Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Accelerating Behavioral and Social Science through Ontology Development and Use (U01)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
February 14, 2023
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
April 30, 2023
First Estimated Application Due Date:
September 30, 2023
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
May 01, 2024
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
June 01, 2024
Related Announcements


Issued by

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)


The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), with other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to accelerate behavioral and social science through ontology development and use. Applications will be encouraged to develop new or expand existing ontologies for behavioral or social science research (BSSR). Applicants will be expected to form multi-disciplinary teams including subject matter experts in one or more BSSR fields, as well as experts in semantic knowledge structures. Proposals will be expected to focus on health-relevant terminology related to constructs, measures, and/or interventions. Funded projects and investigator teams will participate in a collaborative research network.

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

The FOAs are expected to be published in Spring 2023 with expected application due dates in Fall 2023.

Research Initiative Details

Research projects supported should focus on behavioral or social science ontology expansion or development, dissemination, and use. The projects must include multidisciplinary teams of subject-matter experts in behavioral and/or social science as well as ontology related informatics. Each project should identify one or more use cases and elucidate the justification of the need and potential demand for the proposed ontological resource or tool. Examples of use cases include, but are not limited to, those listed in Ontologies in the Behavioral Sciences: Accelerating Research and the Spread of Knowledge. Projects should advance research capabilities and efficiencies and address problems not easily solved without improvement in semantic knowledge structures (e.g., controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, and ontologies).

Important aspects of successful ontology development include a well justified fit for use and potential for interoperability with existing health-related semantic knowledge structures within and outside of BSSR. Developing impactful ontological approaches, tools, or resources also requires that they be widely adopted and have sustained use. Achieving these goals will require the engagement of the intended end-users throughout the development and testing process to understand fully the range of perspectives and requirements. It also requires a detailed plan for dissemination and sustainability of the ontological resource or tool. Therefore, applications will need to address these issues.

Development of BSSR knowledge structures that can build on and/or interface with existing knowledge structures and data repositories is highly encouraged. Products developed will also be expected to meet the FHIR and FAIR principles.

As part of a cooperative agreement, each project will focus on independent ontology development research aims and be expected to work collaboratively with the Dissemination and Coordination Center and other funded projects in a Behavioral and Social Science Ontology Development U01 Research Network.

Funding Information


Estimated Total Funding

Based on available funds

Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling


Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)


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)
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
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)
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Janine Simmons, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Christine Hunter, Ph.D.
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
Telephone: 301-402-1147