OppNet Social and Behavioral Research Grant: Culture, Health, and Wellbeing

OppNet, NIH’s Opportunity Network for basic behavioral and social science research grants, announces its second FY2013 RFA: Basic social and behavioral research on culture, health, and wellbeing (R24).

Application Due Date: December 17, 2012


This RFA encourages grant applications for infrastructure support to develop, strengthen, and evaluate transdisciplinary approaches and methods for basic behavioral and/or social research on the relationships among cultural practices/beliefs, health, and wellbeing. This includes an appreciation for more comprehensive understandings of the relationships regarding cultural attitudes, beliefs, practices, and processes on outcomes relevant to human health and wellbeing. Model animal research teams are welcome to apply. OppNet intends to commit $1,425,000 in FY2013 for approximately 5-7 awards. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.


Culture usually is defined in terms of beliefs and practices that are shared within a population, which itself may share attributes such as ethnicity, race, language, gender, sexuality, specific physical impairments, or geographic space. These beliefs and practices reflect common values, socialization processes that are intrinsic to the population of interest, and their other shared attributes. The specific processes by which culture encompasses health-related beliefs and practices may be obscured by surrogate variables (e.g., language, national origin, race/ethnicity). There is a need for research that improves the conceptualization and measurement of culture and does this in the context of health and social and behavioral processes that influence health.

The R24 mechanism is designed to build research infrastructure and incorporates research projects as part of this effort. Projects should bring together transdisciplinary teams of investigators who collectively can provide new insights into relationships between aspects of culture and health. The team should choose a small project that demonstrates the power of their approach to deliver new insights that lead to improved health outcomes or facilitates the effectiveness of health research. This project may provide formative or pilot data which can be used to inform future, larger transdisciplinary health research.

OppNet welcomes research teams that include expertise complementary to basic social and behavioral sciences, e.g., arts, ethics, humanities, law. Given OppNet’s express mission to advance the basic behavioral and social sciences, applications must have a majority emphasis in basic behavioral and social sciences. For feedback on specific topics, please consult the program staff listed in Agency Contacts.

About OppNet:

OppNet is a trans-NIH initiative that funds activities to build the collective body of knowledge about the nature of behavior and social systems, and that deepen our understanding of basic mechanisms of behavioral and social processes. All 24 NIH Institutes and Centers that fund research and five Program Offices within the NIH Office of the Director (ICOs) co-fund and co-manage OppNet. All OppNet initiatives invite investigators to propose innovative research that will advance a targeted domain of basic social and behavioral sciences and produce knowledge and/or tools of potential relevance to multiple domains of health- and lifecourse-related research.

OppNet uses the NIH definition of basic behavioral and social science research (b-BSSR) (http://obssr.od.nih.gov/about_obssr/BSSR_CC/BSSR_definition/definition.aspx) to determine application responsiveness. Consequently, OppNet strongly encourages prospective investigators to consult this definition, OppNet’s answers to frequently asked questions about b-BSSR (http://oppnet.nih.gov/about-faqs.asp), OppNet’s Coordinating Committee members, and the Agency Contacts section of this FOA for individuals with expertise in the research subject matter and the OppNet initiative.

Applicants should understand that the (NLM), which made this FOA available to the public, is not necessarily the NIH IC that ultimately will manage a funded OppNet project. Instead, OppNet assigns funding and project management of meritorious applications to one of 24 NIH ICs whose scientific mission most closely corresponds to each research project. For more information about OppNet, its NIH members, its grant portfolio, and all its current funding opportunities, visit http://oppnet.nih.gov.

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