A new funding opportunity from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks to advance scientific understanding of similarities differences and between social isolation and loneliness, and psychological scientists studying social relationships and related topics are encouraged to apply. The new opportunity, out of NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), solicits research projects that model the mechanisms and processes of social relationships and their outcomes in health and wellbeing.
According to NIH, the study of social connectedness is relatively new, and it is ripe with opportunities for psychological scientists. For example, NIH notes that the topic of social media on social relationships and health is understudied. For instance, does sharing photos of friends and family online help us connect? Does social media use enable bullying which, in some cases, leads to social withdrawal or aggression? Does new media affect biopsychosocial processes of wellbeing? More broadly, psychological scientists may wish to consider topics such as affective and cognitive function during the aging process, consequences of perceived isolation on behavior, and others.
OBSSR is coordinating this new funding opportunity in conjunction with many of NIH’s other institutes and centers; each have noted their special interest in different areas of social connectedness and well-being.
The application deadlines for this opportunity are March 17, 2020 and March 17, 2021.