NIH Request for Information (RFI) on the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research Strategic Plan 2023-2028
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

September 16, 2022

Response Date:
November 14, 2022

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Issued by

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to inform the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) in finalizing their 2023 - 2028 Strategic Plan priorities and strategic objectives for behavioral and social science research (BSSR) at NIH. OBSSR seeks feedback on the- scientific priorities and cross-cutting themes that are proposed for its next strategic plan. These were developed based on an evaluation of the previous strategic plan, a previous RFI, and listening sessions with multiple groups internal and external to the NIH.

Please note, the themes and priorities are intentionally not specific to any given diseases or conditions, as NIH’s Institutes and Centers serve as the best place for disease or condition specific research. As a Coordinating Office, OBSSR’s efforts best serve to emphasize efforts in addressing important cross-cutting gaps, and to accelerate important areas of new research.

OBSSR’s mission is threefold:

  • Enhance the impact of health-related BSSR.
  • Coordinate BSSR conducted or supported by the NIH and integrate these sciences within the larger NIH research enterprise.
  • Communicate health-related BSSR findings to various stakeholders within and outside the federal government.

OBSSR would like input on these draft strategic priorities and cross-cutting themes for the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan for OBSSR.

OBSSR Strategic Plan Framework

Scientific Priority 1: Improve the synergy between basic behavioral and social sciences research and research testing approaches to improve health outcomes

  • Objective 1.1: Identify and encourage promising and ecologically valid basic BSSR relevant to health.
  • Objective 1.2: Facilitate the translation of basic BSSR into research applying this knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

Scientific Priority 2: Enhance and promote research measures, methods, and infrastructure needed to support an integrated and more cumulative approach to behavioral and social sciences research

  • Objective 2.1: Support the development, testing, and application of data collection and measurement approaches that are rigorous, reproducible, and replicable.
  • Objective 2.2: Facilitate the development and testing of new approaches to measurement with an emphasis on enhanced data quality, harmonization, and sharing.
  • Objective 2.3: Expand the repertoire and use of innovative and new research methods in the behavioral and social sciences.

Scientific Priority 3: Accelerate sustained adoption of behavioral and social sciences research findings in practice

  • Objective 3.1: Encourage intervention research and implementation science to understand and test mechanisms of action and effectiveness in context (e.g., tested in the intended populations, delivery modalities and settings).
  • Objective 3.2: Enhance the adoption, scalability, and sustainability of evidence-based behavioral and social interventions.

Cross Cutting Themes

Integration of BSSR across NIH Research:

  • Facilitate multiple aspects of BSSR integration and team science across the NIH research enterprise that may include, but is not limited to, integration across disciplines, diseases, and the translational continuum.

Science of Science:

  • Draw from existing knowledge and support the application of new behavioral and social science to support the conduct, use, and quality of science and the scientific process in research which includes, but is not limited to, open science and data sharing practices, recruitment and retention practices, informed consent, and how science is reported and referenced in the scientific and lay literature.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA):

  • Facilitate and support the application of behavioral and social science to inform and enhance DEIA efforts including DEIA as it applies to the conduct of research and in the intramural and extramural NIH workforce and research communities.

Training and Capacity Building:

  • Identify and inform the development and enhancement of cutting-edge methods, measures, and skills that expand the capabilities of the BSSR workforce to continue to address future research questions and adapt to evolving research needs and contexts.

How to Submit a Response

All responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically on the RFI submission website by November 14, 2022 , at 11:59 pm EDT. You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. You may voluntarily include your name and contact information with your response. If you choose to provide NIH with this information, NIH will not share your name and contact information outside of NIH unless required by law.

Other than your name and contact information, please do not include any personally identifiable information or any information that you do not wish to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. Other than your name and contact information, the Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements. This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of that information.

We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI opportunity with your colleagues.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Name: Kathryn Morris, MPH
IC Name: Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
Telephone: 301-496-5594