Population Association of America and Association of Population Centers

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Today, July 24, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to the members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter, which is addressed to Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), reinforces that NIH support of behavioral and social science, especially economics research, is a key component of the agency’s mission.

At a time when some members of Congress may be questioning NIH support of these disciplines, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard wants Dr. Collins to know that many members understand and support the agency’s investment in these areas.

We need you to tell your U.S. Representative to sign the letter.


Please e-mail or call your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives to urge him or her to sign the Roybal-Allard “Dear Colleague” letter to Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director, regarding the agency’s support of behavioral, social and economics research.

The deadline for signatures is July 30.

Below is a sample message:

I am Dr. ___, your constituent and a population scientist who works at ____________. I receive support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research on (amount and/or type of research support your institution receives. If you or your institution do not directly receive NIH funding, you may emphasize how you, your colleagues, and students benefit from NIH support of large-scale data sets, such as the Health and Retirement Study and National Study of Adolescent Health, to conduct your own research and research training).

I am concerned about critical comments and questions some members of Congress have expressed recently about NIH support of behavioral/social science research– economics research in particular. I am concerned that these comments could affect adversely the agency’s ability to fund these disciplines in the future-despite the clear mandate that NIH has in its mission statement. NIH support of economics related research is essential if we are to understand the role that socio-economic status, savings, retirement, and income play in the development and progression of disease and disability.

To reinforce how economics research and behavioral and social science research overall are essential components of the NIH mission, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter on July 24. The “Dear Colleague” letter is directed at NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and conveys support for NIH investment in the behavioral and social sciences–economics research in particular.

The deadline for signatures is July 30, 2013. Responses should be sent to Dr. Debbie Jessup, Legislative Director, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (Debbie.Jessup@mail.house.gov).

I urge you to show your support for NIH support of behavioral/social science research, and economics research in particular, by signing this important letter.

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Contact Information

If you do not know who your representative is in the U.S. House of Representatives, you may look it at: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.

We encourage you to use your member’s web-based contact form when sending your request. These forms are usually found on each member’s home page under “Contact.”