Advocacy with the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA)
The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to promote sustainable federal funding for social and behavioral science research and federal policies that positively impact the conduct of research. The AHA is a member of COSSA, providing our own members with access to COSSA's advocacy materials.
COSSA serves as a united voice for a broad, diverse network of scientific societies, associations, institutions, communities, and stakeholders who care about a successful and vibrant social science research enterprise. Membership includes:
- Professional and disciplinary associations
- Scientific societies
- Research centers and institutes
- US colleges and universities
COSSA's primary policy priority is ensuring sustained funding and advocating for increased resources for federal programs that support social and behavioral science research. The primary funders of this research are the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH); however, programs and initiatives exist across the federal government, including at the Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and many others (a comprehensive listing of the agencies and programs that fund social and behavioral science research can be found here).
COSSA offers a variety of resources, products, and activities to keep the AHA informed of federal policy issues, including:
- Timely, in-depth analysis of bills, proposed regulations, and other policy developments impacting social and behavioral science research.
- COSSA Washington Update, a biweekly newsletter providing updates on policy developments impacting social and behavioral science research.
- The COSSA annual meeting, which brings together more than 100 representatives of the social and behavioral science community from across the country for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. The meeting provides opportunities to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and institutions. AHA members receive discounts on registration.
- COSSA's policy experts are available to present to members and/or faculty on timely policy topics and provide hands-on advocacy training.
COSSA provides several ways for members of the social and behavioral science community to get involved directly in advocacy efforts, including:
- Grassroots Action Alerts, which are issued when action is needed on a federal policy activity. The alert platform allows members to easily write to their Members of Congress.
- Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day brings members to Washington each spring to participate in meetings with their Congressional delegations to discuss the value of social science research and the importance of federal support.
- COSSA's Advocacy Handbook serves as a primer on how to become an effective advocate for social and behavioral science research, whether in Washington or at home.