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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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national institutes of health - office of behaviorial and social sciences research
OBSSR Connector Monthly

December 11, 2018

Director's Voice

This blog was co-authored by Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH's Deputy Director for Extramural Research and the Director of the Office of Extramural Research (OER). More information about OER can be found at

New Funding Opportunities for Basic Experimental Studies Involving Humans
Dr. Michael Lauer and I coauthored an Open Mike blog announcing the release of the parent FOAs for Basic Experimental Studies Involving Humans (BESH). These FOAs will provide basic researchers who fell under the clinical trials policies a home for submitting their basic experimental research. Grant applications submitted under BESH will have additional flexibility for registration and reporting, and OBSSR and continue to work together to make registration and reporting on this portal more amenable to basic human research. OBSSR also will initiate the development of Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training specifically tailored to basic experimental studies with humans.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research


image representation of research spotlight article on predicting and quantifying stereotypes, depicted as two human heads with black and white sections looking at each other

A framework for predicting and quantifying stereotypes

Disparities across social groups are well known, but less is known about how people’s biases affect their treatment of others and influence social disparities. A recent report funded by NIMH and NIDA explores this area by developing a computational framework using economic and psychological approaches to predict social disparities and discrimination.
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Happy childhood memories related to better health in later years

Prior research shows positive memories from childhood are related to better health in young adults, but a new NIA-funded study extends these findings to older adulthood as well. Using data from the National Survey of Midlife Development and the Health and Retirement Study, researchers retrospectively analyzed childhood memories of parental support and the relation with present day physical health. Learn More

image representation of research spotlight article on telephone support helps maintain reduced sugary beverage intake, depicted as a hand holding a cell phone displaying a chat message

Telephone support helps maintain reduced sugary beverage intake

Maintenance of behavior change after intervention presents significant challenges. Using automated and live telephone support, researchers were able to maintain reduced sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake in a rural community, according to a recent NCI-funded study. This study followed participants in rural Virginia after completion of a 6-month trial (SIPsmartER) to reduce SSB intake (n = 235). Go There Now

In the Know

Events and Announcements


New NIH training grant program announcement: Short Courses on Innovative Methodologies and Approaches in the Behavioral and Social Sciences

OBSSR and participating Institutes are supporting another four years of Short Courses on Innovative Methodologies and Approaches in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (RFA-OD-19-012). This program will support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. This funding opportunity is designed to fill educational gaps and needs in the behavioral and social sciences research community that are not being addressed by existing educational opportunities. Proposed educational programs should be integrative, both in the transdisciplinary nature of the skills and approaches taught and in applicability across a wide range of BSSR areas.
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NIH launches new training program to enhance quantitative training in behavioral and social sciences research

OBSSR and participating Institutes recently launched a new Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) Institutional Research Training Program. The vision of the Advanced Data Analytics for BSSR Training Program is to support the development of a cohort of specialized predoctoral candidates who will possess advanced competencies in data science analytics to apply to an increasingly complex landscape of behavioral and social health-related big data.
Learn More


12th NIH Matilda White Riley Honors:
Save the Date and ESI Paper Competition

Each year OBSSR honors the work of an established investigator and exceptional, recently published papers of Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) during the NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors. The 12th Honors will be held on the NIH Campus on Thursday, June 6, 2019. More information to follow, but please note that in January 2019, ESIs will be able to submit one research article meeting the following criteria:

  1. The first author of the paper is an Early Stage Investigator (as of the deadline for this paper competition submission), defined by the NIH as someone who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.
  2. The article was published or accepted and in-press between 01/01/18 and 12/31/18.
  3. The article involves original research published in a peer-review journal. (Note: conceptual, review, or meta-analysis papers are not eligible for this competition).


ABCD study completes enrollment, announces opportunities for scientific engagement

NIH announced recently that enrollment for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is now complete and, in early 2019, scientists will have access to baseline data from all ABCD Study participants. There are 11,874 youth, ages 9-10, participating in the study, including 2,100 young people who are twins or triplets. All will be followed through young adulthood. The ABCD Study is a landmark study on brain development and child health that will increase understanding of environmental, social, genetic, and other biological factors that affect brain and cognitive development and can enhance or disrupt a young person’s life trajectory.
Go There Now


December SOBC Grand Rounds Webinar

On Monday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET, the Science of Behavioral Change (SOBC) Grand Rounds Presents Mary Dozier, Ph.D.: Defining and Monitoring Intervention Fidelity with Precision in a Home Visitation Model. Dr. Dozier is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware. Over the last 25 years, she has studied the development of young children in foster care and young children living with neglecting birth parents, examining challenges in attachment and regulatory capabilities. The meeting number is 190 372 314.
Join the Webinar


Recording Archive and Photos:
2018 NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival

OBSSR and the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee held the third NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival: Connecting People to Advance Health on the NIH campus on November 27, 2018. This 1-day festival brought together behavioral and social scientists within the NIH extramural and intramural communities to network and collaborate with one another and share scientific ideas, highlight recent advances in NIH-supported behavioral and social sciences research in fiscal year (FY) 2018, and explore ways to advance behavioral and social sciences research. Festival photos and the archived recording are now available.
Access the Recording

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Funding Announcements

Promoting Reductions in Intersectional StigMa (PRISM) to Improve the HIV Prevention Continuum

These funding opportunity announcements solicit research grant applications which will: 1) advance measurements of intersectional stigma (multiple stigmatized identities) and examine the mechanisms and pathways by which it is a barrier to HIV testing and linkage to prevention; or 2) develop and test interventions to reduce intersectional stigma and improve the uptake of HIV testing and linkage to ongoing HIV prevention among key populations at substantial risk for HIV infection.
View R21 Clinical Trial Optional
View R01 Clinical Trial Optional


Leveraging Health Information Technology (Health IT) to Address Minority Health and Health Disparities

This funding opportunity announcement seeks to support research that examines how health information technology adoption impacts minority health and health disparity populations in access to care, quality of care, patient engagement, and health outcomes.
View R01 Clinical Trial Optional

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Social and Behavioral Research eLearning Course

Good Clinical Practice in Social and Behavioral Research

Complete the free NIH Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training through the Society of Behavioral Medicine. In September 2016, the NIH issued a Policy on Good Clinical Practice Training for NIH awardees involved in NIH-funded clinical trials. The principles of GCP help assure the safety, integrity, and quality of clinical trials. Certificates will be given upon completion of the training. Take The Training

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