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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Research Quality and Use

Because much of our work examines how behavioral and social science research findings can inform public policy, we seek to ensure that this transfer of knowledge happens effectively. So we also study ways to improve the process by which research informs public policy, exploring questions such as: How can researchers, organizations and agencies ensure that the social science evidence that informs policy is of high quality? And what are the pressing policy questions that should help drive research agendas in various disciplines?  See also:


Improving Health Research on Small PopulationsProceedings of a Workshop  (CNSTAT,HCS)

The increasing diversity of population of the United States presents many challenges to conducting health research that is representative and informative. Dispersion and accessibility issues can... Read more

Federal Statistics, Multiple Data Sources, and Privacy ProtectionNext Steps  (CNSTAT)

The environment for obtaining information and providing statistical data for policy makers and the public has changed significantly in the past decade, raising questions about the fundamental survey... Read more

Improving Motor Carrier Safety Measurement  (CNSTAT)

Every year roughly 100,000 fatal and injury crashes occur in the United States involving large trucks and buses. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the U.S. Department of... Read more

Principles and Practices for Federal Program EvaluationProceedings of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

In October 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a 1-day public workshop on Principles and Practices for Federal Program Evaluation. The workshop was organized... Read more

Developing a Methodological Research Program for Longitudinal StudiesProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief  (CNSTAT)

One of the strategic objectives of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is to “support the development of population-based data sets, especially from longitudinal studies, suitable for analysis of... Read more

The Value of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to National PrioritiesA Report for the National Science Foundation  

Nearly every major challenge the United States faces—from alleviating unemployment to protecting itself from terrorism—requires understanding the causes and consequences of people’s behavior. Even... Read more

Improving Collection of Indicators of Criminal Justice System Involvement in Population Health Data ProgramsProceedings of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

In the U.S. criminal justice system in 2014, an estimated 2.2 million people were in incarcerated or under correctional supervision on any given day, and another 4.7 million were under community... Read more

Communicating Science EffectivelyA Research Agenda  

Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other... Read more

Advancing Concepts and Models for Measuring InnovationProceedings of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

Because of the role of innovation as a driver of economic productivity and growth and as a mechanism for improving people's well-being in other ways, understanding the nature,determinants, and impacts... Read more

Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Fatigue, Long-Term Health, and Highway SafetyResearch Needs  (CNSTAT,BOHSI)

There are approximately 4,000 fatalities in crashes involving trucks and buses in the United States each year. Though estimates are wide-ranging, possibly 10 to 20 percent of these crashes might have... Read more

Support for Forensic Science ResearchImproving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice  (CLAJ)

Reliable and valid forensic science analytic techniques are critical to a credible, fair, and evidence-based criminal justice system. There is widespread agreement that the scientific foundation of... Read more

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science  (BBCSS)

The past half-century has witnessed a dramatic increase in the scale and complexity of scientific research. The growing scale of science has been accompanied by a shift toward collaborative research,... Read more

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit SectorConceptual and Design Issues: Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation is responsible for national reporting of the research and development (R&D) activities that occur in... Read more

Furthering America's Research Enterprise  

Scientific research has enabled America to remain at the forefront of global competition for commercially viable technologies and other innovations. For more than 65 years, the United States has led... Read more

Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence  (EO,CLAJ)

In 2010, more than 105,000 people were injured or killed in the United States as the result of a firearm-related incident. Recent, highly publicized, tragic mass shootings in Newtown, CT; Aurora, CO;... Read more

Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy  (CFE)

Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy encourages scientists to think differently about the use of scientific evidence in policy making. This report investigates why scientific evidence is... Read more

Using American Community Survey Data to Expand Access to the School Meals Programs  (CNSTAT)

The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are key components of the nation's food... Read more

Deterrence and the Death Penalty  (CLAJ)

Many studies during the past few decades have sought to determine whether the death penalty has any deterrent effect on homicide rates. Researchers have reached widely varying, even contradictory,... Read more

Budgeting for Immigration EnforcementA Path to Better Performance  (CLAJ)

Immigration enforcement is carried out by a complex legal and administrative system, operating under frequently changing legislative mandates and policy guidance, with authority and funding spread... Read more

Industrial Methods for the Effective Development and Testing of Defense Systems  (CNSTAT,BAST)

During the past decade and a half, the National Research Council, through its Committee on National Statistics, has carried out a number of studies on the application of statistical methods to improve... Read more

Review of Disability and Rehabilitation ResearchNIDRR Grantmaking Processes and Products  (BOHSI)

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) is the principal federal agency supporting applied research, training, and development to improve the lives of individuals with... Read more

Communicating Science and Engineering Data in the Information Age  (CNSTAT,CSTB)

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) communicates its science and engineering (S&E) information to data users in a very fluid... Read more

Allocating Federal Funds for State Programs for English Language Learners  (CNSTAT,BOTA)

As the United States continues to be a nation of immigrants and their children, the nation's school systems face increased enrollments of students whose primary language is not English. With the 2001... Read more

Change and the 2020 CensusNot Whether But How  (CNSTAT)

Sponsored by the Census Bureau and charged to evaluate the 2010 U.S. census with an eye toward suggesting research and development for the 2020 census, the Panel to Review the 2010 Census uses this... Read more

High School Dropout, Graduation, and Completion RatesBetter Data, Better Measures, Better Decisions  (BOTA)

High school graduation and dropout rates have long been used as indicators of educational system productivity and effectiveness and of social and economic well being. While determining these rates may... Read more

Databases for Estimating Health Insurance Coverage for ChildrenA Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT)

This report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop convened in June 2010 to critically examine the various databases that could provide national and state-level estimates of low-income uninsured... Read more


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