Case Studies

Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research Fact Sheets


National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR)


Since 1993, OBSSR has sought to coordinate and advance behavioral and social sciences at NIH. These advances have contributed to understanding of underlying mechanisms of mental and physical health. illness, and treatment. Because this scientific understanding is continually evolving, communicating up-to-date research findings to the public and health care providers is a key OBSSR priority.

How RLA Moved Science Forward

From 2017 to 2021, RLA helped OBSSR develop a strategic plan to improve, promote, and facilitate the adoption of behavioral and social science research. This included an array of executive secretariat services; original analysis and synthesis; and publication writing, editing, and design. RLA also developed a communications plan for OBSSR to promote the value of behavioral and social sciences research and to empower stakeholders to participate in this work with a communications toolkit. To support OBSSR’s mission to communicate research findings with the public, RLA was tasked with developing fact sheets on behavioral and physical health topics including depression, diabetes, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, teen pregnancy, sleep health, tobacco cessation, and intimate partner violence. RLA paired key takeaways with designed visuals to synthesize recent findings, highlight trends, and translate impacts in order to make scientific data more accessible to public audiences. To ensure the data accurately reflected the most recent trends, RLA facilitated meetings with subject matter experts to guide research, literature review, and synthesis of the most salient aspects of each topic.


RLA helped equip OBSSR with a dynamic toolkit to communicate behavioral and social science research accomplishments to a broad range of stakeholders, from clinicians and researchers to the public. Effectively engaging stakeholders in varied contexts is critical to advance OBSSR’s mission to enhance the impact of behavioral and social sciences research in service of the nation’s health.


  • Conduct original analysis and synthesis, including scientific literature review
  • Design visual elements to highlight key research insights and impacts
  • Write, copyedit, and fact-check content for public health messaging
  • Facilitate meetings with subject matter experts
Managing Chronic Pain