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New Funding Opportunity for Advancing Resilience Research

June 30, 2016
Lanay M. Mudd, Ph.D.
Lanay M. Mudd, Ph.D.

Program Director, Division of Extramural Research
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View Dr. Mudd's biographical sketch

The term “resilience” has broad associations and conveys different meanings in different contexts. While the concept of resilience is receiving increased attention as a possible mechanism describing the absence of adverse consequences after exposure to a stressor, current research on resilience lacks a common framework that extends across multiple levels of analysis. Additionally, current research does not address predisposing factors, classes of adverse exposures, dynamic processes of adaptation, and potential environmental moderators that may be involved in resiliency. In response to these research gaps, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) and its participating Institutes, Centers, and Offices, including NCCIH, released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) this month:

Advancing Basic Behavioral and Social Research on Resilience: An Integrative Science Approach (UG3/UH3) – PAR-16-326

NIH seeks applications that will elucidate mechanisms and processes of resilience within a general framework that emphasizes its dynamics and interactions across both time and scale. All applications should use a framework with the following four features:

  • Assessment of a baseline level prior to challenge
  • Characterization of a specific challenge (acute or chronic)
  • Post-challenge measures of outcomes that characterize the response over time, including responses across multiple domains (e.g., physiological, psychological)
  • Predictors of outcomes, including predisposing factors at the individual and environmental levels.

The use of this general framework will help to reveal underlying principles that describe dynamic trajectories of adaptation to a challenge and allow us to elucidate factors and mechanisms that differentiate resilient patterns from nonresilient trajectories. To develop an integrated framework for the concept of resilience, it is critical that investigators examine the concept at multiple levels of analysis and examine interactions, mediators, moderators, and potential mechanisms. 

NCCIH is interested in supporting research aimed at understanding mechanisms of resilience related to prevention, and how integrative mind and body interventions (yoga, hypnosis, meditation, etc.) may influence mechanisms of resilience. We are also interested in identifying mediating mechanisms or processes that hold potential as targets of mind and body interventions for impacting resilience trajectories in individuals or social groups. Please note that our Center will not support research proposing efficacy or effectiveness clinical trials with this mechanism.

I welcome you to review this FOA and share it with your colleagues. Applications are due December 1, 2016. If you are interested in developing an application, please feel free to contact me to discuss your research plan.


Comments are now closed for this post.

Resiliance seems like a conceptually difficult thing to measure.  But I know, as an 89 year old woman now suffering with sciatica, it is important to understand.

It seems that an agreed upon definition of “resilience” is needed first, as well as valid and reliable instruments to measure it (both subjectively and objectively), before research on mechanisms can be attempted. It also seems necessary that a specific context, condition, or ailment would change the definition of resilience for an individual. Would qualitative research be funded here?

Exciting! What are the eligibility requirements for this grant? Would this be under a post-doc, pre-doctoral grant, or supplemental? 

@Noemie, Eligibility requirements are listed directly in the funding announcement, but I understand that you communicated with Dr. Mudd directly. 

@Jill Bormann, Thanks for your comment.  As stated in the FOA, allowable activities in the UG3 phase include developing, refining, and testing new and/or already validated instruments to assess response patterns over time at multiple levels of analysis and timescales, and testing the feasibility of collecting measures simultaneously in the population of interest. Qualitative research may be funded as part of these activities. The UH3 phase should describe the final comprehensive research plan that incorporates the suggested framework.  I hope that is helpful.

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