COVID-19 Initiatives

Strategies to mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 are predominantly social and behavioral interventions (e.g., handwashing, social distancing, paid sick leave, risk communication) that have profound effects not only on reducing the transmission of disease, but also on economic and social life, and on downstream health effects, such as mental health, substance use, and stress-related physical conditions. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) has worked with various National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers (ICs) to incorporate social and behavioral research into the COVID-19 research response.

OBSSR helped coordinate IC-specific BSSR urgent competitive and administrative supplement NOSIs and led a NIH-wide supplement NOSI to encourage existing grantees to address key social and behavioral questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. OBSSR also coordinated the development of COVID-19 specific survey item repositories on the DR2 and PhenX sites to facilitate the use of existing items and promote data comparisons and integration across surveys and clinical studies.