NOT-AG-23-006 - Notice of Intent to Publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity for "Leveraging Social Networks to Promote Widespread Individual Behavior Change (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)"
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 Applications (RFA) for new applications proposing R34 projects that support the planning activities necessary to develop social network interventions to promote health across the lifespan, especially in populations in which such interventions are currently largely underdeveloped and untested (such as populations in mid- and late life). Applications supported through this RFA will focus on planning activities for social network interventions for which a target interpersonal process of behavior change or social network characteristic has already been identified. Planning activities are those activities that are expected to yield necessary and sufficient information to inform final decisions about a social network health behavior change intervention prior to instigation of a hypothesis-driven trial to test a social network intervention. Activities may include (but are not limited to) team-building, protocol development, piloting of systems for data collection and/or management, feasibility and acceptability testing, staff training, and establishing documentation procedures. Projects that propose to test the efficacy or effectiveness of a social network health behavior change intervention will be outside the scope of the RFA, which will support only on pre-trial planning and development activities.�
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. Innovations to address methodological, logistical, and pragmatic challenges associated with development of social network interventions are necessary to lay the foundation for testing of social network interventions for health.�
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.�
The upcoming RFA will support the planning activities necessary to develop social network interventions to promote health across the lifespan. Planning activities supported through this RFA will contribute to the development of the protocol, approach, and/or documentation needed to instigate a hypothesis-driven trial to test a social network intervention to promote health. These activities span basic behavioral and/or social science research that is necessary to address questions regarding social network intervention design choices through testing of feasibility and acceptability of social network interventions. This RFA will support activities from Stage 0 and Stage 1 of the NIH Stage Model that can also be classified as �planning activities� � that is, activities that are expected to yield necessary and sufficient information to inform decisions about a social network health behavior change intervention (prior to instigation of a hypothesis-driven trial to test a social network intervention). Such activities should be focused on one or more social network health behavior change interventions for which a target interpersonal process of behavior change or social network characteristic has already been identified. After completion of a successful R34 project, it is expected that investigators will be ready and able to submit applications to support trial(s) to test these social network interventions for health across the lifespan.�
The upcoming RFA and its companion R01 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 Planning Grant (R34) 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.�
NIA intends to commit $1.5 million in fiscal year 2024.
NCI intends to commit $1 million in fiscal year 2024.
NIA intends to fund up to 5 awards.
NCI intends to fund up to 2 awards.
Application budgets are limited to $225,000 in annual direct costs, and total direct costs may not exceed $450,000 over the 3-year project period.��
Applications are not being solicited at this time.�
Please direct all inquiries to:
Elizabeth Necka, Ph.D.�
National Institute on Aging (NIA)�
Emerald Nguyen, Ph.D.�
National Institute on Aging (NIA)�
Laura Major, DrPH�
National Institute on Aging (NIA)�
Jennifer Guida, Ph.D.�
National Cancer Institute (NCI)