Policy Strategic Growth Area Has Issued a Request for Contributions

The Policy Strategic Growth Area (PSGA) is accepting applications for awards to pilot the research activities integral to a unique VT hub for advancing innovative and ground-breaking policy knowledge, education, and practice. The awards will enhance or accelerate an ongoing, policy-oriented research project, or stimulate a new project. The awards will be up to $30,000 to be expended during FY 2018. Applications are due Wednesday, May 24, 2017.


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As one of Virginia Tech's research investment institutes, ISCE serves the entire university, with its primary constituents being faculty whose research and scholarship focuses on socially significant research and creative efforts.  ISCE's four thematic areas of research and scholarship include:

  • Global Issues Initiative:  global trade and economic integration; global security; public policy; counter-terrorism; public health; science policy
  • Human Development and Health: life span issues; aging issues; children, adolescents, adulthood, family, community; child and adult health behavior; social influences on health; public health; health policy
  • Risk and Resilience:  individual risk; social complexity, ethics; risk analysis; disaster management; social media and communication; technology, security; public policy
  • Built Environments: urban formations; rural settings; home environments; policy implementation and evaluation 


This is a photograph of Isabel Bradburn

The Institute for Society, Culture and Environment is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Isabel Bradburn to ISCE Administrative Fellow.  Dr. Bradburn brings expertise in social science content (e.g., children and families, early childhood education and interventions, elementary and STEM education and policy, and attachment), research methods (e.g, quantitative methods, interviewing and survey construction, program evaluation and translational science) and proposal development. As an Administrative Fellow, she will:


  •  Coordinate ISCE-related special projects and initiatives
  • Assist faculty in ISCE-related proposal writing ventures
  • Facilitate the development of internal and external collaboration




OBSSR Director Comments on 2017-2021 Strategic Plan

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Director William (Bill) Riley recently released commentaries on the office's 2017-2021 Strategic Plan three scientific priorities.

  • Priority One: Improve the synergy of basic and applied behavioral and social sciences research
  • Priority Two: Enhance and promote the research infrastructure, methods, and measures needed to support a more cumulative and integrated approach to behavioral and social sciences research

Priority Three: Facilitate the adoption of behavioral and social sciences research findings in health research and in practice.

House Science Committee Begins Conversation on NSF's Future

On March 9, the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held an oversight hearing to discuss the National Science Foundation (NSF). Witnesses included NSF Director France Córdova and Allison Lerner, NSF's Inspector General.

When asked specifically about the impacts of social science in particular, Dr. Córdova highlighted the contributions the social sciences make to national security, cybersecurity, and a variety of other areas, adding that "[she] can't think of a sphere of human endeavor that doesn't need social science to inform it."

Read on for more details.

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Why Social Science?

Bill Riley, Director of NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research writes about the importance of research into the social determinants of health and illness.


Faculty Spotlight

Jim Hawdon's research on online extremism.