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Mission Statement

OppNet Mission

The mission of OppNet is to pursue opportunities for strengthening basic behavioral and social science research (b-BSSR) at the NIH while innovating beyond existing investments.

OppNet Goals

  • OppNet advances basic behavioral and social science research through activities and initiatives that build a body of knowledge about the nature of behavior and social systems.
  • OppNet prioritizes activities and initiatives that focus on basic mechanisms of behavior and social processes; that are relevant to the missions and public health challenges of multiple NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices (ICOs); and that build upon existing NIH investments without replicating them.

OppNet Background

According to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, "Basic behavioral and social science research contributes to our understanding of the complex factors that affect individuals, our communities and our environments." Results from b-BSSR inform new approaches to ensure adherence, increase adoption of healthier practices, and reduce risky behaviors. Dr. Collins initiated the Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) in November 2009 to expand the NIH portfolio in basic scientific inquiry that explains the mechanisms and processes that influence individual and group health-related behaviors. By May 2012, OppNet provided $25,951,437 to 118 extramural research projects. Dr. Collins presented OppNet with a NIH Director’s Honor Award in October 2011.

All NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) collectively fund and manage OppNet. Twenty-four ICs and five program coordination offices within the NIH Office of the Director integrate existing NIH efforts, target research challenges best met collectively, and collaborate on new research initiatives in complementary scientific areas. OppNet also relies on its stakeholders, who have provided scientific perspectives through a Request for Information in January-February 2010, and a public conference in October 2010.

At the request of NIH ICO Directors, OppNet initiated a quarterly symposium series, Human and Model Animal Research in the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences. The initiative also collaborates with its member institutes on the OppNet Forum, intermittent lectures in disease- and setting-specific research with implications across many b-BSSR areas. OppNet posts videocasts and other materials from each forum and symposium on its website as a resource for all our stakeholders.

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This page last reviewed: March 27, 2012

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Fogarty International Center (FIC) National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) National Eye Institute (NEI) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) National Institute on Aging (NIA) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) National Library of Medicine (NLM) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research  (OBSSR) Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)