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.