NIH ACD Meets and OBSSR Holds Research Festival

NIH Advisory Committee to the Director Meeting  

The Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) at the National Institutes of Health met on December 8 and 9. The ACD provides feedback and makes recommendations on program development, resource allocation, and NIH administrative regulation. The Committee also reviews and evaluates applications for grants and cooperative agreements for research and training for projects that show promise of making valuable contributions to human knowledge. ( The meetings were open to the public.  

The first day’s agenda included a report on performing the duties of the NIH director, updates on ARPA-H and COVID-19; pandemic preparedness, ACD working groups, and changes to peer review criteria. On the second day, members heard updates from HeLA, diversity and inclusion working groups, and NIH efforts in supporting open science.  

The full meeting can be accessed at the NIH Videocast website.  

2022 OBSSR Festival 

On December 8 and 9, the NIH Office of Behavior and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) hosted their annual festival.  The festival serves to showcase impactful research in the field for NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) and the broad BSSR community.  

Christine Hunter, Acting Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and Alix Spiegel, science journalist for NPR’s Science Desk, opened the festival with a fireside chat on health communications. Spiegel encouraged researchers to use simple language when communicating with a broader audience. She also counseled that to build trust in science, researchers must be honest and repeat facts and current updates. Further, she noted the challenges to combating misinformation and lamented the lack of accountability on social media platforms.

The first session of the festival focused on social connection and the second on mental and emotional health research advances. Day one also included remarks from Dr. Hunter on the state of BSSR at NIH, where she highlighted a growth in funding.  

On the second day, presentations covered social determinants of health, followed by sessions on measurements in BSSR. Dara Blachman-Demner, PhD, Health Science Administrator, OBSSR, provided closing remarks.  

The full agenda and biosketches of the researchers highlighted can be found here.  

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