Features

September 20, 2023

Director’s Voice Blog

NIH Awards Additional Research and Training Grants to Support Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention Science. Firearms deaths constitute an urgent and significant public health crisis.  The overall death rate by firearms was up 21 percent and the rate of homicides by firearms was up 35 percent from 2019-2022. Additionally, firearm-related suicides increased to their highest ever recorded level in 2022, and firearms remain the leading cause of death for children and youth ages 1-19.  Significant disparities by race, ethnicity, and poverty remain. For example, in 2022, firearm suicide rates among Black youth (ages 10-19) surpassed that of White youth for the first time.

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Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Spotlights

 

Progress made but gaps remain: Availability of mental health services at HIV treatment sites

There is extensive literature indicating that common mental disorders (CMDs) are highly prevalent among people living with HIV (PWH) globally. Supported by NIMH, NIAID, and NICHD, researchers assessed trends in the reported availability of screening for the most common types of CMD, i.e., depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as available treatment options in the International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) Consortium HIV treatment sites, which are located across a diverse range of countries across levels of income.

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Preventing revictimization among recent survivors of sexual violence

Previous research has shown that over half of girls, young women, and adult women who have experienced rape will suffer another incident of sexual assault and that 50% of individuals with histories of child sexual abuse experience sexual or physical violence in adulthood. Thus, it is important that trauma-informed approaches to addressing sexual violence emphasize the impact of repeated exposure. In a recent study, supported by NIDA, researchers undertook a secondary analysis to assess whether certain ecological risk factors, including poverty, structural racism, prior history of sexual or physical violence, and unemployment, could be assessed by emergency department personnel at intake to provide tailored risk reduction programs to those survivors of sexual or physical violence who are at increased risk for further violence within a short period of time.

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Positive impacts of an adaptive digital health intervention for patients prescribed opioid analgesics

Researchers, funded by NIDA, sought to address the challenge by developing a mobile intervention called “Prescription Opioid Wellness and Engagement Research in the ED” or “PowerED” that utilizes reinforcement learning (RL), an artificial intelligence (AI) process that incorporates user feedback to provide treatment choices. In this study, the researchers assessed if patient-reported OA risk indicators (the RL system’s “reward” function) would improve as PowerED “learned” how to suggest treatment options that were best-suited to individual patient needs. They tracked longitudinal changes in patient-reported OA risk behaviors after baseline data collected at the time of clinical trial enrollment.

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News and Events

 

Promoting the Science and Practice of Health Behavior Maintenance Workshops (Virtual) 

OBSSR and the NIH Adherence Research Network are hosting a series of workshops titled An Action Agenda: Promoting the Science and Practice of Health Behavior Maintenance.

Workshop 1, held in spring 2023, focused on Conceptualization of Behavior Maintenance. The next two workshops in the series will focus on criteria and tools for measuring behavioral maintenance (Workshop 2) and intervention designs to promote and understand behavioral maintenance (Workshop 3). The final workshop in the series (Workshop 4) will focus on implementation of best practices in clinical setting. Workshop 4 will take place in early 2024. You will have the option to opt in to receive more information regarding this workshop during the registration process for Workshops 2 and 3.

Workshops 2 and 3 will be fully virtual and are open to the general public to attend. Interested individuals are welcome to register for one or both days. Please register for each day you would like to attend: Wednesday September 20; Friday September 22; or both.

Learn more, view the agenda and register: https://www.scgcorp.com/behavior-sept2023 

Register

 

NIH Blueprint and BRAIN Initiative ENDURE Technical Assistance Webinar

September 20, 2023 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

This webinar will provide technical assistance for those considering applying to the NIH Blueprint and BRAIN Initiative Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (BP BRAIN-ENDURE) (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Note: this event is for Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) who wish to apply. RFA-NS-24-014 aims to raise interest and opportunities in neuroscience research for individuals who are typically underrepresented in the field. The goal is to provide such individuals with training at the undergraduate level, so that they are prepared to enter and successfully complete neuroscience PhD programs.

Learn more: https://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov/training/endure-undergraduate-education

Register

 

NSF-NIH Smart Health Solicitation Webinar

September 25, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Are you a data scientist or engineer with a passion for making a real impact in the realm of health and biomedicine? If so, consider applying to the NSF-NIH Smart Health initiative.

The NSF-NIH Smart Health initiative is an interagency funding opportunity that aims to support the development of transformative high-risk, high-reward advances in computer and information science, engineering, mathematics, statistics, behavioral, and cognitive research. The goal is to address pressing questions in the biomedical and public health communities, and you could play a pivotal role in driving these advancements.

