Updated NIH Policies & Procedures related to Human Subjects Research

NIH has broadened its definition of clinical trial, and it may impact your future applications (new, resubmission, or revision) and awards.

NIH’s definition of clinical trial now includes some research approaches not traditionally considered clinical trials. For example, many behavioral or biobehavioral studies that focus on underlying mechanisms of development may now be considered clinical trials. Also, conducting experiments that involve human subjects may be considered a clinical trial. If you are conducting studies involving human subjects, it is very important that you understand this definition and determine whether it applies to your research.

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November 28th, 2017 | Tessa West, PhD Presents: How Subtle Cues of Anxiety Shape Interracial Interactions

Tessa West, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at New York University. She has been at NYU since earning her PhD in Social Psychology at University of Connecticut in 2008. Her research focuses on understanding the nature and dynamics of human perception, in particular how we perceive others in cross-race interactions. Tessa’s multi-method approach to studying dyadic- and group-level interactions balances real-world validity with the control of experimental settings.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
2:00-3:00pm (EST)


Don’t Nudge Me: The Limits of Behavioral Economics in Medicine

Whenever I talk to physicians about outcomes that are worse than you’d expect, they are quick to point out that noncompliance — when a patient does not follow a course of treatment — is a major problem.

Sometimes prescriptions aren’t filled. Other times they are, but patients don’t take the drugs as prescribed. All of this can lead to more than 100,000 deaths a year.

thorough review published in The New England Journal of Medicine about a decade ago estimated that up to two-thirds of medication-related hospital admissions in the United States were because of noncompliance, at a cost of about $100 billion a year. These included treatments for H.I.V., high blood pressure, mental health and childhood illnesses (it can be difficult to get children to take their medicine, too).

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NIH SOBC Program FOAs: Announcement

The NIH SOBC Common Fund Program held two Technical Assistance Webinars in October for the Program’s current Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) in one of the two Science Of Behavior Change (SOBC) Technical Assistance Webinars for the Program’s current Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). A list of all the FAQs generated from both webinars, a link to a recording of the October 26, 2017 webinar, and a transcript will be posted on the SOBC Common Fund website soon. A link to the webinar recording, transcript, and FAQs is also provided below. Note that the audio begins at about 3.5 minutes.

As a reminder, please check the “Coming Soon Measures” list on the SOBC Measures Repository page. We expect in total more than 100 measures to be available prior to the receipt date for the FOAs, including additional measures in the interpersonal and social processes and stress reactivity and stress resilience domains.

Webinar Recording:  https://nih.webex.com/nih/ldr.php?RCID=129ee916f4eeaf1ee644086197417364

Webinar Recording and Transcript Access:  https://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange/webinar

FY18 FOAs FAQs:  https://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange/faq17



SOBC Spotlight: EHPS Interview with Dr. Jennifer Sumner

Dr. Jennifer Sumner, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and member of the Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Research Network Resource and Coordinating Center, recently returned from a roundtable event at the 31st meeting of the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS). The conference was held in beautiful Padova (Padua), Italy from August 29th to September 2nd. The roundtable was titled “Behaviour change: Investigating mechanisms of action” and was co-chaired by Dr. Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change (CBC) at University College London, and Dr. Rachel Carey, an Associate Consultant of the CBC.  read more »


Be ‘Mindful’ of the Hype

“Mindfulness” is touted as a cure-all for many modern ills, from stress and pain to depression.

But little to no scientific evidence backs up most of the health claims surrounding the practice, said Willoughby Britton, director of Brown University’s clinical and affective neuroscience laboratory.

There’s not even an agreed-upon definition of mindfulness that researchers can use to test the concept’s effectiveness, Britton said.

“Meditation researchers are concerned the exaggerated claims of mindfulness benefits will mislead vulnerable people and keep them from receiving evidence-based treatment,” Britton said.

In a new paper, Britton and 14 other experts say it’s time to replace the hype with serious scientific rigor.

Mindfulness has become a billion-dollar industry. Countless practitioners and more than 1,500 smartphone apps promise to help people become calm and focused despite the turbulence surrounding them, Britton said.

The idea is based on an obscure Buddhist concept dating back 2,600 years, according to the American Psychological Association. It generally refers to a state of moment-to-moment awareness of existence, without any judgment placed on that awareness — essentially, living in the moment.

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UIC Researchers Create Voice-Enabled Coach to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

More than 30 million Americans had diabetes in 2015, according to the American Diabetes Association. That’s just over 9 percent of the U.S. population.

The vast majority of those with the disease have Type 2 diabetes, which most often occurs in middle-aged adults and older adults, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

While there is no cure for the disease, it can be managed through medication and healthy behaviors such as exercising, eating nutritious meals and quitting smoking.

“A lot of these lifestyle changes can be very stressful,” said Olusola Ajilore, associate professor of psychiatry in the University Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. “I teach a class on diabetes and emotions for patients with Type 2 diabetes and some of the challenges they bring up are having to change their diet or increasing their physical activity or exercise.” read more »