OBSSR

Friends of NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Submit Statement in Support of OBSSR

On March 9, COSSA, as co-chair of the Friends of NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (Friends of NIH BSSR) with the American Psychological Association (a COSSA founding member), submitted a statement for the record in support of the National Institutes of Health and its Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). The statement emphasizes that the behavioral and social sciences are integral to the NIH mission and highlights the fact NIH supports behavioral and social science research throughout its 27 institutes and centers. The Friends of NIH BSSR is a coalition of professional organizations, scientific societies, and research…

Date Change: 10th Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors

The date for the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) 10th Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors has been changed to April 25 on the NIH campus. The Honors program pays tribute to the “research trajectory and continuing influence of Dr. Matilda White Riley in the behavioral and social sciences across and beyond” the NIH. For more information about the program see the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research’s website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

2017 Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Paper Awards: Call for Papers

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) has issued a call for papers/articles for its Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Paper Awards. The Paper Awards was launched in 2016.This year’s ceremony scheduled for May 5 is the 10th anniversary of Matilda White Riley Day, which commemorates Matilda White Riley’s contributions to the NIH and to behavioral and social sciences research. Awards will be presented on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2017. Awardees will be notified March 8, 2017. For more information, including on past…

Healthier Lives Through Behavioral and Social Sciences Research: NIH OBSSR Releases Strategic Plan for 2017-2021

On November 23, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) officially released its Strategic Plan 2017-2021. The plan focuses on the scientific priorities and fundamental research challenges that “OBSSR is uniquely positioned to address,” according to OBSSR Director William Riley. The overarching theme of the three “equally important scientific priorities identified in the plan … is to encourage a more cumulative and integrated behavioral and social science research enterprise that extends from basic science through the adoption of approaches to improve the nation’s health.” Specifically, the three priorities are: Improve the synergy of…

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Holds Inaugural Research Festival

On December 2, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) held its inaugural NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival. The new annual event is designed to highlight the contributions of recently funded behavioral and social science projects to health research via presentations by extramural and NIH scientists from across the spectrum of disciplines. Panel discussions highlighted new directions for health-related behavioral and social science “addressing the synergy of basic and applied research, innovations in methodology and measurement, and the adoption of research findings into practice.” Welcoming festival participants, OBSSR Director William Riley…

Inaugural NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival — December 2, 2016

On December 2, 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) will hold an inaugural NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival. Intended to become an annual event, the festival “will highlight recently funded contributions of behavioral and social science to health research.” It will also “explore new directions for health-related behavioral and social science research.” The event is tailored to build the “understanding and capacity to implement transformative behavioral and system interventions that lead to sustainable improvements in health and well-being.” The festival agenda and additional information is available on OBSSR’s website….

2017 National Academies Workshop on Current and Future Training Needs in Social and Behavioral Sciences

In an August 31 blog post, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Director William Riley announced the convening of a 2017 National Academies workshop that is being sponsored by OBSSR and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The workshop will address the current and future training needs in the behavioral and social sciences and responds to the various reports in recent years that “indicate that a majority of behavioral and social sciences doctors are entering research careers in areas outside of the traditional academic research track; and…

OBSSR 2016-2020 Strategic Plan Discussed at NIH Council of Councils

On May 20, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Director William Riley updated and received feedback from the NIH Council of Councils regarding the progress of the OBSSR 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. The Council consists of approximately 30 members, selected from the various NIH Institute and Center (IC) Advisory Councils, representatives nominated by the Office of the Director program offices, and broad lay representation. It also advises the NIH Director on matters related to the policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), where OBSSR is housed.

OBSSR to Hold Webinars to Present 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is holding two webinars to present the Office’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan and to solicit feedback from the scientific community, including “researchers in academia and industry, scientific or professional organizations, public health and health care professionals, patient advocacy organizations, and other interested members of the public.” OBSSR Director William Riley and Deputy Director G. Stephane Philogene will present the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan during both webinars; the information provided will be the same. The webinars are scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2016 (10:30 – 11:30 am EDT) and…

OBSSR to Develop “Revised, Contemporary Definition of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research”

As part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) strategic planning process to update its 2007 strategic plan for fiscal years (FY) 2016-2020, the Office plans to reconsider NIH’s definition of behavioral and social sciences (BSSR). In his recent OBSSR Connector blog post, OBSSR Director William Riley explained that the office is Congressionally mandated to “define behavioral and social sciences research to assess and monitor NIH funding.” As a consequence, the current definition “resulted in a high level taxonomy of BSSR and delineates basic versus applied behavioral and social sciences research with a range…

OBSSR Convenes Expert Panel to Provide Input into Strategic Plan

On January 19-20, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) convened an expert panel to provide input into the Office’s strategic planning process as it works to update the 2007 strategic plan for FY 2016-FY 2020. The meeting follows a series of internal meetings and a November 2015 request for information (RFI) (NOT-OD-16-018) seeking the broad input of the scientific community and the public, including academia, industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and/or professional organizations, and other federal agencies regarding the scientific priorities that should be considered in the update strategic….

