Center on Aging and Population Sciences

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October 14, 2020

Announcements from NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research: October 2020


BSR Seeks a New Program Official in Health Systems Research

The Population and Social Processes Branch (PSP) is recruiting a dynamic and experienced economist/health services researcher to manage and develop a portfolio of innovative grant-supported research and research training in health systems topics in aging and health. This portfolio will focus on connections between health systems and healthy aging, with emphases on the Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as long-term care. The portfolio features research utilizing large data sets, quasi-experimental techniques as well as pragmatic trails and field experiments. Read a full description on our website. Contact PSP Branch Chief John Phillips ( with any questions.


Submitting an AD/ADRD-related Application with a Budget >$500,000 per year

BSR encourages applications that focus on behavioral and social research questions related to Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD). If you plan to submit an over-the-cap application (greater than $500,000 in direct costs in any year), please contact a BSR Program Official at least six weeks before you plan to submit your application. They will talk with you about the process and required information (e.g., proposed aims, estimated direct and total costs in each award year). Over-the-cap applications require prior approval from NIA before they can be accepted for submission. BSR has a strong and growing portfolio in many areas of AD/ADRD research, including cognitive and dementia epidemiology, behavioral and social pathways, early psychological changes, AD/ADRD prevention, dementia care, caregiver research, and how health disparities contribute to or result from AD/ADRD. Please visit our website for more information on the types of AD/ADRD research typically funded by NIA/BSR.

Recent Funding Opportunities: Notices of Special Interest in AD/ADRD

Check out recent Notices of Special Interest that have been published: Sex and Gender Differences in Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) and Basic and Translational Research on Affective, Motivational, and Social Function in Normative Aging and/or Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (AD/ADRD).

Pilot Project Solicitations from BSR Centers and Networks

Many BSR-funded Centers and Research Networks solicit pilot project applications. Current opportunities include the Animal Models for Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network, the Roybal Centers for Translational Research, and the IMPACT Collaboratory. If your BSR-funded Center or Network would like us to share your call for pilot proposals in this listserv, please contact Jessica Boten.


IMPACT Collaboratory Webinar – October 15, 2020

Eric Larson, Joseph Gaugler and BSR’s Director, Lis Nielsen will speak this Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 12 p.m. Eastern time in the IMPACT Collaboratory Grand Rounds webinar titled The AHRQ and Lancet Reports on Dementia Interventions: Interpretation and Implications for Embedded Pragmatic Trials. No registration necessary. Zoom information provided on the IMPACT Collaboratory website.

Join BSR Staff at GSA Events

Several BSR staff members are participating in the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) virtual Annual Scientific Meeting and pre-conference workshops in early November.

  • November 2: Melissa Gerald and Elena Fazio are speaking at a pre-conference webinar hosted by the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMARs) on Access to Care for Diverse Communities with Cognitive Impairments on November 2. An agenda is on the RCMAR coordinating center website.
  • November 3 & 4: Dana Plude will be at the Research Centers Collaborative Network (RCCN) pre-conference workshop on Life Course Perspectives on Aging on November 3-4. Registration is free and open to the public and an agenda is available.
  • November 5: Lisa Onken is presenting during a GSA session titled Building National Capacity for Dementia Caregiving Research: The NIA Edward R. Roybal Centers on November 5 at 3:45 p.m.


New Workshop Reports Available on BSR Website

BSR commissions a variety of meetings and workshops from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). The reports from two recent meetings are now posted on the web.

Genomics for Social Scientists: New Epigenetic Data Course

Researchers from the University of Michigan invite you to apply to the first ever Genomics for Social Scientists-Epigenetics workshop, which due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will be held remotely January 11-14, 2021 (Monday through Thursday). The purpose of this NIA-sponsored workshop on epigenetic research is to familiarize researchers with epigenetic data and to provide instruction on best practices for incorporating these data with social science analyses. Applications for the course include a recent CV and a 1-page statement of training and interest. It is expected that students have some introductory background in genomics and computing (e.g. completed the GeSS or RSF introductory courses or something comparable). Applications are due November 1, 2020. Questions? Contact for more information. See their website for more information.

NLM Seeks Input on Data Resource Needs for Health Services Research

The National Library of Medicine is seeking public input via a Request for Informationon future resource and program directions in support of information related to health services research, practice guidelines, and health technology, including technology assessment. Read more information on the NLM blog. Feedback is due by November 6, 2020.

September 30, 2020

Celebrating successes and next steps for the Science of Behavior Change Program

Janine Simmons, Chief, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, and Chandra Keller, Social Science Analyst, Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)

We all know that unhealthy behaviors are responsible for much of the disease burden in our country, yet it is very tough to adopt and maintain healthy habits. For over 10 years, the NIH Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program has supported this important research field. As we look forward to next steps in the study of behavior change, it’s a good time to look back on our successes and forward to future events and opportunities. Learn more about how NIA and our colleagues are sustaining innovation in this vital area. Read the full blog post.

September 16, 2020

Announcing NIA’s new crop of research concepts!

Marie A. Bernard, Deputy Director, NIA

As summer 2020 winds down during these unprecedented, turbulent times, NIA remains focused on continuing full steam ahead. Last week at our National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) meeting, our new crop of cleared research concepts for potential future funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) were approved.

NACA’s cleared concepts provide information along the lines of the centuries-old Farmer’s Almanac for planning purposes but with much greater accuracy. Smart researchers take note and start thinking about how they can plant the best ideas that could take root and flourish as a successful application. Read the full blog post.

September 9, 2020

Register for Focus on Aging / Federal Partners’ Webinar on social isolation and loneliness (Monday, September 28th, from 2:00—3:30)

The next Focus on Aging / Federal Partners’ Webinar will take place on Monday, September 28th, from 2:00—3:30 pm ET.  The webinar will address social isolation and loneliness and their impact on older adults’ health and well-being, particularly amid the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will also address social isolation and loneliness in the context of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, emphasize the impact of health disparities, and provide information on potential interventions and mitigating technologies.  To learn more and to register for the webinar, please visit the Focus on Aging / Federal Partners’ Webinar Series website


  1. Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Older Adults During COVID-19
    Ashwin Kotwal, MD, MS, University of California San Francisco
    Carla Perissinotto, MD, MHS, University of California San Francisco
  2. Social Isolation & Loneliness: Interrelationships with Health & Well-Being in Older Adults
    Louise Hawkley, PhD, NORC at the University of Chicago
  3. Managing Symptoms of Dementia, Maintaining Function, and Accessing Services During Isolation
    Sheria G. Robinson-Lane, PhD, RN, University of Michigan School of Nursing
  4. Identifying and Serving People Living Alone with Dementia
    Don Smith, Area Agency on Aging at United Way of Tarrant County
  5. I-CONECT Project: Using Video Chat to Reduce Social Isolation and Improve Cognitive Health
    Hiroko Dodge, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University