Register

 

NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee Open Meeting (Virtual)

October 6, 2023 – 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET

Location: https://nih.zoomgov.com/j/1616288038?pwd=NjNscVU3UGZTUStxZ2FZb2F4YlplUT09

The NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee (BSSR-CC) was established to enhance information exchange, communication, integration, and coordination of behavioral and social sciences research/training activities at the NIH. The BSSR-CC alternates between closed and open meetings each month. In Open BSSR-CC sessions, the public, including representatives of professional organizations, are welcome to attend, and the content of meetings is restricted to those topics appropriate for public awareness or discussion.

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NIH Common Fund’s Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS) Health Equity Research Hubs

The NIH Common Fund is accepting applications for the Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS) Health Equity Research Hubs (Hubs). The Hubs will serve as a centralized research resource, providing tailored scientific, technical, and collaborative support for sustainable community engagement, research capacity building, and training to support ComPASS community-led health equity structural intervention (CHESI) projects in collaboration with the ComPASS Coordination Center (CCC).

The Hubs are one of three complementary initiatives under the ComPASS Program, which also include CHESI projects that intervene on structural factors that create and perpetuate health inequities and the CCC that provides administration, coordination, data, and research capacity-building and training support to the CHESI projects.

Letters of intent are due September 30, 2023. The application due date is October 31, 2023.

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Seeking Input on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Mission Statement

NIH recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) inviting feedback on a proposed update to the NIH mission statement. As the largest public funder of biomedical and behavioral research in the world, it is important the mission statement accurately reflects NIH’s goal of turning scientific discoveries into better health for all.

The RFI is now open and will close on November 24, 2023. Input is sought broadly from NIH staff, NIH-funded institutions, scientific and professional societies, the clinical practice community, advocacy organizations, and the public. Please take a moment to review the RFI and share your input.

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NIH ORBIT Institute Now Accepting Applications for the 2024 ORBIT Institute Cohort

The NIH-funded short course, ORBIT Institute: Developing Behavioral Treatments to Improve Health, consists of an in-person workshop, followed by a series of bi-weekly webinars (via FSU Zoom) and related activities, and an individual consultation with one ORBIT Core Faculty member. The 2024 in-person workshop agenda will be posted soon.

This course will be open to scientists with an interest in behavioral treatment development to improve health behaviors. While applied behavioral and social scientists are the focus, basic scientists and methods experts are encouraged to apply as well.

If you have additional questions, please contact the ORBIT team at orbit.institute@med.fsu.edu or 850-644-2334.

Application Deadline: November 30, 2023

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NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival (Virtual)

Save-the-date: Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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.

The festival agenda and registration information will be available soon.

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NIH Understanding and Addressing the Health Impacts of Online Abuse and Harassment Workshop (Virtual)

Save-the-dates: Thursday, December 7 and Friday, December 8, 2023

As part of the White House Task Force to Address Online Abuse Harassment, OBSSR, NICHD, and other NIH ICOs are convening a two-day virtual scientific workshop to identify gaps and challenges in advancing the research agenda to understand and address online harassment and abuse. The workshop will include a mix of plenary talks, panel discussions, and potential breakout sessions.

The workshop agenda and registration information will be available soon.

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PREPARE: Pioneering Research for Early Prediction of Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias EUREKA Challenge

NIA’s PREPARE (AD/ADRD Prediction) Challenge is now open for Phase 1 submissions. The goal of this challenge is to spur and reward the development of solutions for accurate, innovative, and representative early prediction of AD/ADRD. To achieve this goal, the challenge will feature three phases that successively build on each other.

This first phase, Find IT!: Data for Early Prediction, is focused on finding, curating, or contributing data to create representative and open datasets that can be used for the early prediction of AD/ADRD. For more details on the different phases and associated prizes, visit the challenge home page.

Phase I final submissions due: January 31, 2024 at 11:59:59 PM UTC

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Recently Published Funding Opportunities

 

Firearm Injury Prevention in Community Healthcare Settings (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

NOFO Number
RFA-NR-24-001

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): October 6, 2023
Expiration Date: July 27, 2024

Purpose
The purpose of this initiative is to advance research that reduces firearm injury and disparities through the development and evaluation of firearm injury primary prevention interventions leveraging community healthcare settings.

This NOFO requires a Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP), which will be assessed as part of the scientific and technical peer review evaluation. Applications that fail to include a PEDP will be considered incomplete and will be withdrawn.

