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Request for Proposals: Connecting Emotional Well-being Interventions to Health Outcomes

The Network for Emotional Well-being: Science, Practice, and Measurement, a collaborative project between UCSF, UC Berkeley, and Harvard announces a new pilot study award.

To catalyze research on effective interventions for emotional well-being, the Network for Emotional Well-being will support three to five projects that examine the mechanisms that underlie the effects of emotional well-being promoting interventions on key health outcomes. Awards range from $10,000 to $50,000 per award for studies conducted for up to a 2-year period.

A critical question in the field is whether, how, and for whom interventions that modify emotional well-being also lead to meaningful changes in health-relevant outcomes. To that end, we are particularly interested in understanding whether interventions that modify emotional well-being will lead to changes in aspects of physiology that might be linked to better physical or mental health. Physiology is defined broadly here as including autonomic nervous system, or blood-based measures such as neuroendocrine, inflammatory, and cellular measures. Relevant parameters could include any biological changes hypothesized to occur, in the short term and ideally longer term, in response to increases in EWB. Examples of such measures could include autonomic nervous system parameters (heart rate variability, sympathetic activity) or cytokines related to inflammation. We welcome studies that can leverage EWB intervention research that is already funded by using this funding to add physiological measures to the protocol. The finalists may be asked to include some short additional standardized measures of EWB and emotions to compare results with other intervention studies.

We are particularly interested in mechanistic studies that align with the experimental medicine model (Figure 1) to examine mechanisms of change. For example, how much does the improvement in an intervention increase some aspect of EWB? How much does this in turn impact physiological measures linked to better health?

Experimental studies can be in-person or studies that repeatedly sample behaviors and experiences in real time and/or natural contexts during and around interventions (e.g. ESM, EMA, daily or weekly measurement). Sensitive repeated assessments of EWB allow us to better measure and detect changes in EWB and effects on hypothesized proximal factors that influence physical health including changes in physiological and/or behavioral profiles. We encourage applicants to design studies that use more frequent measurement of EWB and relevant outcomes, e.g. using technology for naturalistic measures.

Application: Please upload a single PDF with PI last name as filename that includes:

1) Project title and narrative description (up to 8 pages, single spaced, excluding references; include specific aims, background and significance, any relevant preliminary work, and approach/methods for study with reference to the research team and environment)

2) Itemized budget and justification of up to three pages (e.g. costs of intervention development/delivery, participant compensation, RA support, etc..) and

3) Project timeline, up to 2 years, and

4) CV/Biosketch for all key study personnel.

Eligibility: Research scholar with an accredited University affiliation. We encourage early-stage investigators and under-represented minority candidates to apply. Postdocs and graduate students please send a letter of support from a faculty advisor.

Date due: Accepting applications until October 15, 2021 Final award announcements: December 1, 2021

Download a PDF of the application details below:

Request for proposals EWB 2021
Download PDF • 108KB

The Network for Emotional Wellbeing award funding mechanism offered through NIA/NCCIH grant # U24AG072699 does not fund indirect costs. All funds must go directly towards the research project.

Further questions can be directed to: Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas at

Here is an example of the model your study might fit within:

Model of Early Stage Intervention Research
Figure 1: Model of Early Stage Intervention Research


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