View NIH’s Inaugural Behavioral and Social Science Festival

The U.S. National Institutes of Health debuted its NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival on December 2, an event which focused on research underway in the past year.

nih-obssr-logoAs Bill Riley, director of the NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, has explained, the festival had two purposes: to highlight compelling recent behavioral and social sciences research supported by the NIH, and to provide NIH behavioral and social sciences research staff and the broader research community with the opportunity to network (a key part of the office’s new strategic plan). On that first goal, in the 2016 fiscal year NIH made more than 2,600 grant awards in the behavioral and social sciences, part of what Riley terms “slow but steady progress in the funding of behavioral and social science research, particularly in basic research over the last two years.”

In this new annual festival, OBSSR will highlight recently funded contributions of behavioral and social science to health research through presentations by extramural and NIH scientists. They will explore new directions for health-related behavioral and social science research through panel discussions addressing the synergy of basic and applied research, innovations in methodology and measurement, and the adoption of research findings into practice. The goal of this research festival is to build our understanding and capacity to implement transformative behavioral and system interventions that lead to sustainable improvements in health and well-being.

Click here to view the festival:

The festival featured a host of application-oriented presentations moderated by Richard P. Moser, fellowship training/research methods coordinator for the National Cancer Institute’s Behavioral Research Program;  Gila Neta, program director of the Implementation Science Team in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute; and Lisbeth Nielsen, chief, of the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch in the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National Institute on Aging.

Presenters and presentations included:

Gene Brody, regent’s professor and director, Center for Family Research, University of Georgia |A glimpse of the research sponsored by the Center for Translational and Prevention Science

Barbara L. Fredrickson, Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Positive affective processes underlying positive health behavior change

Pete Gianaros, professor of psychology and psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh

Lynn M. Grattan, director of the Neuropsychological Diagnostic and Research Laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Medicine | Lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Building programs for psychological resilience in Gulf Coast communities.

Alan L. Mendelsohn, associate professor of pediatrics and population health, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center | Prevention of disparities in school readiness through promotion of parenting in pediatric primary care

Eun-Young Mun, associate professor,  Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers | Innovative large-scale synthesis of alcohol interventions

Argyris Stringaris, chief, Mood Brain & Development Unit, Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health

Bruce Tomblin, emeritus professor, University of Iowa | The effects of aided hearing on language outcomes of children with mild-to-severe hearing loss

Sarah Gehlert, E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity at the Brown School and professor in the Department of Surgery of the School of Medicine. | Advancing a modern science of obesity: The Washington University Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics & Cancer Initiative

Marty G. Woldorff, professor of psychiatry; psychology and neuroscience, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University | The Interactions of attention and reward

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