Get the latest public health information from CDC
Get the latest research information from NIH | Español
NIH staff guidance on coronavirus (NIH Only)
Combat COVID Website

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.
Subscribe to receive the OBSSR Connector Monthly Newsletter.

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

July 18, 2019

Director's Voice

2019 Matilda White Riley Honors Event Highlights Innovative Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. On June 6, 2019, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) hosted the 12th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors. Each year, this honors event commemorates the contributions of Dr. Matilda White Riley, who advanced health-related behavioral and social sciences research at the NIH and served many of the functions of OBSSR before the Office was created nearly 25 years ago.

Read Full Blog

spotlight icon

Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research


Graphical representation of the inside of a human body highlighting the heart and veins, associated with July 2019 research spotlight article on 'More years of education may reduce your risk of heart disease-A Natural experiment'.

More years of education may reduce your risk of heart disease - A natural experiment

Researchers funded by NCATS, NHLBI, NIA, and NSF weighed in on the ongoing debate about whether education is a determinant of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or merely a correlation. In the U.S., CVD is a leading cause of mortality. Education has been correlated with heart disease, but the exact mechanisms underlying this relationship are still unclear and could be due to both education and heart disease sharing common causes such as parental socioeconomic status and genetic factors. Read More

Graphic of female sleeping on couch, associated with July 2019 research spotlight article on 'Assessing sleep to predict Alzheimer's disease'.

Assessing sleep to predict Alzheimer’s disease

Findings from recently published research supported by the NIA suggest a novel biomarker for predicting Alzheimer's pathology later in life. Recent research has linked sleep disruption to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The two main pathological features of AD, tau and β-amyloid (Aβ), have been associated with both objective and subjective changes in sleep, however it is not known if late life tau and Aβ burden are associated with distinct impairments in sleep physiology or changes in sleep across the lifespan.
Learn More

Graphic of health practician overlooking elderly man laying down on hospital bed about to get a CT scan, associated with July 2019 research spotlight article on 'Nudges to change palliative care'.

"Nudges" to change palliative care

Researchers funded by the NCI and the University of Pennsylvania Health System are making strides in reducing unnecessary medical procedures. In the U.S., approximately 250,000 patients annually with advanced cancer receive palliative radiotherapy to reduce symptoms such as pain or to improve quality of life. Daily imaging is often used in curative radiotherapy to ensure reproducible patient positioning; however, national guidelines recommend transitioning to weekly imaging for palliative radiotherapy since daily imaging unnecessarily increases the time of each session for patients who are often in pain or discomfort. Go There Now

In the Know

Events and Announcements


Reminder: Submit Behavioral and Social Sciences Accomplishments to OBSSR by July 31, 2019

We need your help. Through 11:59 pm ET on July 31, 2019, we want everyone in the behavioral and social sciences research community to submit an accomplishment, add information to a submitted accomplishment, and/or vote on the ones that have had a substantial health impact and for which behavioral and social sciences research was critical to achieving.

When you submit, do not limit yourself to NIH-supported research – we know that the NIH funds important and impactful research, but research leading to health accomplishments is not limited to the research that the NIH funds. Do not limit yourself to only recent accomplishments – while our goal is partly to generate an updated list of accomplishments, the “oldies but goodies” are important contributions that show the sustained impact of our sciences. And do not limit yourself to accomplishments resulting only from your research – this is not a contest to determine whose research has been most impactful.

After we have collected your submissions and votes, an expert panel will review the submissions and assist OBSSR in how best to select, organize, and make available online. We hope that this accomplishments resource will be useful when any of us need to make the case for the importance of the behavioral and social sciences to health. Join us in contributing to this important resource.
Submit Input


Key Milestones during 40 years of Behavioral Medicine at the National Institutes of Health

The NIH has played a major role in promoting behavioral medicine research over the past 40 years through funding, review, and priority-setting activities and programs including scientific conferences, meetings, workgroups, intramural research, and training opportunities. In this review of NIH activities in support of behavioral medicine over the past four decades, Drs. Susan Czajkowski (NCI), Bill Riley (OBSSR), Catherine Stoney (NHLBI), Bill Klein (NCI), and Robert Croyle (NCI) highlight key events, programs, projects, and milestones that demonstrate the many ways in which the NIH has supported behavioral and social sciences research and advanced the public health while contributing to the evolution of behavioral medicine as a scientific field.
Read More


Request for Information: National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide

