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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

October 15, 2018

Director's Voice

Behavioral and Social Scientists Lead Scientific Replication Efforts Last month, a group of researchers representing labs from five institutions and the Center for Open Science published findings on the replication of 21 studies previously published in Nature and Science. Prior research had shown that only about half of social science studies were able to be replicated, and the authors sought additional evidence for reproducibility among highly prestigious journals that could have higher (or lower) replication rates. The authors found that 13 of the 21 studies (62%) produced a significant effect in the same direction as the original study.

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research


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Lonely people prefer to stand farther away from those they love

A recent NIA-funded study reports lonely people are more likely to prefer greater interpersonal distances from close friends and family. Over two experiments, close to 600 men and women were surveyed to determine how close they prefer to physically be in relation to others in their intimate, relational, and collective space (and in relation to strangers) work. Read More

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Childhood stress leads to overeating in low-income children

Psychosocial stress exposure in early childhood predicts increased eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) and emotional overeating in low-income children according to a recent NIDDK-funded study. In an observational longitudinal study from early to middle childhood, early childhood stress exposure in 207 low-income children was measured by parent report and a calculated stress exposure index. Learn More

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Expanding implementation of stress reducing treatments for cancer patients improves health

Widespread dissemination and implementation of previously tested treatments often takes many years and is not always successful. But according to a recent NCI-funded study, researchers successfully trained providers from around the country to implement an evidence-based treatment to reduce stress in cancer patients in their own communities. Go There Now

In the Know

Events and Announcements

November Director's Webinar featuring Peter Pirolli, Ph.D.

On Tuesday, November 13, at 2:00 p.m. ET, Peter Pirolli, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, will present: Computational Cognitive Models of mHealth Interventions. Dr. Pirolli will present an overview of the Fittle+ mHealth systems that have been used to study several evidence-based behavior change interventions. Dr. Pirolli will present models developed in the ACT-R computational cognitive architecture that address individual-level daily achievement of behavioral goals for exercise and eating and provide a deeper account of the dynamics of self-efficacy, motivation, implementation intentions, and habit formation. Register Today


Improving Care for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Using Technology (iCare-AD/ADRD) Challenge

The NIA is pleased to launch the Improving Care for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Using Technology (iCare-AD/ADRD) Challenge. This Eureka prize competition seeks to spur the development of technology applications to improve dementia care coordination and/or care navigation, as part of the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act. Up to $400,000 in cash prizes may be awarded to teams or individuals that participate in the challenge. Entries will be accepted from October 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. The iCare-AD/ADRD challenge managers will be hosting a webinar on October 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM ET. This webinar will introduce attendees to the Challenge and cover participation requirements. Time will be allotted to answer questions from attendees. Register Now


SOBC Webinar with Karolina Lempert, Ph.D.

On October 23, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Dr. Karolina Lempert, postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, will present: Experimental manipulations of intertemporal choice: successes and limitations. Dr. Lempert’s research examines the individual differences, situational factors, and neural mechanisms that influence intertemporal choices, or choices with consequences that play out over time. She uses a neuroeconomics approach, combining paradigms from behavioral economics with methodological techniques including neuroimaging and psychophysiology. She is the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging.
Meeting Number: 191 366 190; Audio/teleconference: 415-655-0001

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Requesting Input on the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2024

Every five years since 2006, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has released successive Long-Range Plans. The current Long-Range Plan is slated to expire at the end of the 2019 fiscal year. To capitalize on the opportunities presented by recent science advances, NIAMS is developing a Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2024. As part of the planning process, NIAMS has published a Request for Information (RFI) to seek input from researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and health advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, Federal agencies, and other interested members of the public. RFI Responses should be submitted via an online form by October 26, 2018. Go There Now


