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Edward R. Roybal Centers for Translational Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences of Aging

The NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research currently supports thirteen Roybal Centers, funded beginning September 2019 from RFA-AG-19-006 and RFA-AG-19-007, as well as a Coordinating Center, funded through RFA-AG-19-008. The goal of the Roybal Center program is the translation and integration of basic behavioral and social research findings into interventions to improve the lives of older people and the capacity of institutions to adapt to societal aging. Roybal Centers are structured within the conceptual framework of the multidirectional, translational NIH Stage Model to produce potent and implementable principle-driven behavioral interventions.

Nine of the thirteen currently-funded Roybal Centers focus on the development of interventions in domains such as: improving mobility and prolonging independent living, fostering appropriate prescription medicine use, improving health care delivery utilizing behavioral economic-based interventions, promoting physical activity, coping with fear, decreasing and managing pain, and leveraging technology for behavior change. Four of the Roybals focus on the development of interventions for dementia care and are focused on: transforming residential palliative care for persons with dementia, using technologies to improve care support intervention development, decreasing care provider loneliness and isolation, and strengthening informal caregiving mastery.

The Roybal Centers build a research infrastructure designed to: (1) Promote the development of principle-driven behavioral interventions; (2) Foster the integration of basic science within the intervention development process; (3) Support the full range of activities necessary to conduct Stage 0 through IV research to lay the groundwork for successful transition from research to dissemination and implementation; (4) Accelerate the development of innovative ideas that result in successful intervention development applications (including successful grant funding from other sponsors); (5) Facilitate collaborations among academic researchers and commercial interests; (6) Draw new researchers to translational research on the development of principle-driven behavioral interventions to promote healthy aging, including interventions for care providers in persons with dementia and; (7) Provide a context for assembling multidisciplinary teams to solve practical problems.

Roybal Coordinating Center

Principal Investigator (PI)
Davidson, Karina Roybal Resource and Coordinating Center to Accelerate Translational Aging Research (NIH RePORTER) Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research


Roybal Centers for Translational Research on Aging

Principal Investigator (PI)
The Roybal Center for Therapeutic Optimization using Behavioral Science (NIH RePORTER)
Brigham And Women's Hospital
National Bureau of Economic Research
University of Southern California
University of Illinois At Chicago
Columbia Roybal Center for Fearless Behavior Change (NIH RePORTER)
Columbia University Health Sciences
Brandeis University
Duke Roybal Center (NIH RePORTER)
Duke University
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
University of Pennsylvania

Roybal Centers for Translational Research on Dementia Care Provider Support

Principal Investigator (PI)
Transforming residential palliative care for persons with dementia through behavioral economics and data science (NIH RePORTER)
University of Pennsylvania
Rochester Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research (NIH RePORTER)
University of Rochester
Roybal Translational Research Center to Promote Context-Specific Caregiving of Community-Dwelling Persons Living with Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Disorders (NIH RePORTER)
Emory University
Oregon Health & Science University

NIA Staff Contact:

Lisa Onken, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health
National Institute on Aging
Division of Behavioral and Social Research
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 3S600
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Phone: (301) 496-3136
Email Lisa Onken