OBSSR Responds to Concerns about NIH Guidance on the Funding of Health Economics Research

In November 2015, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued guidance Clarifying NIH’s Priorities in Health Economics. The notice was accompanied by blog post from Carrie Wolinetz, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy (see Update, December 1, 2015). In a recent blog post, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) director William Riley responded to questions the office has received from the social and behavioral science community regarding the impetus for the NIH notice. Riley highlighted his participation in the guidance’s development and his desire to convey and assure the research community that “health economics research is alive…

NIH Discusses the Science of Self-Management

In 2015, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet) jointly convened a panel of ten experts to “discuss basic psychosocial mechanism and processes involved with self-management” of disease and other related conditions. The science of self-management has grown exponentially over the last several decades. During this time, the NIH has provided support for clinical- and community-based interventions and programs related to the management of acute and chronic illnesses, including asthma, arthritis, diabetes, heart failure, and HIV/AIDS. In particular, the National Institute of…

OBSSR Hosts Seminar on Video Games and Neuroscience

Neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, University of California, San Francisco, discussed his research and what he described as “the new frontiers” in video games and neuroscience. The November 5 presentation was part of the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Seminar Series, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Gazzaley noted that humans have longed been consumed with achieving high-level performance, particularly when it comes to physical fitness. However, when it comes to the human brain and improving “those core functions that are really fundamental to what makes us humans—higher order cognitive ability, perception,…

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Seeks Input on 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) has issued a request for information (RFI) (NOT-OD-16-018) seeking the broad input of the scientific community and the public, including academia, industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and/or professional organizations, and other federal agencies regarding the scientific priorities that should be considered as it begins its strategic planning process to update the Office’s 2007 strategic plan for FY 2016 – FY 2020. OBSSR is congressionally mandated to “coordinate research conducted or supported by the agencies of the NIH; and identify projects of…

OBSSR and AHRQ Release Population Health: Behavioral and Social Science Insights

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) have jointly released, Population Health: Behavioral and Social Science Insights, which details what is known and remaining gaps in research “about the effects of various behavioral and social factors on longevity, disability and illness, and the quality of life, primarily at the population level.”

William T. Riley Appointed NIH OBSSR Director

On July 30, National Institute of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins announced the appointment of William “Bill” T. Riley, PhD, as the next Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Riley has served as Acting Director of the OBSSR since May, 2014. Riley has been with NIH since 2005, serving as Deputy Director of the Division of AIDS and Health & Behavior Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as Program Director of the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in 2009….

OBSSR Marks 20th Anniversary at NIH, on Capitol Hill

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) marked its 20th anniversary with a three-day celebration on June 23-25 on the NIH Bethesda campus and Capitol Hill. The celebration began with the 8th Matilda White Riley Award and Lecture in Behavioral and Social Sciences on June 23. The award is given in recognition of an outstanding behavioral or social scientist whose research has contributed to both the deepening of knowledge and its application in a manner that furthers NIH’s mission of improving health. This year the award went to Kevin Volpp and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn.

2015 Marks the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of OBSSR

The past two decades have seen increasing recognition of the importance of behavioral and social factors in the prevention and treatment of disability and disease.  OBSSR’s mission is to stimulate behavioral and social sciences research throughout NIH and to integrate these areas of research more fully into the NIH health research enterprise, thereby improving our understanding, treatment, and prevention of disease. Please join the Coalition for the Advancement of Health through Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (CAHT-BSSR) to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research with a poster exhibition and reception featuring research…

Let Out Your Inner Behavioral & Social Scientist – OBSSR Issues Call for Videos

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015.  The celebration includes a call to social and behavioral scientists to submit videos that showcase their research. The best videos will be featured at the OBSSR 20th Anniversary Research Symposium on June 25, at the NIH William H. Natcher Conference Center and on the OBSSR’s website throughout 2015.  A letter of intent to submit a video is required by April 15, 2015. The deadline for submission is May 15, 2015.

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