As part of its mission to develop a next generation of leaders in the computing research community, the Computing Research Association‘s Computing Community Consortium (CCC) announces the second offering of the CCC Leadership in Science Policy Institute (LiSPI), intended to educate computing researchers on how science policy in the U.S. is formulated and how our government works. We seek nominations for participants.

LiSPI will be centered around a two day workshop to be held April 11-12, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (More details)

LiSPI will feature presentations and discussions with science policy experts, current and former Hill staff, and relevant agency and Administration personnel about mechanics of the legislative process, interacting with agencies, advisory committees, and the federal case for computing. (You can find a list of sessions and speakers from our first offering last November here.)

LiSPI participants are expected to

  • Complete a reading assignment and a short written homework prior to attending the workshop, so that time spent at the workshop can focus on more advanced content,
  • Attend the April 11-12th workshop, which includes breakfast both days, lunch, and a reception with the speakers and invited guests at the conclusion of the first day, and
  • Complete a small-group assignment afterwards that puts to use the workshop content on a CCC-inspired problem—perhaps writing an argument in favor of particular initiative for an agency audience, or drafting sample testimony on a CCC topic.

LiSPI is not intended for individuals who wish to undertake research on science policy, become science policy fellows, or take permanent positions in Washington, DC. Rather, we are trying to reach work-a-day academics who appreciate that our field must be engaged in helping government.

The CCC will provide funds for hotel accommodations for two nights of local expenses (hotel, meals) for the April 11-12 workshops. Nominees are expected to pay their own travel expenses, though there will be a limited fund available for participants who cannot attend unless their travel is provided.

Eligibility and Nomination Process

LiSPI participants are expected to have the experience and flexibility in their current positions to engage with government. University faculty members should be from CS or IS departments and be post-tenure; industrial researchers should have comparable seniority. Participants should be adept at communicating. They must be nominated by their chair or department head and must have demonstrated an interest in science policy, especially as it relates to computer science (and closely allied fields).

Specifically, the nomination process is as follows

  • A chair or department head proposes a LiSPI candidate by visiting (http://www.cra.org/ccc/spi_nomination.php) and providing the name and institution of the nominee, along with a letter of recommendation.
  • The candidate will then be contacted by the CCC and asked to submit a CV, a short essay detailing their interests in science policy, and an indication of whether they would require financial aid to attend.

All nominations and material from nominators and nominees must be received by December 14, 2012.

Selection Process

The LiSPI selection committee will evaluate each nomination based on record of accomplishment, proven ability to communicate, and promise. Selections will be announced by the year end. We plan to open the workshop to 60 participants.

Please discuss this opportunity with your colleagues, identify those you believe would be interested in participating, and submit nominations!

 

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This post marks the first from CRA’s new communications specialist, Shar Steed. Shar will be a frequent contributor to the Computing Research Policy blog and is the new force behind CRA’s communications efforts. Shar joins us from the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows program where she handled communications and marketing duties, and can be reached at shar@cra.org.

Last month CRA joined ACM, SIAM and IEEE, to send a letter to Congress and federal policymakers to bring attention to how proposed restrictions on federal employees attending scientific conferences would negatively effect scientific collaborations.

The letter encouraged policymakers to designate scientific, technical and education meetings as exempt from the federal policy on conference spending. It is crucial for scientists and engineers working in the government to attend these meeting to interact with other professionals and stay current in their fields.

The combined efforts have not gone unnoticed. On Tuesday, an article in the science section of the New York Times, brought further attention to this critical issue.

The article detailed how the policy is currently affecting the computing community. For example, the number of Department of Energy employees attending the 2012 Supercomputing Conference, which takes place next month, has decreased 30 percent compared to last year. Additionally, this year none of the department’s 12 labs will have booths in the exhibit hall where they have traditionally used the opportunity to demonstrate their latest projects.

Several scientific associations have also expressed concerns on the policy, which has already been passed in the House of Representatives. Increased public exposure to the issue is essential to discourage the Senate from passing it as well.