Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award

The purpose of the HBIC Award is to facilitate a minimum of one week visit to an international laboratory or research group under the guidance of an identified international mentor. The proposed visit will be based on aims to pursue a specific research project or a specific program development project in the areas of health research, clinical behavioral health, or health promotion. The applicant will receive $3,000 USD to offset costs of travel and accommodations to visit the lab of an international mentor. Four awards will be competitively granted each year. Applicants can be trainees or early career professionals within 5 years of completing their terminal degree. 


This grant is jointly sponsored by the International Society of Behavioral Medicine (ISBM), the Society for Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association (SfHP), the American Psychosomatic Society (APS), and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, USA (SBM).


The purpose of the grant is to facilitate a minimum of a one-week visit to an international laboratory or research group under the guidance of an identified international mentor. Each year four awards will be competitively granted; each award is sponsored by one of the sponsoring organizations (ISBM, SfHP, APS, or SBM). The proposed visit will be based on aims to pursue a specific research project or a specific program development project in the areas of health research, clinical behavioral health, behavioral medicine, or health promotion. The research or program development project should be feasible within one year. If the project cannot be completed during the visit to the mentor’s country, a plan for distance collaboration should be well articulated.


  • Applicants can be trainees (graduate, professional students – e.g., residents) and early career professionals (e.g., fellows, faculty) within 5 years of completing their terminal degree.
  • There are no restrictions as to the applicant’s age. A list of the member societies of ISBM can be found at the end of the application. Applicants from developing countries in which there are no currently active behavioral medicine organizations will be automatically considered for the ISBM-sponsored award. If an applicant is a member of multiple sponsoring organizations, they will be considered for the award sponsored by each organization. Please note, the applicant may only receive a single award.
  • Applicants are eligible for the award sponsored by organizations of which they are members.
  • International mentors must be members of one of the sponsoring organizations at the time of application.
  • There is no country restriction to apply for funding from the ISBM, APS, or SBM. If you are applying for funding from the Society for Health Psychology, either the mentor or applicant must be currently based in the USA.
  • The mentor must not have served as a mentor for a Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award within the last two years.


  • The applicant will receive $3,000 USD to offset costs of travel and accommodations to visit the lab of an international mentor.
  • The international mentor must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to work with the applicant to complete the project or academic goals described in the proposal.
  •  The award cannot be used to facilitate conference attendance.
  • One year after receiving the award, the trainee will complete a 2-3 page form for the Health and Behavior International Collaborative Research Award Committee describing the progress and any available outcomes of the project. Successful applicants will receive a link to the form one year following receipt of the award.
  • The trainee must acknowledge the Health and Behavior International Collaborative Research Award and the sponsoring organization (e.g., ISBM, SfHP, APS or SBM) in publications and other products arising from work achieved as a result of this award.



1. Application Form (*see final page of Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award Application 2018

2. A maximum 2-page letter (11 pt. font, 1⁄2 inch (1.27 cm) margins) providing:

(a) Description and justification for purpose and anticipated benefit of international visit.

(b) Overview of the rationale and methodology for proposed project, visit, and collaborative activity.

(c) Evidence of communication with the international research mentor (prior communication/discussion with mentor is expected).

(d) Clear outline of specific objectives of the proposed visit/project.

(e) A clear plan for executing above objectives, including preliminary timetable of activities during proposed visit with specific emphasis on the feasibility of the project within the proposed timeline.

(f) Outline of plan for continued collaboration and product. A budget plan (how funds will be utilized) including any additional resources committed by the mentor or institution.

3. Curriculum vitae for applicant (maximum of four pages).

4. A one-page letter of support from the home institution or research mentor attesting to:

(a) support of the applicant’s travel plans and its anticipated benefits,

(b) support of the applicant’s plans to produce scholarly work as a result of the award, and

(c) the strength/qualifications of the applicant.


1. Curriculum vitae (maximum of four pages).

2. A 1-page letter in which the international mentor:

(a) Agrees to be the trainee’s mentor for the proposed visit.

(b) Testifies to any previous communication with applicant as well as the applicants’ qualifications for the proposed project.

(c) Confirms that he or she has sufficient time and resources to support planned activities during the specified time period. The mentor is asked to include a specific statement regarding any resources or supplementary resources available to offset potential additional costs (e.g., extended visit).

(d) States that he or she has not served as a mentor for the Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award in the past two years.


Deadline: May 1, 2018

Submission: Please send submission to

Applicants will be competitively considered for funding by each organization of which he or she is a member. Two representatives from each sponsoring organization will use a standardized scoring system to rank their choice of applicants. The scoring system will be developed by the International Collaborative Awards Committee with special attention to (a) scientific merit (i.e., background, methodology) of the proposed project; (b) clarity and feasibility of the proposed objectives/plans of the visit; (c) qualification of applicant; (d) support of the hosting institution/mentor; and (e) potential for ongoing scientific collaboration and product. The Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award Committee (which these representatives comprise) will collaboratively determine the final awardees. Applicants will be notified via email by June 1st, 2018 regarding the outcome of their applications.




Given the novel nature of the HBIC Award, members of the International Collaborative Awards Committee (Dr. Zina Trost, Dr. Courtney Barry) conducted interviews with 4 of 5 award recipients (2016-2017). Interviews intended to gauge the utility of the HBIC Award, including completed and anticipated outcomes, as well as areas of challenge/improvement that could be implemented in future iterations of the award mechanism.