GeoFLASHE Data Set Now Available for Free Download

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is pleased to announce the availability of a data set of neighborhood and contextual variables pulled from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study. FLASHE is a survey of psychosocial, generational (parent-adolescent), and environmental correlates of cancer-preventive behaviors from adolescents and their parents. The GeoFLASHE data set includes variables on neighborhood socioeconomic status; UV exposure; and neighborhood characteristics associated with walkability. Interested in learning more? Register for a webinar on how to use GeoFLASHE data on Monday, November 5, 2018, 11 a.m. – noon ET. Register Now


Request for Information (RFI) on Proposed Provisions for a Draft Data Management and Sharing Policy for NIH Funded or Supported Research

The purpose of this Notice is to solicit public input on proposed key provisions that could serve as a foundation for a future NIH policy for data management and sharing. Stakeholder feedback is essential to inform the development of a new NIH policy on the management and sharing of scientific data. This Notice aims to solicit public comment on proposed key policy provisions. Feedback obtained through this Notice and other outreach efforts will help to inform the development of a draft NIH policy for data management and sharing, which is expected to be released for an additional public comment period upon its development. Comments on this Notice must be received no later than December 10, 2018.

Comments should be submitted electronically to the following webpage: or mailed to: Office of Science Policy (OSP), National Institutes of Health, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20892, or by fax to: 301-496-9839. Read More


Webinar Recording: Toward data-driven ontologies for mental function

The August Director’s Webinar recording, featuring guest presenter Russell A. Poldrack, Ph.D., Albert Ray Lang Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, is now available. Dr. Poldrack argued the development of ontologies is essential for progress but need to be tied directly to empirical data. He provided an example from the domain of self-regulation, where he and his team have used data-driven ontology development to describe the psychological structure of this domain and characterize its predictive validity with respect to real-world outcomes. Go There Now


Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention (FPBP) Summit on Cyberbullying Prevention

The Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention (FPBP) is a collaborative effort among federal staff from various agencies who partner to coordinate federal efforts on bullying prevention. The mission of the FPBP is to ensure coordination among federal agencies working in bullying prevention and provide consistent, accurate resources to the public to significantly reduce the prevalence of youth peer‐to‐peer bullying. In August, the FPBP hosted a day-long summit that brought together representatives to present their latest research findings. Go There Now


NIH funds study to prevent, treat HIV among adolescents in poor countries

The NIH has awarded $7.5 million for an international research program to prevent and treat HIV infection among adolescents and young adults in seven African countries and Brazil. The study, called Prevention and Treatment through a Comprehensive Care Continuum for HIV-affected Adolescents in Resource Constrained Settings (PATC3H), will support research to develop strategies to identify youth at risk of HIV infection and those living with HIV and to enroll them into medical care programs. Learn More


Packaging color research by tobacco companies: the pack as a product characteristic - Webinar Archive

On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, analyzed previously secret tobacco industry documents to identify additional ways in which cigarette companies tested and manipulated pack colors to affect consumers' perceptions of the cigarettes' flavor and strength. Learn More


Federal report on health, well-being of America’s children and youth now available

The latest annual report of federal statistics on the health and well-being of America’s children and youth is now available. The 2018 America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, highlights six measures on the status of children and youth who face heightened risks to their well-being. The report is published by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a collection of 23 federal government agencies involved in research and activities related to children and families, including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Read More

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Funding and Program Announcements

Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) - Institutional Research Training Program [T32]

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits applications for new Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) predoctoral training programs that focus on innovative computational and/or data science analytic approaches and their incorporation into training for the future BSSR health research workforce. 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.

This FOA does not allow appointed Trainees to lead an independent clinical trial but does allow them to obtain research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. View Announcement


NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

The purpose of the NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award is to support a defined pathway across career stages for outstanding graduate students from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences. This two-phase award will facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions, and will provide career development opportunities relevant to their long-term career goal of becoming independent neuroscience researchers.

This FOA does not allow applicants to propose to lead an independent clinical trial, but does allow applicants to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a sponsor or co-sponsor. View Announcement


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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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