Notice of Intent to Publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity for "Leveraging Social Networks to Promote Widespread Individual Behavior Change (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)"
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
April 25, 2023
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
June 01, 2023
First Estimated Application Due Date:
November 3, 2023
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
June 01, 2024
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 01, 2024
Related Announcements

NOT-AG-23-007 - Notice of Intent to Publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity for “Leveraging Social Networks to Promote Widespread Individual Behavior Change (R34 Clinical Trial Optional)”

Issued by

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Notice informs the research community that the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) intend to issue a Request for Application (RFA) for new applications proposing basic observational or experimental behavioral and/or social science R01 research projects that test how intrapersonal and interpersonal mechanisms of behavior change interact with, influence, or are influenced by characteristics of social networks, with implications for health. Research supported through this RFA will examine at least two levels of analysis: interpersonal processes and social network characteristics. Projects will identify targets for future social network health behavior change interventions across the lifespan, especially in populations in which such interventions are currently largely underdeveloped and untested (such as populations in mid- and late life). Basic research to develop, refine, or optimize measures (assays) of putative targets (e.g., intra/interpersonal mechanisms of behavior change and/or social network characteristics) will also be supported by this RFA. 

Research Initiative Details

Nearly 40% of all deaths in the United States are due to diseases or injuries that could have been prevented by changing health behaviors. Instigating behavior change, however, is challenging, indicating a need for novel approaches. Though research suggests that the health behaviors of our spouses, friends, family members, and peers impact our own health behaviors, there are surprisingly few interventions that leverage interpersonal processes to promote healthy behavior. A growing body of literature demonstrates further that characteristics of the social networks within which individuals are embedded are also associated with individual health behaviors and health outcomes, yet even fewer interventions leverage the properties of broader social networks to promote healthy behavior at scale. Despite the promising potential of social network interventions, they currently remain largely underdeveloped and untested, especially among populations in mid- and late life. Further development of social network interventions requires understanding the mechanisms by which network characteristics interact with, influence, or are influenced by the interpersonal mechanisms of behavior change.  

For the purposes of the upcoming funding opportunity, a social network intervention is defined as: an intervention that targets specific, malleable interpersonal processes and/or characteristics of a social network to cause widespread individual behavior change. Social network interventions for health use social network data or social network characteristics to promote uptake of positive health behaviors (or curtailment of negative health behaviors) among individuals, communities, organizations, or populations. These interventions typically (a) change the behavior of individual(s) within a network who are identified to be most likely to influence the behaviors of others and promote interpersonal processes between those individuals and others, to achieve the ultimate goal of maximizing wide-scale uptake of behavior change across the network (including among those who did not themselves directly receive the intervention), or (b) manipulate social network characteristics in ways that are likely to modify social ties and/or interpersonal processes that influence behavior, with the ultimate goal of changing at scale the behaviors of individual network members. 

This upcoming funding opportunity will support use-inspired basic observational or experimental behavioral and/or social science research that tests hypotheses about how interpersonal mechanisms of health behavior change interact with, influence, or are influenced by characteristics of social networks. This basic research should be designed to inform identification of targets for future social network interventions. At least two levels of analysis must be examined: processes at the level of interpersonal relationships and characteristics of the social network. 

The upcoming RFA and its companion R34 RFA will capitalize on NIA’s existing investments in the Science of Behavior Change program and the NIH Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development and build off a 2022 workshop “Social Network Interventions for Diffusion of Individual Behavior Change.” The two-pronged approach will catalyze the development of future social network interventions and prime the field to purposefully use social networks or social network data to promote widespread individual health behavior change. 

The RFA is expected to be published in Summer 2023, with an application due date in Fall 2023, and will utilize the Research Project (R01) funding activity code. 

This Notice of Intent to Publish is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. 

Funding Information


Estimated Total Funding

NIA intends to commit $2 million in fiscal year 2024.

NCI intends to commit $1 million in fiscal year 2024.

Expected Number of Awards

NIA intends to fund up to 4 awards.

NCI intends to fund up to 2 awards.

Estimated Award Ceiling

Application budgets are limited to $500,000 in annual direct costs. 

Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)

NIA: 93.866

NCI: 93.399  

Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Elizabeth Necka, Ph.D. 
National Institute on Aging (NIA) 
Telephone: 301-480-6947 

Emerald Nguyen, Ph.D. 
National Institute on Aging (NIA) 
Telephone: 301-402-7571 

Laura Major, DrPH 
National Institute on Aging (NIA) 
Telephone: 301-827-4464 

Jennifer Guida, Ph.D. 
National Cancer Institute (NCI) 
Telephone: 240-276-7634