OBSSR Connector Monthly Newsletter
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Connector Monthly Newsletter is a monthly e-newsletter featuring updates from OBSSR Director William T. Riley, Ph.D., information about behavioral and social sciences in the news, events and announcements, findings from recently published research, funding announcements, and other updates. The current newsletter is provided below.
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March 17, 2020
OBSSR Seeks Research Community Input for Next Strategic Plan by March 29, 2020.
The OBSSR is seeking broad input on important new directions for health-related behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR). On February 18, we released a Request for Information (NOT-OD-20-059) and launched a crowd-source submission website seeking your input on research directions that will support the achievement of the scientific priorities in the OBSSR Strategic Plan 2022-2026, and that will advance or transform the broader health impact of BSSR. OBSSR is interested in focusing on research directions that are trans-disease and cross-cutting in nature and address critical gaps in the field.
The role of the OBSSR is to coordinate and promote BSSR research across the NIH and assist the NIH Institutes and Centers in developing research and training resources to advance the field. OBSSR supports a broad range of BSSR disease, condition, population, and setting specific priorities across the NIH covering the spectrum, from basic to implementation science research.
We would like input on the most important or cutting-edge, trans-disease research directions that would accelerate progress in these three strategic priority areas:
- Synergy in Basic and Applied BSSR
- BSSR Resources, Methods, and Measures
- Adoption of Effective BSSR in Practice
To ensure consideration, responses must be submitted by 11:59pm ET March 29, 2020 through OBSSR’s crowd-source submission website. Once your IdeaScale account is created and you are logged in, you can submit an idea, browse and respond to comments that have already been submitted, and vote for your other ideas.
If you have an inquiry, please contact Farheen Akbar at Farheen.firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-496-9165.
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Researchers supported by grants from the NICHD, NIA, and the University of Zürich recently published findings that may explain how sociodemographic factors early in life affect future health. Health later in life varies significantly by individual demographic characteristics such as age, sex, and race/ethnicity, as well as by social factors including socioeconomic status and geographic region.
Researchers supported by grants from the NIH Common Fund sheds light on the extent of the opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 700,000 people died in the United States from drug overdoses between 1999 and 2017. In 2017 alone there were 70,237 deaths, of which 67.8% involved an opioid. However, fatal opioid overdoses maybe under‐reported since the drug involved in an overdose is not always specified on death certificates.
Behavioral heuristics (mental shortcuts that simplify decision making) are common in medicine and can lead to cognitive biases that affect clinical decisions. Researchers supported by grants from the NIH Common Fund recently published research that investigated if cognitive biases play a role in cardiac care for older patients. Cognitive biases refer to a range of systematic errors in human decision-making stemming from the tendency to use mental shortcuts.
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