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Division Announcements

Program Officer Opportunities in the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National Institute on Aging

NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) offers a scientifically energizing and collegial environment with opportunities to engage the scientific community and support innovative social, behavioral, psychological, and economic research in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. We have five Program Officer positions available across the division.

Program Officer candidates will have opportunities to cultivate a portfolio of grant-supported research; lead and participate in transdisciplinary research collaborations; and develop scientific programming (e.g., symposia, special journal issues, conferences, and workshops). Applicants preferably have experience working in interdisciplinary teams. Prior experience in aging research is ideal, but not required.

Individual Behavioral Processes Branch (IBP)
Program Officer Positions

Interested parties should contact Janine Simmons (

  • Biobehavioral Pathways to Healthy Aging & Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD): Biobehavioral research on the transduction pathways by which the social environment “gets under the skin” is fundamental to the study of aging across the life course To understand the pace of aging, factors that influence that pace, and targets for possible interventions to slow aging in human populations, researchers must consider individual life histories, lived experiences, behavioral and psychological risk factors, and interpersonal and social influences at all levels, and across populations experiencing health disparities. A deeper understanding of the types, timing (over the life course), and frequency/intensity of psychological and social exposures in humans that drive aging at the cellular, physiological, psychological, and social level, along with a more precise characterization of stress resilience, is needed to inform more targeted, innovative interventions. The development of interventions to slow aging will also necessitate a deeper understanding of these biobehavioral transduction pathways that determine receptivity to behavioral change and acceptability of treatments across disparate populations and individual phenotypes. BSR seeks a Program Officer with expertise in Biobehavioral Science with expertise in disciplines such as psychosomatic medicine, epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, DOHaD and/or developmental psychiatry to develop a research portfolio that informs a more robust precision medicine approach to understanding the role of social and behavioral exposures as causal drivers of aging, informed by the NIA Health Disparities Research Framework and geroscience perspectives.
  • Technology Development for Behavioral and Social Research on Aging: The healthcare landscape in the United States and around the world has shifted dramatically to a rapid uptake of digital health technologies delivered online across a variety of platforms for studying and addressing health and disease management. In many cases, these technologies may not reach to populations in greatest need, including older adults and those in underserved communities. Digital technologies have the potential to improve our understanding of health status, to measure functional capacities in real-world settings, to track the course of illnesses and recovery, to provide real-time interventions, and to enhance the healthcare system for individuals as they age. Digital technology can also make possible new models of chronic disease management, more effective home-based care, and successful aging-in-place. BSR seeks a new Program Officer in Technology Development for Behavioral and Social Research on Aging with expertise on such topics as the use of mobile health, telemedicine/telehealth, and health information technology (mobile phones, wearable sensors, internet platforms, and electronic health records) to collect biological, social, and behavioral data. Other new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, bioengineering, and internet communications, provide unprecedented opportunities to enhance the lives of older adults. BSR also seeks to promote the use of cutting-edge data analytic strategies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, in aging research. To fully exploit these opportunities, BSR seeks an expert to support our growing SBIR, digital interventions, and AI portfolio.

Population and Social Processes Branch (PSP)
Program Officer Positions

Interested parties should contact John W. R. Phillips (

  • Health Systems and Health Economics: NIA BSR has a growing portfolio on the influence of health systems on health, aging, and care for persons with dementia. The portfolio could be strengthened through partnerships with federal, state, and private entities to expand access to administrative health data for research as well as study changes in programs/policies to provide an evidence base for interventions to improve population health and mitigate disparities. BSR seeks a Health Economist/Social Scientist to serve as Program Officer for Health Systems and Health Economics Research. The successful candidate will have primary responsibility for developing and managing a portfolio of research grants on the connections between health systems and healthy aging, with emphases on the Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as long-term care. Topics covered by this position include the influence of payment models on utilization, access, disparities and health; trajectories of care across acute care systems, short stay and long-term care services in different settings, and consequences for health outcomes; models of care and care delivery to improve quality of care including models informed by behavioral economics approaches; health services and health care financing for older people with multiple chronic conditions; estimating the costs of formal and informal care for people with dementia and the influence of demographic, economic and health care changes on dementia care costs; cross-national studies of the impact of different health and LTC systems on outcomes at older ages. The ideal applicant will have demonstrated experience with large research data sets (e.g., Medicare data, electronic health record data, economic and health survey data, etc.) and quasi-experimental methods. Experience with pragmatic trails, demonstration projects and field experiments are highly valued but not required.
  • Field Experiments/Quasi-experimental studies: NIA BSR seeks a Social Scientist with expertise in Field experiments/quasi-experimental methods, in support of research on macro-social drivers of health across the life course and in old age as well as and health disparities (e.g., poverty, housing, employment, public health, etc.). The incumbent would expand BSR investments in research on social determinants of health that considers how policies, institutions, and public/private programs influence population health focusing on demonstration projects (i.e., assessments of program changes), field and quasi-experimental methods to reveal social drivers of health and health disparities. This position will bring critical expertise to BSR as we seek to develop approaches to intervene on macro-social, causal drivers of health disparities, in response to recommendations from the National Advisory Council on Aging (PDF, 433K). The ideal candidate will have experience with research on social/economic policies and structural interventions, including areas related to housing, economic uncertainty, poverty, and other social determinants of health. Experience working with federal, and state social programs and related administrative data is valued. Ideally, the candidate would also bring survey design/implementation expertise, further enhancing their capacity to take advantage of BSR’s substantial investments in nationally representative longitudinal studies around the world with linkages to administrative data and contextual data related to policy and social programs.
  • Biodemography/Population Genetics: NIA BSR has invested in genotyping participants in several richly-phenotyped nationally representative longitudinal multidisciplinary surveys as well as networks focused on integrating genetics into social science research and improving measurement of biological risk and aging for these studies. BSR is positioned to exploit these resources to generate important research on topics ranging from methodological (e.g., inclusion of genetic and biological information in social science models for improved causal inference) applied (e.g., inclusion of social and economic information in genetic studies to improve understanding of variation across populations; biodemography of aging; genetic epidemiology of behavioral, social, and economic traits, etc.). BSR seeks a Social Scientist with expertise in genetics/biodemography to support and develop this portfolio. The successful candidate will contribute to the development of human population geroscience, leveraging and enhancing the biological, social, and behavioral content of our population-based social science studies to understand how behavioral and social factors accelerate of slow biological aging, and how biological aging and genetics are related changes in behavioral and social phenotypes. Experience with longitudinal studies and collection of biological samples in the field (e.g., a participant’s home) is ideal but not required.

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