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SIOP in Washington: Advocating for I-O in Federal Public Policy

Alex Alonso and Jack T. Goodman

Since July 2013, SIOP and Lewis-Burke Associates LLC have collaborated to make I-O science and research accessible to federal and congressional policy makers.  SIOP has embedded a foundational government relations infrastructure within the organization, enabling SIOP to develop an authoritative voice as a stakeholder in science policy in Washington, DC and to promote SIOP as a vital resource for evidence-based decision making.


SIOP Hosts Federal Workforce Briefing for Policymakers

SIOP hosted a briefing May 20 on “Rebuilding the Federal Workforce” for congressional staff, agency officials, and other external stakeholders.  During the briefing, a panel of I-O psychologists spoke on research findings around improving onboarding, increasing diversity and inclusion, and enabling better work–life balance.  Inspired by recent attrition in the federal workforce, the briefing also addressed workplace changes due to COVID-19, the national movement to address race and equity, a changing presidential administration, and other recent events that have impacted workers and workplaces.  The panel of experts fielded questions from the moderator and audience members on creating efficient and equitable onboarding processes, incorporating and training on new technologies, providing opportunities for professional development and promotion, supporting women in the workplace, and other topics facing policymakers. SIOP has continued to engage with Congress and other stakeholders on federal workforce topics as a follow-up to the briefing.

The panel was composed of Tammy Allen, Talya Bauer, and Derek Avery, and was moderated by Alex Alonso. The briefing also featured opening remarks from SIOP President Steven Rogelberg and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. A full video of the briefing is available here.

SIOP Joins NSF Advocacy Day, Congress Advances Funding Bills

The annual appropriations process to determine federal agency funding for the next fiscal year is in full swing, and SIOP has continued to advocate for robust funding increases to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and for social science research. SIOP joined the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) to participate in the annual CNSF Advocacy Day, a coordinated day of meetings with congressional stakeholders to discuss the importance of federally funded research and to provide examples of research successes. Tammy Allen participated in meetings with staff in the offices of Reps. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), and Kathy Castor (D-FL), where she spoke about her NSF-funded research projects and encouraged the staff members to support robust NSF funding in both the annual appropriations process and the ongoing NSF reauthorization process.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration and Congress have continued to move forward with allocating and finalizing funding levels for federal agencies in fiscal year (FY) 2022. The Biden administration released its first budget request to Congress, which suggested that Congress provide $10.17 billion for NSF in FY 2022, a $1.66 billion or 19.8% increase over current levels. The budget request also stated that within this increase, NSF intended to provide a 13.3% increase for social, behavioral, and economic sciences (SBE). Shortly after, the U.S. House of Representatives released and advanced out of committee its FY 2022 annual funding bills, which would provide over $9.6 billion to NSF in FY 2022, an increase of $1.15 billion or 13.5% over current funding levels but $535 million shy of the Biden administration’s request. Although Congress does not break out specific funding amounts for most individual directorates, the accompanying bill report reinforces support for SBE and notes the importance of this research. Final NSF funding levels are not likely to be determined until this fall or later, following negotiations between the House and Senate.

SIOP Policing Initiatives Meets With National Academies Staff

The SIOP Policing Initiative met with staff of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Law and Justice Committee. During this meeting, the Policing Initiative gave an overview of I-O psychology, spoke with the committee staff about their upcoming reports on policing, and shared SIOP’s interests in policing reform. The Policing Initiative also discussed the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) and NASEM’s upcoming studies on the effects of COVID on work and family. At the request of NASEM staff, SIOP provided NASEM with a list of I-O experts in policing and of SIOP members with published research on the impact of COVID-19 on work and family life. SIOP will continue to engage with NASEM when appropriate and enable SIOP members to serve as a resource to the National Academies going forward.

New Policy Newsletter

Lewis-Burke and GREAT have partnered to launch the Washington InfO, a new monthly newsletter to provide SIOP members updates on pressing federal news of interest to the I-O community, including updates on emerging workforce/workplace policies and funding opportunities. For questions regarding SIOP advocacy or to subscribe to the newsletter, please feel free to contact SIOP’s GREAT Chair Alex Alonso at alexander.alonso@shrm.org  or Jack Goodman at jack@lewis-burke.com.

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