APS Provides Recommendations to NSF

Comments address strategic planning, evidence-based policymaking

APS has provided perspectives to the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in response to two of the agency’s recent requests for information. 

NSF has recently asked the scientific community to comment on (1) its strategic planning process for the 2022-2026 period, and (2) how it can expand its efforts to guide internal evidence-building and program evaluation processes. As part of its ongoing work to stay connected with science funding agencies and reflect the needs of the psychological science community, APS has submitted formal responses on both topics. 

U.S. federal agencies like NSF are required to regularly undergo strategic planning processes that help set agency direction. In APS’s response to this information request, Executive Director Robert Gropp calls on NSF to maintain and grow its commitment to behavioral science, including research psychology, and to strengthen partnerships with global funders of science. APS’s response also advises that NSF prioritize and support the next generation of scientists. 

“NSF should do everything it can to help students and early-career scientists,” says Gropp. 

APS also urges NSF to advance its scientific merit and broader impacts by being fully inclusive of historically disadvantaged groups, supporting more research and outreach in this area and ensuring that diversity science is infused throughout all NSF activities. 

In its response to the other NSF request for information, APS encourages the agency to fund further science on the topic of evidence-building and evidence-based policymaking. APS cited the promise of behavioral insights research, and the global application of these insights, and it argues that psychological scientists can contribute solutions to ongoing challenges at the intersection of evidence-building and scientific research. 

Keep an eye on www.psychologicalscience.org/policy to learn more about APS science policy work.