NIH Matilda White Riley Honors Early-Stage Investigator Paper Competition Now Open

January 20, 2022

The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Early-Stage Investigator (ESI) Paper Competition awards recognize emerging scientists whose research reflects Dr. Matilda White Riley’s vision of research excellence in health-related behavioral and social sciences.

Important Dates
ESI Paper Competition Open: January 16, 2022 – January 31, 2022
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Awardees Notified: April 5, 2022
NIH Matilda White Riley Honors Event: June 3, 2022

OBSSR will invite up to four ESI awardees to present the findings from their accepted paper and participate in a moderated discussion of future research possibilities during the event.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates must meet NIH’s definition of an early-stage investigator (ESI), at the time of the nomination due date:
    • Completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years.
    • Has yet to hold a substantial, independent NIH research award as a PD/PI (e.g., R01) at the time of this competition.
  • Applicants may submit only one (1) original research article on the study of behavioral and social phenomena relevant to health. Conceptual, review, or meta-analysis papers are not eligible for this competition and, if submitted, will not be considered. Articles without direct relevance to health will not be considered. Applicants who submit more than one (1) article will not be considered.
  • Applicants must be the sole or primary author of the article. If the author appears other than as first-author, the contestant should provide a supporting explanation (e.g., disciplinary or institutional practice) in the ‘Additional publication information’ text box.
  • The article must be published or accepted and in-press between January 1 and December 31, 2021.
  • The article must involve original research published in a peer-review journal.
  • The article must meet the following criteria that reflect Dr. White Riley’s vision of research excellence in health-related behavioral and social sciences:
    • Impact on theory and/or method: How well does the paper use sophisticated methodological approaches to address important empirical questions that are derived from or that inform theoretical frameworks?
    • Integration of individual and social system influences: How well does the paper integrate multiple levels of influence, and/or the dynamic, longitudinal, and bidirectional effects of social systems on individuals and vice versa?
    • Integration of scientific disciplines: How well does the paper integrate approaches from multiple disciplines to address the research question?

Selection Process
A review committee of NIH scientists will consider all relevant submissions to assess both the potential impact or influence of the paper on the field and how well the paper meets the eligibility criteria. Awardees will be notified on or by April 5, 2022.

Articles must be submitted at: https://mwr.obssr.od.nih.gov/Contestant. A review committee of NIH scientists will consider all relevant submissions to assess both the potential impact or influence of the paper on the field and how well the paper meets the eligibility criteria.

*If you have any questions, please contact .
**For more information about past NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors events, visit the OBSSR website.

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