The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC)
program seeks to promote basic research on the initiation, personalization and maintenance of behavior change. By integrating work across disciplines, this effort will lead to an improved understanding of the underlying principles of behavior change. The SOBC Program aims to implement a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research and to develop the tools required to implement such an approach. The experimental medicine approach involves: identifying an intervention target, developing assays (measures) to permit verification of the target, engaging the target through experimentation or intervention, and testing the degree to which target engagement produces the desired behavior change.
Happiness Examined From the Molecular Level: New Study Findings Reveal a Link Between Well-Being, Health, and Our Genomes
Breaking Bad Habits: Summary of a Recent Meeting Hosted by the NIH Common Fund Science of Behavior Change Program
NEW! Funding Opportunity Announcements in the Science of Behavior Change
Application receipt date: March 20, 2015
1. Assay Development and Validation for Interpersonal and Social Processes Targets (UH2/UH3) RFA-RM-14-018
3. Assay Development and Validation for Self-Regulation Targets (UH2/UH3) RFA-RM-14-020
4. NIH Science of Behavior Change Resource and Coordinating Center (U24) RFA-RM-14-017
Additional resources for Target Validation Projects: https://events-support.com/events/NIH_SOBC_Program
Additional resources for Resource and Coordinating Center: https://events-support.com/events/NIH_SOBC_Program_2
SOBC activities are driven by the overarching goal of integrating insights from basic behavioral and social research into the design of improved interventions for behavior change. Three of the Requests for Applications (RFAs) (UH2/UH3) call for teams of scientists to conduct target validation activities intended to develop the tools required to implement a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research. These activities will focus on targets in the three domains of self-regulation, stress reactivity and stress resilience, and interpersonal and social processes, which are hypothesized to be relevant to multiple health behaviors involved in multiple clinical endpoints.
Target Validation Project (UH2/UH3) teams may span labs, disciplines, and institutions to bring together the expertise needed to achieve the target validation aims proposed in response to these announcements. Basic researchers in the behavioral sciences are needed to identify candidate measures of processes that are thought to be causally linked to health behaviors and conduct tests to verify that these processes can be manipulated. Intervention scientists are needed to conduct the theory testing and experimentation that constitutes Stage 0-1 research in the behavioral intervention development pipeline. These UH2/UH3 funding opportunities are flexible with respect to the approaches teams may consider in achieving their aims.
The fourth RFA is to support a Resource and Coordinating Center (RCC) (U24) that provides national leadership for the coordinated efforts of projects and initiatives of SOBC to validate assays for behavior change. The RCC will also serve as the central resource for the organization of the meetings and other activities of the SOBC Program, including the support of its Steering Committee and External Scientific Panel, and any SOBC steering committee subcommittees that are established.
Applicants are encouraged to review the FAQs, additional resources for Target Validation Projects and the Resources and Coordinating Center, and discuss potential applications with the scientific contacts listed in the RFAs.