Implications of the 21st Century Cures Act for the Behavioral and Social Sciences at the National Institutes of Health

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The 21st Century Cures Act provides funding for key initiatives relevant to the behavioral and social sciences and includes administrative provisions that facilitate health research and increase the privacy protections of research participants. At about the same time as the passage of the Act, the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research released its Strategic Plan 2017-2021, which addresses three scientific priorities: (a) improve the synergy of basic and applied behavioral and social sciences research; (b) enhance and promote the research infrastructure, methods, and measures needed to support a more cumulative and integrated approach to behavioral and social sciences; and (c) facilitate the adoption of behavioral and social sciences research findings in health research and in practice. This commentary describes the implications of the Cures Act on these scientific priorities and on the behavioral and social sciences more broadly.

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