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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

May 14, 2019

Director's Voice

Accomplishments of the Behavioral and Social Sciences – Let’s Generate a Comprehensive List. For a number of years, OBSSR has made available a fact sheet Download PDF (PDF, 1,071 KB) that lists some key accomplishments of health-related behavioral and social sciences research. That fact sheet, developed in 2013, is becoming dated and is a short list of only a few key accomplishments resulting from behavioral and social sciences research. The NIH behavioral and social sciences staff could generate an updated list, but we can generate a much more extensive and diverse list of accomplishments if we enlist the help of the larger behavioral and social sciences research community. Plus, your crowdsourcing input can also be used to help us identify the accomplishments that should be highlighted.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research


Photo of young woman sitting on couch with remote control in her hand pointed at tv screen, associated with May 2019 research spotlight article on Americans continue to be sedentary despite public health warnings.

Americans continue to be sedentary despite public health warnings

Recently published research supported by the National Cancer Institute investigated trends in sedentary behaviors among the US population including differences by sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics. Sedentary behavior has been linked to increased health risks including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
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Photo of baby sleeping on blanket, associated with May 2019 research spotlight article on Scientists identify early visual attention deficits in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder.

Scientists identify early visual attention deficits in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder

Research supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Marcus Foundation, Whitehead Foundation, and the Georgia Research Alliance examined early attention in infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are at risk for social and communication delays levels.
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Graphic of brain signal, associated with May 2019 research spotlight article on Scientists translate brain signals into speech.

Scientists translate brain signals into speech

Researchers funded through the NIH BRAIN Initiative, New York Stem Cell Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, McKnight Foundation, Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation, and the William K. Bowes Foundation recently published work that is aimed at decoding brain signals into speech. Losing the ability to speak can have devastating effects on patient’s quality of life (QOL).
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In the Know

Events and Announcements


Revised Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Definition

Thank you to everyone who participated in the BSSR definition crowdsourcing effort. The comments informed the final revision of the BSSR definition. Some suggestions, although not reflected in the BSSR definition, will be used to for future blog post topics to share in-depth discussion of the areas of science that are included in the BSSR at NIH. The revised BSSR definition is now posted on OBSSR’s website.
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NIH Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Honorees

OBSSR selected five ESIs to present their research and contribute to a moderated panel discussion at this year's Matilda White Riley Honors. This year’s honorees were among 500 submissions. The 2019 Early Stage Investigator Paper Competition Honorees include:

Jamie L. Hanson, Ph.D.
A family focused intervention influences hippocampal-prefrontal connectivity through gains in self-regulation

Taylor Hargrove, Ph.D.
Intersecting social inequalities and body mass index trajectories from adolescence to early adulthood

Jungeun Olivia Lee, Ph.D.
Developmental pathways from parental socioeconomic status to adolescent substance use: Alternative and complementary reinforcement

Marco Venniro, Ph.D.
Volitional social interaction prevents drug addiction in rat models

Robbee Wedow, Ph.D.
Education, smoking, and cohort change: Forwarding a multidimensional theory of the environmental moderation of genetic effects

The 12th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors will be held Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 8:00 am to 12 noon at Wilson Hall (building 1). Please register to attend in person
Register Today


The Eureka Research Platform Webinar - 2pm, today, May 14

Join OBSSR and Jeffrey Olgin, M.D., Gallo-Chatterjee Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Division of Cardiology Chief at the University of California at San Francisco on Tuesday, May 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET for an overview of the Eureka Research Platform, an NIH-funded resource for conducting research using mobile technology. Dr. Olgin will describe the resource (including its capabilities), provide a description of ongoing studies using the platform, and share lessons learned and the mechanisms by which the resource can be used for NIH-funded studies.
Register Now


RDoC survey on environment and development

The National Institute of Mental Health is soliciting input on how to incorporate development and environment into the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework. RDOC is a research framework for investigating mental disorders that integrates many levels of information to explore basic dimensions of human behavior. The survey closes on Friday, May 17, 2019.
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Webinar Recording: Social and population health science approaches to understanding the human gut microbiome

The March Director’s Webinar recording featuring guest presenter Pamela Herd, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University, is now available. Dr. Herd’s presentation “Social and population health science approaches to understanding the human gut microbiome,” outlined key substantive and methodological advances that can be made if collaborations between social and population health scientists and life scientists are strategically pursued, and she provided a recent example of a collaboration.
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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.


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Funding Announcements

Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support innovative approaches to identifying, understanding, and developing strategies for overcoming barriers to the adoption, adaptation, integration, scale-up and sustainability of evidence-based interventions, tools, policies, and guidelines. Conversely, there is a benefit in understanding circumstances that create a need to stop or reduce (“de-implement”) the use of interventions that are ineffective, unproven, low-value, or harmful. In addition, studies to advance dissemination and implementation research methods and measures are encouraged.

PAR-19-274 (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

PAR-19-275 (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

PAR-19-276 (R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

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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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