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December 12, 2008
Retreat Refreshes Behavioral, Social Sciences

Dr. Christine Bachrach, acting director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, wanted just one thing out of the first-ever day-long retreat for NIH’s widely dispersed community of behavioral and social scientists, held Nov. 12 at Natcher Bldg.

December 12, 2008
New Hope for Treatment of Addiction

Drug addiction is notoriously tough to treat, but now research is showing a fresh way to tackle the problem. It’s called computer-based training for cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT4CBT)

OBSSR’s Mabry Wins with Systems Analysis Team

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January 28-29, 2009 Dissemination and Implementation Conference

February 9, 2009, ­ 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Stigma: Lessons & New Directions from a Decade of Research on Mental Illness

July 12-24, 2009
OBSSR/NIH Summer Training Institute on Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions

May 3-8, 2009
Institute on Systems Science and Health

May 22-25, 2009
Gene-Environment Interplay in Stress and Health at the Association for Psychological Science 21st Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA

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Home > Training and Education > Randomized Clinical Trials Info

Randomized Clinical Trials (RCT)

Randomized Clinical TrialsNinth Annual
Summer Institute on Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials
Involving Behavioral Interventions
July 12-24, 2009

Airlie Conference Center
Warrenton, Virginia

Table of Contents


To provide a thorough grounding in the conduct of randomized clinical trials to researchers and health professionals interested in developing competence in the planning, design, and execution of randomized clinical trials involving behavioral interventions. The curriculum will enable participants to:
  • Describe the principles underlying the conduct of unbiased clinical trials.
  • Identify the unique challenges posed by behavioral randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
  • Evaluate alternative RCT designs in terms of their appropriateness to scientific and clinical goals.
  • Select appropriate strategies for enrollment, randomization, and retention of participants.
  • Understand methods for monitoring, coordinating, and conducting RCTs.
  • Develop strategies for appropriate statistical analyses of RCT data.
  • Evaluate the quality of behavioral RCTs and interpret their results.
  • Design a RCT research project in collaboration with a scientific team.
Please see the course schedule for 2008 as an example of the course’s content. Note that the content for 2009 is subject to change.

Dates and Location

The Summer Institute will begin with dinner on Sunday, July 12, 2009 and conclude after lunch on Friday, July 24, 2009.

The course will be held at the Airlie Conference Center in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northern Virginia, providing a serene atmosphere for work and thought in a community of scholars. Warrenton, VA is approximately 60 minutes driving time from Washington, D.C., and is close to recreational areas such as the Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns. Lodging, meals, and instruction will take place at the Conference Center.

The Organizer, Sponsor, & Faculty

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the organizer and sponsor of these annual summer training institutes.

Faculty of summer institutes consist of leading authorities in their fields, with extensive prior experience in the conduct of major clinical trials, with specializations in psychology, behavioral medicine, psychosomatic medicine, gerontology, oncology, cardiovascular diseases, mental health, statistics, randomized clinical trials, and other areas.

The Faculty participating in 2009 includes:
  • Ronald Abeles, PhD
  • Walter Ambrosius, PhD
  • Denise Bonds, MD
  • James Calvin, MD
  • Kenneth Freedland, PhD
  • Steven Hollon, PhD
  • Peter Kaufmann, PhD
  • David Murray, PhD
  • Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD
  • Lynda Powell, PhD
  • Michael Proschan, PhD
  • DeJuran Richardson, PhD
  • Joseph Schwartz, PhD
  • Denise Simons-Morton, MD, PhD
  • Bonnie Spring, PhD
  • Delia Smith West, PhD
Others pending confirmation

Eligibility Requirements for Summer Fellows

Priority will be given to individuals who have received their PhD or MD (or equivalent degrees) not later than July 2007. Applicants must have at least two years of subsequent research experience. Applicants should not yet have achieved a tenured position at their institution. (The typical past participant has had 4-5 years of research experience.) Beyond these eligibility criteria we are seeking researchers who have demonstrated research potential and experience and who will clearly benefit from behavioral randomized controlled trial training. The ideal candidate will have prior experience, and will be actively pursuing an independent research career, in behavioral randomized clinical trials.

Further, those who have extensive research experience will only be considered after more junior investigators have been evaluated. Preference is also given to individuals who are not employees of NIH. While we will consider and may even accept exceptional applicants who do not meet the above criteria, priority will go to those who do.

Due to the limited number of spaces in the course, applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status). Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities: If you are accepted to attend the summer institute and require reasonable accommodations for disabilities to participate in this activity, at least 60 business days before the course begins please contact Ms. Sidnitra Bates at 301.577.0244, extension 64 or

Costs and Stipends

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH, will pay for travel to and from the Summer Institute site, room and board, and for course materials. Family members may accompany participants at their own costs.

Application Procedures

All application materials must be submitted online. Instructions and the application form are posted at

Questions about application procedures should be directed to Ms. at 301.577.0244, extension 64 or

Future Announcements

Join the electronic mailing list (LISTSERV) for forthcoming announcements by —

Sending an e-mail message to from the mailing address at which you want to receive announcements.

The body of the message should read SUBscribe RCT-L [your full name].
    The message is case sensitive; so capitalize as indicated! Don't include the brackets.
The Subject line should be blank

For example, for Robin Smith to subscribe, the message would read SUBscribe RCT-L Robin Smith.
You will receive a confirmation of your subscription along with instructions on how to use the LISTSERV (including how to unsubscribe).

Contact Information

Do you have questions about the course? Please address them to:

Ronald P. Abeles, Ph.D.
Special Assistant to the Director
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 31C, Rm. B1C19, MSC 2027
Bethesda, MD 20892-2027
Telephone: 301.496.7859