
- 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) [full bio]
Drafting a Policy Brief
June 23, 2021
June 30, 2021
- Dominik Doemer, Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), Director of Communications [full bio]
May 12, 2021
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.
Dr. Jon Freeman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University and director of the Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab (see more on Dr. Freeman’s website). 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.
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).
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. Dr. Nishina’s publications look into the unique situations and challenges faced by biracial, multiracial, and multiethnic youth and adolescents within developmental research.
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.
February 17, 2021
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.
Connecting & Building Relationships
February 23, 2021
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.