Science of Behavior Change (SOBC)
- Resource and Coordinating Center
- Related Resources
- Funding Opportunities
- NIA/BSR Contacts
- NIH SOBC Collaborators
SOBC Common Fund Program Background
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program was established in 2009 to capitalize on emerging basic behavioral science research and existing evidence-based interventions to improve the initiation, personalization, and maintenance of behavior change to optimize health. With involvement from 17 NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, the SOBC Program has sought to accelerate the investigation of common mechanisms of behavior change that cut across a broad range of health behaviors. The primary goals for the SOBC Common Fund Program were threefold: (1) unify the science of behavior change through a focus on mechanisms of behavior change and by strengthening links between basic and applied behavioral science; (2) strengthen behavioral intervention development by implementing the experimental medicine approach to behavior change research and developing the tools required to implement such an approach; and (3) increase rigor, transparency, and dissemination of common terminology, methods, and measures to advance the field of behavior change research.
With the leadership of co-Chairs Richard Hodes (director, NIA) and Patricia Grady (former director, National Institute of Nursing Research), the SOBC Common Fund Program has hosted several scientific workshops and annual meetings of investigators and supported 48 awards and administrative supplements over its 10 years. Visit the NIH SOBC Common Fund Program website for historical information about past funding opportunities, funded research, NIH-hosted scientific meetings, publications citing SOBC awards, and the NIH working group membership.
NIH Common Fund programs are meant to be transformative and catalytic, but are, by design, time-limited, with the expectation that the tools and approaches they support will be adopted across NIH and by the field at large. Now, as Common Fund support for the SOBC Program has come to an end, multiple NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices, including the NIA, remain committed to sustaining innovation in the behavior change field as described in this September 2020 NIA blog post. The SOBC Resource and Coordinating Center (RCC) award has been renewed with support from the NIA, NCCIH, NIDA, NIDCR, NCATS, OBSSR, and NICHD.
SOBC Resource and Coordinating Center
The SOBC RCC will lead, participate in, and support activities that will maximize the creativity, productivity, scientific rigor, and dissemination of SOBC products and approaches to meaningfully impact the development of behavioral health interventions and health behavior change. One of its signature resources is the SOBC Measures Repository, a publicly available repository of assays developed by SOBC projects and others that can be used to measure the activity of specific targets of relevance to health behaviors. Currently, these assays are organized within three selected target domains of self-regulation, stress reactivity and stress resilience, and interpersonal and social processes. Visit the SOBC RCC website for more information and subscribe to regular updates to stay apprised of SOBC RCC news, events, and additions to the Measures Repository. You can also view past Grand Rounds and other recorded events on the SOBC RCC YouTube channel.
SOBC Webinar | Mechanistic Targets for Intervening with Racial Disparities: A Focus on Race-Related Stressors, Health Literacy, and Physicians/Patient Interactions
On February 24, 2023, Dr. Lisa A. Cooper, Dr. Dean Schillinger, and Dr. Gilbert C. GeeDate gave talks followed by a discussion panel, providing a comprehensive overview of the field's current state and addressing racial health disparities. Watch a recording of the webinar.
Virtual Interactive Seminar Series | Why Behavioral Interventions Work (or Don't Work) - Mechanism-Focused Behavioral Science: From Theory Selection to Study Design and Implementation
On October 4, 2022, Dr. Talea Cornelius and Dr. Jeffrey Birk at the Research and Coordination Center of SOBC gave a virtual seminar on the SOBC experimental method for behavioral science, providing tools to foster behavioral science and a master class on designing an SOBC method study. Watch a recording of the session.
SOBC Ten Years of the Science of Behavior Change Common Fund Program: Celebrating Accomplishments and Looking to the Future
On February 22-23, 2021, NIH held a Capstone Research Conference to celebrate ten years of the NIH SOBC Common Fund Program. The conference highlighted innovative examples of behavior change research consistent with SOBC principles from use-inspired basic research to mechanisms-focused intervention science. Renowned national and international experts shared their research findings and visions for the future of the science of behavior change. Watch a recording of the conference. The video is time stamped so you can skip to the panels or presentations of most interest (click Show More under the video description). A summary report of the conference is also now available.
SOBC Resource and Coordinating Center Events
NIH SOBC Common Fund Events
SOBC-Relevant NIA BSR Workshops
- Expert Meeting on Healthy Habits: Habit Formation and Habit Change, June 2020
- Incorporating the Experimental Medicine Approach in the Development of Primary Prevention Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease, October 2019
- Expert Meeting on Empathy and Compassion, September 2019
- Improving the Rigor of Mechanistic Behavioral Science: The Introduction of the Checklist for Investigating Mechanisms in Behavior-Change Research (CLIMBR), Behavior Therapy, 2023
- Linking measures to the mechanisms of action: An expert opinion study, The British Psychological Society, 2022
- Commentary: Future directions of the National Institutes of Health Science of Behavior Change Program, Translational Behavioral Medicine, 2021
- Commentary: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science of Behavior Change (SOBC), Health Psychology Review, 2020
- The NIH Science of Behavior Change Program: Transforming the science through a focus on mechanisms of change, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2018
- News from the NIH: Using an experimental medicine approach to facilitate translational research, Translational Behavioral Medicine, 2015
- The Science of Behavior Change, APS Observer, 2015
- Special Issues:
- Health Psychology, September 2020 (You may need to copy and paste this URL: https://psycnet.apa.org/PsycARTICLES/journal/hea/39/9)
- Health Psychology Review, February 2020
- Behavioural Research and Therapy, February 2018
- More SOBC publications
- NIH Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development
- SOBC RCC webinar recording of an overview of the NIH Stage Model
NIA Funding Opportunities
These NIA Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) or Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) support an approach to behavior change research consistent with the SOBC program. A list of BSR's active funding opportunities in other research areas is available.
Time-Limited Funding Opportunities
Time-limited NOFOs typically have a single due date and a special allocation of funds. Please see below for BSR's current time-limited funding opportunities relevant to the SOBC program.
|NOFO Number||Title||Focus||Release Date||Expiration Date|
Primary Care-Based Screening Tool and Intervention Development for the Detection and Prevention of Abuse and Neglect in Older and Vulnerable Adults With, or at Risk for, Mild Cognitive Impairment and AD/ADRD (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Required)
Current Funding Opportunities
Please see below for BSR's current funding opportunities relevant to the SOBC program.
Archived Funding Opportunities
- Improving Patient Adherence to Treatment and Prevention Regimens to Promote Health (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Improving Patient Adherence to Treatment and Prevention Regimens to Promote Health (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Roybal Centers for Translational Research on Aging (P30 Clinical Trial Required)
- Roybal Centers for Translational Research on Dementia Care Provider Support (P30 Clinical Trial Required)
- Edward R. Roybal Coordinating Center (R24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- Emotional Function in Normal Aging and/or MCI and AD/ADRD (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Emotional Function in Normal Aging and/or MCI and AD/ADRD (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
NIA/BSR SOBC Contacts
- Janine M. Simmons, MD, PhD, Chief, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, SOBC RCC Program Official
- Jonathan W. King, PhD, Senior Scientific Advisor to the Division Director, SOBC Common Fund Working Group Co-Coordinator
- Lisa Onken, PhD, Director, Behavior Change Intervention Program, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, SOBC RCC Project Scientist
- Melissa Riddle, PhD, Program Officer, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, SOBC RCC Project Scientist
- Luke Stoeckel, PhD, Director, Mechanistic and Translational Decision Science Program, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, SOBC RCC Project Scientist
- Allie Walker, Social Science Analyst, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, SOBC Project Coordinator