Director’s Voice Blog

A Q&A with WALS Lecturer Jenny Tung on her research with primates and advice for aspiring scientists

The NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, colloquially known as WALS, is the highest-profile lecture program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is honored that our nominee, Jenny Tung, Ph.D., was selected this year. As we look forward to her lecture on May 1, we asked Dr. Tung to share a little bit about her background, career, and research. Read the full blog.

Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Spotlights

A New Model for Studying Social Isolation and Health in People with Serious Mental Illnesses
Researchers have developed a promising new framework for studying the link between social disconnection and poor physical health in people living with serious mental illnesses (SMI). Drawing on published research from animal models and data from the general population, this framework builds on existing social isolation and loneliness models by integrating insights from evolutionary and cognitive theories. This research was supported by OBSSR and the National Institute of Mental Health. Continue reading.


Registration Now Open for the Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors

Date and Time: May 20, 2024, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
Registration is now open for the 17th Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors. The event recognizes both emerging scientists and leaders in the field whose research reflects Dr. Matilda White Riley’s vision of research excellence in health-related behavioral and social sciences. Matilda White Riley was a celebrated scientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences whose transformative work and leadership left a lasting impact on behavioral and social sciences across NIH and beyond.

Join us for the Future of Scientific Conferencing Workshop

Dates and Times: June 6, 2024, 12:00–5:00 p.m. ET; June 7, 2024, 12:00–3:00 p.m. ET; June 11, 12:00–5:00 p.m. ET
The Future of Scientific Conferencing Workshop will bring together diverse perspectives from multiple disciplines to explore advantages, barriers, gaps, and opportunities in the future of scientific conferencing for the behavioral and social sciences. Areas of particular focus include technological innovations that enable virtual and hybrid approaches, and the impact of these approaches on diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging of participants and attendees as well as environmental sustainability. The workshop will incorporate innovative evidence-informed approaches to showcase the potential of a virtual platform for learning, networking, and participant engagement. Read more and register

PATH Study Data User Workshop: Apply by 5/31 for the July/August 2024 Events

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) are sponsoring a Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Data User Workshop to further the understanding and use of PATH Study data files. The workshop is part of the 2024 ICPSR Summer Program. The in-person session will take place July 29-30 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The virtual-only will take place August 15-16 via Zoom. Both workshop sessions offer the same content. To attend, apply by May 31. Enrollment is limited and admission to the workshop is competitive. Apply for the PATH Study Data User Workshop


Deadline Extended: PAR-22-233 (Time-Sensitive Opportunities for Health Research)

The funding opportunity, Time-Sensitive Opportunities for Health Research (PAR-22-233), has been extended for an additional year. The funding opportunity aims to expedite the review and award process to support research focused on understanding health outcomes related to unexpected or time-sensitive events, such as emergent environmental threats and pandemics or changes in local, state, or national policies, as well as natural disasters. Please note that the OBSSR contact has changed to Rosalind King, Ph.D., Chief, Scientific Development and Coordination Section. The expiration date is March 2, 2025.

Learn More About This Funding Opportunity


OBSSR Reissues the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Training in Advanced Data and Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (TADA-BSSR) Program

OBSSR, along with several other NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, has reissued a funding opportunity for the Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (TADA-BSSR) program. TADA-BSSR supports behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR) predoctoral training programs that focus on innovative computational or data science analytic approaches. The application period is now open and closes on May 24, 2024.

Learn More and Apply


NIH ECHO Program Issues Request for Information on Potential Strategic Priorities as Part of Strategic Planning Process

NIH is seeking feedback on potential strategic priorities for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program through 2029. NIH welcomes researchers, advocates, clinicians, and the public to offer observational and intervention research priorities that ECHO can consider during its upcoming strategic planning process. Comments are due by Friday, May 31, 2024.

Submit Your Feedback


New PATH Study Data Files Release

NIDA and CTP have released the Wave 7 Restricted-Use File (RUF) from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Wave 7 files contain data collected between January 2022 and April 2023, including questionnaire data, tobacco Universal Product Code (UPC) data, and state identifier data.

In addition, the PATH Study Biomarker Restricted-Use Files (BRUF) have been updated to include additional assays from Wave 4 and Wave 5. The PATH Study Restricted-Use Files (RUF) now include Wave 6 Ever/Never reference data for all participants. The Restricted-Use and Public-Use Master Linkage Files have each been updated to reflect the new RUF files and the current availability of biospecimens in the Biospecimen Access Program.

Research are encouraged to apply for access to the Restricted-Use Files and Biomarker Restricted-Use Files. Public-Use Files are also available for download.

View All the Available Resources for the PATH Study

Recently Published Funding Opportunities

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

First available due date: May 24, 2024

Data Coordinating and Operations Center for the ECHO IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network – 3 (U24 Clinical Trial Required—Infrastructure)

First available due date: June 14, 2024

Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

Next available due date: June 18, 2024

Understanding the Intersection of Social Inequities to Optimize Health and Reduce Health Disparities: The Axes Initiative (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

First available due date: July 5, 2024

Topic Areas of Interest for Joint NIH/NSF Science of Science Approach to Analyzing and Innovating the Biomedical Research Enterprise (SoS:BIO) Program

Next available due date: September 9, 2024

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

Next available due date: October 8, 2024


View More Funding Opportunities

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