General Feedback: All recipients expressed high genuine enthusiasm regarding the HBIC Award opportunity, experience, and utility in catalyzing their career goals. Although recipients varied with respect to award/research visit completion, all described concrete progress and outcomes to have emerged out of the international research collaboration.

  1. How recipient heard about the HBIC Award: Two recipients learned of the award during conferences and listservs; one recipient was forwarded the award by her mentor. One awardee indicated that she had actively been looking for similar award mechanisms and joined SfHP and ISBM as part of her application. Notably, half the awardees had initiated contact with their host lab prior to knowledge of the HBIC Award, whereas the rest used the award to facilitate contact with the host lab.
  2. What motivated recipients to apply for the HBIC Award: There was consensus that the award facilitated an existing goal to expand their existing research area or establish/cement a research collaboration considered valuable for their future career.
  • I was looking to take next steps with my career outside of my research institution…I really wanted to delve into this new area…”
  • “I liked how the award provided concrete steps, structure, to initiate the collaboration…. it opened doors”
  • “I had actually been in contact with this group for over 8 years, on and off, but this provided the first concrete opportunity, like a springboard, for us to work towards… really cemented this collaboration… let them know I was serious”
  • “I met my collaborator at the Psychosomatic Society conference but as a doctoral student didn’t have the funding to work with him…. I thought it would be a perfect match, where it would be shorter term, an international opportunity, and have an impact on my career”
  1. Evaluation of the experience: Awardees expressed appreciation of various parts of the international research experience. All volunteered that, as ECPs, it was valuable to participate in a lab setting outside the home institution, reflecting different models of supervision and laboratory management, as well as gain training in specific methodologies they might not have otherwise received.
  • “It was exciting to just be a fly on the wall in a completely different institution…you realize things can be done very differently… and I will take some of these things home with me”
  • “It is important to have exposure to different labs and how they function…also exposure to different cultures that I would not have gotten … this will help shape research in the future”
  • “…learned how European labs differ in management overall, compared to US labs…”
  • “It was incredibly valuable to observe the workings of another academic department, particularly one that is so prolific. The structure of the team appeared to facilitate their high productivity, and I can see that replicating this structure in my university department would be very beneficial. I have since met with a number of colleagues about creating these positions”
  • “It was fantastic to be able to participate in … supervisory meetings and observe how PhD and Master programs are run in a different country and in an Ivy League University”
  1. Description of outcomes: Across award recipients interviewed, the international award has initiated work to result in one or more publications, as well as data collection and analysis, and at least one conference submission (this is true likewise for the recipient whose visit was delayed by maternity leave). Award recipients in faculty positions described plans for their graduate students to visit the host institution or to host a trainee from the international collaborator. Ongoing plans for collaboration were expressed by all recipients.                                                                                                  
  2. Challenges foreseen or encountered: No major challenges were noted; however, it was suggested that unanticipated events may interfere with international travel and that more time/flexibility may be necessary to plan an international trip.
  3. Application procedures: While recipients noted that the short structure of the application was challenging, they also saw the value in being concise. It was suggested that greater page length be considered. In general, recipients appreciated that the award was brief. Need for greater clarity regarding organizational membership eligibility (i.e., which organization would be reviewing each awardee) and release of funding date was expressed by some recipients. Two recipients were specifically appreciative regarding direct release of funds, due to limited resources at the home institution.
  • “I like that the structure was brief…it made me get to the point!”
  1. Recommendations regarding award procedures and dissemination: The following suggestions consistently emerged from award interviews:
    1. Organization of a symposium or similar platform where HBIC Award recipients could showcase their work and experience.
    2. Having international liaisons within individual countries to help circulate the award.
    3. More systematic collection of information of where participants hear about the award.
    4. Additional clarification regarding qualification criteria and application process.




Mahati Chittem, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts at IIT Hyderabad in India, is working with the lab of Dr. Patricia Parker at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA to develop research to test the Disclosure Decision-Making Model in cancer communication in India. (SfHP awardee).

Rebecca Wyse, Ph.D., Research Fellow in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle in Australia, will be traveling to the lab of Dr. David Just at Cornell University in Ithaca, USA to design, implement, and evaluate strategies to influence the behavior of children in selecting and consuming healthy food options in school settings. (ISBM awardee).


Lydia Roos, Ph.D. student of Health Psychology at the University of North Carolina in the USA, will be traveling to the lab of Dr. Nicolas Rohleder, Ph.D., at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany to evaluate the role of emotion regulation strategies in acute stress reactivity using a repeated acute stress paradigm (SfHP awardee).

Samantha van Beurden, Ph.D. student of Medical Studies at the University of Exeter Medical School in the UK will be traveling to the lab of Dr. Petra Staiger, Ph.D., at Deakin University in Australia to adapt a dietary impulse management intervention for use in problem drinkers (ISBM awardee).

Patricia Moreno, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Trainee at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the USA, will be traveling to the lab of Dr. Manual Ortiz, Ph.D., at Universidad de La Frontera in Chile to evaluate psychosocial factors and cardiometabolic dysregulation in adult Chilean cancer survivors (APS awardee).


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