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

Jill Bradley-Geist and Laura Uttley

SIOP Responds to National Academies’ Call for White Papers on Social Science and National Security

On February 15, SIOP responded to a call for white papers from the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) within The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to help shape initial work on Social and Behavioral Sciences for National Security: A Decadal Survey.  The Decadal Survey seeks to identify “the intelligence community’s needs and challenges with respect to the use of social and behavioral sciences (SBS) research for analytic capabilities.”


SIOP’s comments centered around addressing the challenges associated with creating an effective workforce within national security agencies using scientific best practices, many of which are based in organizational psychology (I-O).  The response identified some of the challenges typically faced by individuals, teams, and organizations that can also be applied to the intelligence community.  These include recruitment, selection, retention, management of national security professionals, as well as development of high performing teams and competent leaders within the intelligence community.  Finally, the Society’s response summarized the findings of a 2011 report by the Academies titled Intelligence Analysis for Tomorrow: Advances from the Behavioral and Social Sciences, which provided specific analysis of the issues highlighted above.


SIOP is dedicated to ensuring the intelligence community is aware of the importance of I-O psychology and how its applications may address the challenges of effective workforce development.  The Society’s comments submitted to the Decadal Survey further advance the Society-wide goal to integrate team science across the federal government. 


GREAT and Lewis-Burke to Host Session at SIOP Annual Conference

During the SIOP Annual Conference, the Government Relations Advocacy Team (GREAT) and Lewis-Burke will host an Executive Board Special Session, “Getting Engaged in I-O Advocacy and Federal Research Funding Opportunities.”  The session will feature segments on SIOP’s investment in government relations and advocacy and how to engage as a SIOP member.  In addition, SIOP members with extensive experience working in and applying to federal agencies that fund scientific research will provide guidance on successfully applying for federal funding. The session is Saturday, April 29, from 11:30 am to 12:20 pm, in Asia 2.


Also, visit GREAT and Lewis-Burke in Committee Zone (date and time TBA) to share feedback and ask questions! We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference.

SIOP Members Spotlight: HumRRO Hosts APA “Stand for Science” Congressional Visits

Beth Bynum, Congressman Yarmuth, Gavan O’Shea, and Matt Trippe

Several SIOP members have recently helped educate Congress about the value and impact of behavioral science research, including I-O psychology, through the American Psychological Association’s (APA) "Stand for Science" initiative. Through this initiative, APA helps psychologists share vivid, real-world examples of their applied research that convincingly illustrate to policymakers why psychological science deserves federal support.  Gavan O’Shea, Matt Trippe, and Beth Bynum hosted several congressional visits at the Louisville, Kentucky, office of the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) this past summer. In June, they met with staff working in the local offices of Kentucky's senators: Whitney Meadows (Louisville Field Representative for Senator Rand Paul [R-KY]) and Andrew Condia (Louisville Field Representative for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY]). In late August, they hosted Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY), the U.S. Representative for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district.


During each visit, Gavan, Matt, and Beth highlighted some of HumRRO’s federally funded research and its impressive impact. Each example they shared focused on a project that began as an applied research effort, showed promise through impressive validity results, and was eventually used operationally. One line of research they described focused on the development of new assessments that have helped the Army identify the best candidates for selection into the Reserve Officer Training Corps. These assessments are currently being used to make scholarship decisions. In addition, they highlighted the creation of the Joint Service Cyber Test, which is being administered by multiple service branches to thousands of applicants each year to select the best entry-level “cyber warriors.” They also shared a hands-on demonstration of HumRRO’s rich-media online assessment capabilities and discussed the wide-range of federally funded psychometric, quality assurance, and validity work HumRRO performs in the personnel assessment and educational domains.


If you are interested in learning more about the program, you can visit APA’s “Stand for Science” website (http://www.apa.org/about/gr/science/stand-for-science.aspx). APA helps to prepare members to host these visits, including providing a short video-based training session and the opportunity to speak with APA staff about any questions or concerns you may have. APA also provides handouts that you can share with congressional visitors, including a fact sheet describing the National Science Foundation’s Directorate of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) and detailed information about research funded by NSF and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within your state.  As always, GREAT and Lewis-Burke are also resources to discuss and learn about advocating for I-O and how your efforts complement those of the Society.

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