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Jenny Baker
/ Categories: TIP, 571, Advocacy

SIOP Launches Inaugural Advocacy Bootcamp at the 2019 Annual Conference

Alex Alonso, Bill Ruch, and Jack Goodman

On April 2, SIOP conducted its inaugural Advocacy Bootcamp training to equip SIOP members with the knowledge and experience to advocate for inclusion of I-O principles in evidence-based policymaking. Advocacy Bootcamp participants were selected from the SIOP Executive Board, GREAT, and various advocacy committees. The Bootcamp participants met in Washington, DC for a morning of presentations and panels on the appropriations process to determine federal agency funding, federal science policy, the structure of congressional offices and committees, and how to conduct effective meetings with policymakers.

In the afternoon, Advocacy Bootcamp participants headed to Capitol Hill for a series of meetings with committee and member offices of importance to SIOP’s advocacy mission. The participants divided into three tracks; one group focused on I-O’s role in assisting veterans’ transition into the workforce and met with the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees. A second group, focused on I-O’s role in equipping the technology-enabled workforce and the future of work, met with staff for the House Education and Labor Committee; the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), a leader in artificial intelligence and machine-learning policy who sits on the House Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee. The final group focused on SIOP priorities more broadly and met with the House SST Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to discuss team-science implementation at federal agencies and issues affecting the federal workforce.

All of the meetings focused on furthering SIOP’s advocacy goals in priority areas such as veterans’ transition and the tech-enabled workforce, two areas where SIOP has recently established new Advocacy Area working groups. Congressional staff in the meetings were very receptive to learning about SIOP’s expertise and asked for input on upcoming legislation regarding veterans’ workforce transition, algorithmic bias in selection and promotion, and a national artificial-intelligence-and-machine-learning initiative.  One immediate result of these meetings and engagements with congressional offices was the inclusion of language offered by SIOP members and Lewis-Burke to ensure that I-O expertise is properly conveyed in the Growing Artificial Intelligence Through Research (GrAITR) Act, a bill to promote federal AI research and development. SIOP and Lewis-Burke are eager to build on these connections to support the full House SST Committee’s goals to establish a cross-cutting strategy for American leadership in AI.

Overall, the meetings greatly helped to raise SIOP’s profile among congressional policymakers and established connections that can be leveraged in the future to ensure that I-O principles are incorporated in evidence-based policymaking while building a stronger base of internal advocacy experts to advance SIOP messaging for years to come.

SIOP Participates in Coalition for National Science Funding Exhibition and Meetings on Capitol Hill

On April 30, Dr. Eden King, SIOP president, traveled to Washington, DC to meet with congressional staff on the importance of I-O in policymaking as part of the annual Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Exhibition on Capitol Hill. Dr. King discussed I-O’s critical role in selecting and training the 21st century workforce and broadening participation in STEM fields. Dr. King met with Majority and Minority staff in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to discuss opportunities for inclusion of I-O principles in the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  She also met with staff in the office of Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), who is on the leadership of the House Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee, to discuss increasing diversity in the STEM workforce. The staff enjoyed hearing about SIOP’s expertise in these areas and expressed interest in including I-O principles when developing future evidence-based policy.

After the meetings, Dr. King presented her research before members of Congress, federal agency officials, congressional staff, and other policymakers at the 25th Annual CNSF Exhibition. The exhibition is an opportunity for CNSF members, including SIOP, to display and discuss National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research and allows the research community to highlight the importance of continued investment in NSF. SIOP’s booth at the exhibition featured Dr. King’s research on how allies can help reduce the consequences of subtle discrimination toward minorities in STEM.

Visitors to Dr. King’s poster included NSF officials such as Dr. Arthur Lupia, assistant director of the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate, and other program officers. Congressional staffers from the House SST Committee and several members’ offices, including Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), also stopped by the poster and asked questions regarding her research. Conducting meetings with congressional offices and committees, and participating in the CNSF Exhibition help elevate SIOP’s profile among the scientific community and display I-O’s importance to policymakers in Washington.

CNSF is an alliance of over 140 organizations that support the goal of increasing the national investment in NSF research and education programs.  SIOP joined CNSF in the fall of 2014 and participated in the past four exhibitions.  Through SIOP’s government relations activities, like the CNSF Exhibition, the Society is able to highlight the value of I-O research to federal agency program managers and policymakers, and promote SIOP as a prominent and credible stakeholder in the science community’s government-relations priorities.

House Appropriations Committee Proposes $8.64 Billion for NSF,
Encourages Implementation of I-O-Based Concepts

On May 22, the House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) bill, which would provide robust funding increases to the National Science Foundation (NSF), among other agencies. The bill would provide $8.64 billion to NSF for FY 2020, an increase of $561 million, or 6.9%, over the FY 2019 level. The Research and Related Activities account would be funded at $7.1 billion, an increase of $586 million, or 9.0%, above the FY 2019 level.  SIOP had submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Committee urging Congress to support $9 billion in funding for NSF, as well as provide strong support for the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE). In an explanatory report accompanying the bill, the House Appropriations Committee directs NSF to fund SBE at no less than the FY 2019 level. The report also notes “the fundamental importance of [SBE’s] research for advancing our understanding of human behavior and its application to a wide range of human systems, including public health, national defense and security, education and learning, and the integration of human and machine.”

Additionally, SIOP’s submitted testimony urged Congress to direct NSF to invest in research into and implementation of the Science of Team Science, noting that “taking additional steps to ensure evidence-based team science is considered in multi-partner initiatives would improve communication between researchers, productivity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.”  SIOP specifically requested the following language be included in the committee’s report:

The Committee encourages NSF to continue to seek ways to implement the science of team science as the agency develops new models and approaches for funding large-scale and cross-disciplinary science. In particular, the Committee encourages NSF to ensure that it is implementing the recommendations from the 2015 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science.

Although this language was not directly included as compromises were made among staff, the final report stated that “NSF is encouraged to improve the understanding of scientific collaboration and how scientists work together.”  This is a clear nod to the science of team science and acknowledgement of efforts by Lewis-Burke, GREAT, and individual SIOP members, including Dr. Steve Fiore, Dr. Steve Kozlowski, and others, to encourage policymakers to apply this I-O concept to improve wide-scale federal initiatives.

The CJS bill now awaits a vote before the full House of Representatives. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet announced when it will release or consider its version of the CJS bill.

GREAT and Lewis-Burke Support Member-Driven Advocacy Sessions at SIOP 2019 Annual Conference

As part of a larger goal to harness the Annual Conference’s proximity to Washington, DC, Lewis-Burke participated in more panel discussions on advocacy at the 2019 Annual Conference than any previous SIOP conference. Presentations included a WIN/CEMA/LGBT/GREAT session submitted by Lisa Moore and Alex Zelin on member-driven advocacy, a session on "Effective Advocacy Strategies for I-O Professionals” submitted by Gabrielle Blackman, and a discussion led by GREAT Chair Alex Alonso related to federal funding opportunities. Lewis-Burke and GREAT helped members by reviewing these submissions, providing ideas for content, and participating in panel discussions.

Most of the sessions were well-attended with engaging conversations about what it means to advocate as individuals, how to participate in official SIOP advocacy, and strategies for tailoring political messaging to ensure your voice is heard. Lewis-Burke and GREAT have recognized that there has been a steady rise in enthusiasm among SIOP members to ensure I-O is being protected and leveraged by decision makers to develop evidence-based policy. Through these interactions, SIOP members were able to learn about the impact of SIOP’s investment in government relations, the legislative and regulatory processes, and how they can be agents of change in their own communities.



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