NIH

NIH: Systems Science and Health in Behavioral and Social Sciences

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA), Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (PAR-15-047), seeking applications that apply system science approaches such as system dynamic modeling, agent-based modeling, social network analysis, discrete event analysis, and Markov modeling to better understand complex and dynamic behavioral and social sciences processes and problems relevant to health.

NIH: Family and Interpersonal Relationships in an Aging Context

The National Institute of Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications designed to expand understanding of the role and impact of families and interpersonal relations on health and well-being in midlife and older age.

COSSA & Partners Urge Congress to Complete FY 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill

On November 12, COSSA joined the biomedical and behavioral science community in signing the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research letter to Congress. The letter, which was signed by 303 organizations, urges Congress to “complete an omnibus spending package [that] includes a Labor-HHS-Education bill that restores funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to at least pre-sequestration levels.” The letter also notes, “An omnibus spending bill with a Labor-HHS appropriation restoring NIH to at least pre-sequester funding levels would mark an important step toward a more sustainable, predictable research environment for patients and their families, as well as for…

NIH: Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently issued a funding opportunity announcement, Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award (PAR-15-033). The award supports the career development of junior investigators with research or health professional doctoral degrees who want to become cancer-focused academic researchers in cancer prevention, cancer control, or the behavioral or population sciences. The award provides salary and mentored research support for a sustained period of “protected time” to junior investigators who are interested in developing academic and research expertise in these health-related fields. NCI will contribute up to $100,000 per year toward the salary of…

Aging and Mental Health Institutes Seek Comments on Draft Strategic Plans

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are seeking public comment on the development of the Institutes’ strategic plans. The plans will guide the Institutes’ research priorities. National Institute on Aging The NIA recently released a request for information (RFI) seeking guidance on its strategic plan, Aging Well in the 21st Century: Strategic Directions for Research on Aging. The draft plan outlines NIA’s broad strategic directions for the Institute and “provides a point of reference for setting priorities and a framework for systematically analyzing the Institute’s…

IOM Recommends Including Social/Behavioral Determinants in Electronic Health Records

On November 13, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2, which recommends a “concrete approach to including social and behavioral determinants in the clinical context to increase clinical awareness of the patient’s state, broadly considered, and to connect clinical, public health, and community resources for work in concert.” The report’s recommendations takes into consideration the “substantial empirical evidence of the contribution of social and behavioral factors to functional status and the onset, progression, and effective treatment of disease [that] has accumulated over the past four decades.”

COSSA Weighs in on National Children’s Study Framework

On October 26, COSSA sent a letter to the National Children’s Study (NCS) Working Group, a subgroup of the National Institutes of Health Advisory Council to the Director, outlining concerns with the NCS framework and raising other issues for consideration as the working group progresses with its review the program. As the letter states, “the NCS has the potential to become an invaluable resource, yielding new insights into the complex linkages between social, genetic, and environmental factors and how these factors interact to influence health, growth and development across the life course. To ensure the study produces meaningful data, the…

NIH: 2015 NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund recently released its FY 2015 NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (EIA) funding opportunity announcement (RFA-RM-14-004). The NIH Common Fund supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. These initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and often risky approaches to address problems that may seem intractable or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for rapid progress. The EIA initiative is designed to allow exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their transition to an independent research career by “skipping” the traditional postdoctoral training. Candidates must be within one year…

NIMH Creates New Unit to Support Its Research Domain Criteria Initiative

On October 31, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) announced the creation of a new unit designed to reframe mental health research by facilitating communication among scientists, clinicians, and the public. The new unit was established to support the development of the institute’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative. According to NIMH, RDoC “attempts to bring the power of modern research approaches in genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral problems of mental illness, studied independently from the classification systems by which patients are currently grouped.” The aim is to accelerate the pace of research that translates basic science into clinical settings “by…

NIH Makes Awards to Enhance Diversity of the Scientific Workforce

On October 22, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the awarding nearly $31 million in FY 2014 to enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The awards are part of a five-year program and will “support more than 50 awardees and partnering institutions in establishing a national consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to encourage individuals to start and stay in biomedical research careers.” Twelve of the awards will be supported by the NIH Common Fund and all of the NIH 27 institutes and centers and will be part of three initiatives that form the Enhancing the Diversity…

SMRB Continues Discussion of Pre-College Engagement in Biomedical Science

During its October 14 meeting, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) continued its examination of the NIH grant review, award, and management process and its discussion of the evidence base for successful approaches for pre-college biomedical science programs designed to strengthen the biomedical workforce pipeline.