View RFA-NR-24-001

 

NIH Brain Development Cohorts (NBDC) Biospecimen Access (X01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NOFO Number
PAR-23-229

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): September 5, 2023
Expiration Date: May 6, 2026

Purpose
This initiative allows investigators to apply for access to biological samples from the ABCD Study®. More information about the ABCD Study can be found on the NIDA ABCD Study web page. Additional information about this resource is available on the NIDA funding opportunities page, under Supplemental Information for NOFOs. ABCD Study biospecimens are managed through the NIH Brain Development Cohorts (NBDC) Biorepository and Analysis Center, which offers a web portal with services related to biospecimen access. Visit the NBDC portal to query available samples using the Biospecimen Explorer, submit a Biospecimen Availability Inquiry to determine the resource availability and impact on existing samples, and learn more about this resource.

View PAR-23-229

 

Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health (R21 Clinical Trials Optional)

NOFO Number
PAR-23-299

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): September 21, 2024
Expiration Date: January 8, 2027

Purpose
The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to support developmental/exploratory research to improve health in Native American populations. This includes 1) etiologic research that will directly inform intervention development or adaptations, 2) research that develops, adapts, or tests interventions for health promotion, prevention, treatment, or recovery, and 3) where a sufficient body of knowledge on intervention efficacy exists, research on strategies to overcome barriers to the adoption, integration, scale-up, and sustainability of effective interventions.

View PAR-23-299

 

Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

NOFO Number
PAR-23-298

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): September 21, 2024
Expiration Date: January 8, 2027

Purpose
The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to support research on interventions to improve health in Native American populations. This includes 1) etiologic research that will directly inform intervention development or adaptations, 2) research that develops, adapts, or tests interventions for health promotion, prevention, treatment, or recovery, and 3) where a sufficient body of knowledge on intervention efficacy exists, research on dissemination and implementation that develops and tests strategies to overcome barriers to the adoption, integration, scale-up, and sustainability of effective interventions.

View PAR-23-298

 

Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health (R34 Clinical Trial Optional)

NOFO Number
PAR-23-285

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): September 21, 2024
Expiration Date: January 8, 2027

Purpose
The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is to support planning and development, including pilot or feasibility research, to improve health in Native American populations. Proposed research may address health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, recovery, or services research to inform intervention implementation and dissemination.

View PAR-23-285

 

Notice of Special Interest in Research on Family Support and Rejection in the Health and Well-Being of SGM Populations

Notice Number
NOT-OD-23-166

Key Dates
First Available Due Date: September 25, 2023
Expiration Date: May 8, 2026

Purpose
NIH places a high priority on research with individuals and populations at increased risk for adverse health outcomes, and especially those who have received insufficient attention from the scientific research enterprise. To this end, and in response to Executive Order 14075 on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals, this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) announces an interest in research on the impact and consequences of family support and family rejection on the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority (SGM, defined for NIH purposes in NOT-OD-19-139) individuals across the life course.

View NOT-OD-23-166

 

HEAL Initiative: HEAL KIDS (Knowledge, Innovation and Discovery Studies) Pain Program Resource and Data Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

NOFO Number
RFA-HD-24-012

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): October 20, 2023
Expiration Date: November 21, 2023

Purpose
As part of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and participating NIH Institutes and Centers invite applications for a single HEAL KIDS Pain Resource and Data Center (RDC) to provide the following: leadership in data collection and management, data curation, data harmonization, and the development of data standards;  administrative and logistical support including oversight of NIH HEAL-related requirements;  and coordination of shared research-related resources all for the HEAL KIDS Pain research activities.

View RFA-HD-24-012

 

HEAL Initiative: HEAL KIDS (Knowledge, Innovation and Discovery Studies) Pain: Acute Pain Clinical Trials Program (U01 Clinical Trial Required)

NOFO Number
RFA-HD-24-011

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): October 20, 2023
Expiration Date: November 21, 2023

Purpose
As part of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and participating NIH Institutes and Centers invite applications to this U01 Cooperative Agreement funding opportunity to support innovative, multi-site, large-scale investigator-initiated clinical trials to advance the understanding, assessment, measurement, treatment, and prevention of acute pain in infants, children, and adolescents, including those with disabilities and/or experiencing health disparities.

View RFA-HD-24-011

 

Understanding and Mitigating Health Disparities experienced by People with Disabilities caused by Ableism (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

NOFO Number
RFA-HD-24-007

Key Dates
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): October 29, 2023
Expiration Date: November 30, 2023

Purpose
The goal of this NOFO is to encourage research to understand the impact of ableism on health outcomes.  Research on the underlying mechanisms by which ableism adversely influences the health of persons with disabilities (PWD), as well as developing and/or testing interventions at a community or health systems level to mitigate adverse health effects of ableism are high priority.

