A new strategic direction for behavioral and social sciences research at NIH

NIH [to 26 November 2106]
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases

November 23, 2016
A new strategic direction for behavioral and social sciences research at NIH
Strategic plan focuses on scientific priorities which reflect key research challenges that OBSSR is uniquely positioned to address.
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health has released a new strategic plan for 2017 through 2021. The plan focuses on scientific priorities, which reflect key research challenges that OBSSR is uniquely positioned to address. Developed with considerable input from internal and external NIH stakeholders, the plan ensures OBSSR continues to fulfill its mission.

While it is widely accepted that behavioral and social factors account for approximately half of the premature deaths in the United States, understanding how these behavioral and social factors interact with biology and can be modified to improve health requires a robust and rigorous behavioral and social sciences research agenda. Recent scientific and technological advances in the biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences are generating massive amounts of information from the molecular and genetic levels to clinical and community outcomes. NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., and OBSSR Director William T. Riley, Ph.D., wrote an editorial published today in Science Translational Medicine (link is external) that highlights some of the scientific and technological advances that are transforming the behavioral and social sciences.

OBSSR’s strategic priorities are to: improve the synergy of basic and applied behavioral and social sciences research; enhance and promote the research infrastructure, methods, and measures needed to support a more cumulative and integrated approach to behavioral and social sciences research; and facilitate the adoption of behavioral and social sciences research findings in health research and in practice.

To address these priorities and broader NIH efforts in the behavioral and social sciences, OBSSR will rely on four foundational processes:
:: Communicating behavioral and social sciences research findings
:: Coordinating behavioral and social sciences research programs across the NIH and integrating behavioral and social sciences research within the larger NIH research enterprise
:: Training the next generation of behavioral and social science researchers
:: Evaluating the impact of behavioral and social sciences research and addressing scientific policies that support this research