To advance the President's vision of a National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide, OSTP and VA will lead development of a National Research Strategy to improve the coordination, monitoring, benchmarking, and execution of public- and private-sector research related to the factors that contribute to veteran suicide. Through this RFI, OSTP and VA seek input on ways to increase knowledge about factors influencing suicidal behaviors and ways to prevent suicide; inform the development of a robust and forward looking research agenda; coordinate relevant research efforts across the Nation; and measure progress on these efforts. The public input provided in response to this RFI will inform the Veteran Wellness, Empowerment, and Suicide Prevention Task Force, who will develop and implement the National Research Strategy. The response deadline is August 5, 2019.
Learn More


Register Now: Alzheimer’s Disease Decadal Survey Workshop on ADRD Experience and Caregiving, Epidemiology, and Models of Care

The Decadal Survey of Behavioral and Social Science Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) will hold its first public workshop on August 14, 2019. Following remarks and perspectives from the project’s sponsors, individuals living with ADRD and caretakers will offer perspectives on the impact the disease has on individuals, families, and their communities, and on how best to improve support for those affected. The workshop will also include panels on epidemiological perspectives and models of care initiatives. Following the formal panel discussions, there will be a one-hour public comment session in which attendees may provide a brief statement or commentary to inform the work of the study committee. You may sign up for the public comment session via the event registration page here. Please note that you will be asked to provide your name and affiliation, and comments will be recorded and included in the archived webcast of the workshop, which will be posted on the study website a few weeks after the workshop.
Register Now


Call for Proposals: Special Issue about Health Misinformation on Social Media

The American Journal of Public Health, in collaboration with NCI, intends to publish a special issue on health misinformation on social media.The special issue will focus on four main content areas:

  1. health misinformation surveillance
  2. the context of health misinformation
  3. the impact of health misinformation
  4. responses/interventions to address health misinformation

Extended proposals are due to Anna Gaysynsky, Assistant Guest Editor, at by 11:59 PM ET on Friday, August 30, 2019. For specific questions on proposal content or orientation, please contact Guest Editor Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou at
Read More


Send Letters of Interest for Cancer Survivorship Program Director Position

The NCI’s Behavioral Research Program (BRP) invites letters of interest from researchers with cancer survivorship expertise to serve as a Program Director (Health Scientist Administrator). Candidates with a research or clinical focus on survivorship-related basic behavioral, biobehavioral, and psychological processes or behavioral interventions are especially encouraged to apply. This is a pre-announcement of the vacancy. The anticipated position will be full-time, based in Rockville, Maryland, and likely classified as a GS 13/14. Formal position announcements are posted periodically on, and applications must be submitted there to be considered. Please submit a letter of interest, a CV, and two representative publications to Have questions? Contact Mary O’Connell.
Learn More


NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival

SAVE THE DATE: December 6, 2019 — NIH Campus, Natcher Conference Center (Bldg. 45). The Annual NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival will be hosted by OBSSR and the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee. The purpose of the festival is to highlight recently funded behavioral and social sciences research that the NIH supports; bring together behavioral and social scientists within the NIH extramural and intramural communities to network with each other and share scientific ideas; and explore ways to advance behavioral and social sciences research.


search icon

Funding Announcements


High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program

The NIH Common Fund initiative, the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, aims to accelerate biomedical, behavioral and social science discoveries by supporting exceptionally creative scientists proposing highly innovative, impactful research. Four annual funding opportunities are available, broadly divided by career stage:

  1. New Innovator Award (Early stage investigators)
  2. Pioneer Award (all career stages)
  3. Early Independence Award (junior investigators “skipping the post-doc”)
  4. Transformative Research Award (Single/Multi PI; all career stages)

As the application formats and review processes differ from standard R01s, NIH staff will host Q&A webinars for each initiative to answer your questions about the award. Information about webinar registration is available here. Before attending the webinars, registrants are encouraged to review the frequently asked questions and informational videos for the Awards if interested on the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program website.
Learn More

icon of computer

Protocol Template for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

Resource for communicating the science, methods, and operations of a clinical trial

This Protocol Template for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research is a suggested format for clinical trials that are testing a behavioral or social intervention or experimental manipulation. The template can also be a useful tool for those trials funded by NIH Institutes or Centers that do not require stand-alone clinical protocols. Using the template to anticipate decision points and potential challenges before a study launches can help avoid delays down the road. Use of the protocol template is encouraged but not required.
Use the Template


paper icon

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

PHP Code Snippets Powered By :