View RFA-HD-24-007

 

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Availability of Administrative Supplements for BRAIN Initiative Recipients to Support Resource Dissemination

Notice Number
NOT-EB-23-010

Key Dates
First Available Due Date: September 18, 2023
Expiration Date: August 31, 2024

Purpose
This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) announces the availability of administrative supplements to support the dissemination of promising technologies and resources generated from active Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative awards, where funds necessary for dissemination efforts (e.g., establishing new collaborations between innovators and end users) were not anticipated and included in the original research plan, or additional funds for dissemination efforts are needed.

View NOT-EB-23-010

BSSR Accomplishments

 

The NIH has been an instrumental leader in shaping and supporting behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR) to improve the nation’s health. Integrated with advances in other scientific disciplines, BSSR has made substantial contributions to the prevention or treatment of numerous physical health and mental health conditions.

In collaboration with subject matter experts from Institutes, Centers, and Offices across NIH, OBSSR has summarized some of the important scientific advances that demonstrate the valuable contribution of BSSR across various health conditions and behaviors. These summaries are provided as fact sheets (PowerPoint slides forthcoming) that highlight a significant public health problem and the corresponding BSSR-informed approaches used to address the problem. Various audiences such as academic researchers, public health organizations, and other health federal agencies, may find these materials useful to demonstrate to their stakeholders the importance of BSSR to the health of the United States population.

These BSSR accomplishments resources are available on the OBSSR website:

Improving Sleep
Managing Chronic Pain
Preventing and Treating Diabetes
Preventing Intimate Partner Violence 
Reducing Teen Pregnancy
Reducing Tobacco Use

Treating Depression
Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Treating Phobias
Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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BSSR Clinical Trials Resources

 

Clinical Trials Protocol Template for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

The Clinical Trials Protocol Template for the Behavioral and Social Sciences is a resource for communicating the science, methods, and operations of a clinical trial. This template is a suggested format for clinical trials that are testing a behavioral or social intervention or experimental manipulation. Use of the protocol template is encouraged but not required.

The Behavioral and Social Clinical Trials Template was derived from the successful NIH-FDA Phase 2/3 IND-IDE Clinical Trial Template but was adapted to include terminology and approaches used by behavioral and social scientists.

While the template is a suggested format for clinical trials that are testing a behavioral or social intervention or manipulation for which a stand-alone clinical protocol is required, 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 subsequent delays and problems.

Decision Support Tool: Features to Consider in Determining If a Clinical Trial is Phase II or Phase III

This document is the result of a working group led by OBSSR, with participants from other Institutes, Centers, and Offices. It is a designed to be a resource to help investigators, program officers, and reviewers determine if a behavioral or social science study is better characterized as a Phase II or a Phase III clinical trial. Distinguishing earlier phases of clinical trials (Phase 0 or I) is not usually difficult but distinguishing between a Phase II and III study can be more challenging, particularly for non-drug trials. Being thoughtful about this distinction is important for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that a Phase III designation for an NIH funded clinical trial generally requires following additional policies and practices beyond those that already apply to Phase II clinical trials, such as the requirement for valid analysis and for a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB).

Phase III Trials 

NIH’s definition of a Phase III clinical trial is quite broad, including drug studies, device studies, behavioral interventions, epidemiological studies, community trials, and more. Phase III trials are usually large, prospective trials that compare two or more interventions against other standard or experimental interventions. In this next episode of our NIH All About Grants podcast (MP3 / Transcript) we explain what a Phase III trial is, how it compares to other types of clinical trials, considerations for your application and its review, how these studies influence standards of care, helpful tools and other resources, and much more.

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Social and Behavioral Good Clinical Practice eCourse

 

In September 2016, the NIH issued a Policy on Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training for NIH Awardees Involved in NIH-funded Clinical Trials. GCP is an international ethical and scientific quality standard for designing, conducting, recording and reporting clinical trials. The principles of GCP help assure the safety, integrity, and quality of clinical trials. Investigators and clinical trial staff who are competent in GCP principles will be better able to assure that the rights, safety, and well-being of human subjects are protected; that clinical trials are conducted in accordance with approved plans and with rigor and integrity; and that data derived from clinical trials are reliable.

Extramural Researchers can go here to take the course.
NIH Employees can go here to take the course. (NIH login required)
Educational Facilities can Download the Good Clinical Practices for Social and Behavioral Sciences Course for your educational facility’s Learning Management System (LMS).

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