White House Hosts Conference on BRAIN Initiative

On September 30, the White House hosted a conference on President Obama’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative. The Initiative is a large-scale effort to provide researchers with important insights to treat a variety of disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and traumatic brain injury, among others. Four agencies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have together committed more than $110 million to the Initiative in FY 2014 (see Update, April 7, 2014, pg. 26).

NIH Council of Councils Discusses Stable Support for Investigators

At the September meeting of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, NIH Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak provided an update of the agency’s activities, including an update on the agency’s efforts to pilot “longer-term, stable support” for NIH investigators.

NIGMS Advisory Council Approves New Grant Mechanism, Discusses Reproducibility

At the September meeting of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Advisory Council, director Jon Lorsch provided an update on a number of issues, including the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) data reproducibility efforts, the NIGMS strategic planning process, and an overview of the impacts of the previous NIH budget-doubling period “on the biomedical research ecosystem.” In addition, the Council approved the Institute’s concept clearance to create the new Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA), clearing the way for NIGMS to proceed. Reproducibility Lorsch noted that reproducibility is not a single issue but an issue of reproducibility of data,…

NIH Center for Scientific Review to Host Peer Review Webinars for New Grant Applicants

In early November, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Scientific Review (CSR) plans to host four Meet the Experts in NIH Peer Review webinars designed to provide new NIH grant applicants and other interested individuals with valuable insights into the submission and review processes. CSR is NIH’s gateway for grant applications and their review for scientific merit. It organizes the peer review groups, or study sections, that evaluate the majority of the research grant applications sent to the agency. The webinars will address the various types of grant mechanisms supported by NIH: Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15), Fellowship…

Psychosocial and Behavioral Aspects of Bariatric Surgery

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is seeking applications designed to measure psychosocial and behavioral variables in individuals undergoing bariatric surgery to understand how they predict success and risk and examine mechanisms of behavior change. The funding opportunity announcement, Psychosocial and Behavioral Aspects of Bariatric Surgery (RFA-DK-14-026), responds to the dramatic increase in the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the U.S. over the last decade, including those performed on adolescents.

House Appropriations Committee Democrats Introduce FY 2015 Labor, HHS, and Education Bill

On September 15, the Democratic members of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee (Labor-HHS), led by Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), introduced their version of a fiscal year (FY) 2015 funding bill for the programs within the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction. The Labor-HHS bill is the only appropriations bill that has yet to be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee. Thus far, the Subcommittee’s Republican majority has given no indication that it intends to introduce a Labor-HHS bill this year. This is the second consecutive year and third year out of the last four that the Subcommittee…

House Subcommittee Discusses Suicide Prevention and Treatment

On September 18, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing, “Suicide Prevention and Treatment: Helping Loved Ones in Mental Health Crisis.” Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), a psychologist, explained that the hearing was an attempt to “take the conversation about suicide out of the dark shadow of stigma and into the bright light of truth and hope. Suicide is the deadly outcome of mental illness. Suicide is when depression kills. Suicide is an epidemic and its impact is staggering.”

NIH Issues Final Genomic Data Sharing Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued its final NIH Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) policy designed to promote data sharing as a way to accelerate the translation of data into knowledge, products, and procedures that improve health but also protect the privacy of research participants.

NIH Seeks Input on Resources for Data-Related Standards Used in Biomedical Science

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI): Input on Information Resources for Data-Related Standards Widely Used in Biomedical Science, seeking comments and ideas to inform the consideration of an NIH Standards Information Resource (NSIR) that would collect, organize, and make available to the public trusted, systematically organized, and curated information about data-related standards.

Subscribe

Past Newsletters

Browse

Archive

Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.