Religion, Spirituality, and Health Scientific Interest Group
Watch the videocast on-demand here NIH VideoCast - Religion, Spirituality, and Health Scientific Interest Group: "Shaken to the Core: Spiritual Struggles as a Vital Topic for Clinical Research and Practice".
Attention! We created an alternative RSH-SIG listserv for those external to the NIH! If you do not have an NIH e-mail account, you can still subscribe to our listserv at https://list.nih.gov/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A0=RELIGION-SPIRITUALITY-HEALTH-EXT.
The Religion, Spirituality, and Health Scientific Interest Group (RSH-SIG) was established in October 2020. It was founded by Joan Romaine, MPH, MS, NIAAA, who serves as Chair of the Steering Committee. The Intramural and Extramural Advisors of the RSH-SIG are Ann Berger, MD, MSN, Director of the Pain and Palliative Care Department of the NIH Clinical Center, and Deidra Roach, MD, Medical Program Officer in the Division of Treatment and Recovery at NIAAA.
The purpose of the NIH Religion, Spirituality, and Health Scientific Interest Group (RSH-SIG) is to foster communication, promote collaboration, and facilitate the exchange of information, understanding, and resources within the NIH to the larger research community on the intersection of religion, spirituality (R/S) and health. The RSH-SIG will promote the understanding of research on the intersection of R/S and health to promote Cura Personalis or “care for the entire person,” including in the areas of prevention, treatment, and recovery from health conditions that may impact any sphere of functioning, including behavioral, cognitive, and physical diseases/health conditions while providing a more comprehensive understanding of the person from a biopsychosocial-spiritual model of care. The RSH-SIG envisions that its work will contribute to the NIH mission “to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability."
The aims of the RSH-SIG include:
- Fostering research on the intersection of R/S and health
- Highlighting opportunities and gaps for research in the field and making recommendations to NIH Leadership
- Categorizing and coordinating information about relevant R/S measurement tools, research, and training resources (i.e., website or dashboard)
- Communicating opportunities for training
- Identifying opportunities for collaboration and possible partnerships
- Encouraging the development of Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcements (formerly known as Funding Opportunity Announcements), standard language, and review criteria
- Enhancing communication between stakeholders in the field (e.g., researchers, funding institutions)
- Creating an RSH-SIG website (public access), email, listserv, and Teams site (listserv and Teams site are internal use only) to share information about lectures, studies, and related items of interest to enhance communication.
- Hosting an RSH-SIG Seminar Series
- Developing RSH-SIG Networking Events
The Steering Committee of the Religion, Spirituality, and Health Scientific Interest Group will act as the overarching leadership group of the RSH-SIG. Steering Committee members are:
Rezvan Ameli, Ph.D., CC
Ann Berger, M.D., MSN, CC — Intramural Advisor
Christina Brackna, NCCIH
Ranjan Gupta, Ph.D., FIC
Madelon Halula, Ph.D., NIAID
Raye Litten, Ph.D., NIAAA
Gabriela Riscuta, M.D., C.N.S., NCI
Deidra Roach, M.D., NIAAA — Extramural Advisor
Joan Romaine, M.S., M.P.H., NIAAA — Founder and Chair
Dan Xi, Ph.D., NCI
Cantor Michael Zoosman, MSM, BCC, CC
The RSH-SIG Journal Club is open to NIH staff and meets by NIH Webex on the third Tuesday of the month from 2:00–3:00 p.m. Mr. Jason Wilson, MA, NIH OD (Office of IRB Operations) is serving as the Coordinator of the Journal Club. Please contact him at email@example.com if you have an article you would like to present.
All NIH-staff with an nih.gov email account can join the RSH-SIG listserv (RELIGION-SPIRITUALITY-HEALTH@LIST.NIH.GOV) and also the “full group,” which meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. The participation of individuals, agencies, and organizations outside of the NIH who share an interest are welcome to participate in our public events.
Ranjan Gupta, PhD (FIC), and Gabriela Riscuta, MD, MS, CNS (NCI) are serving as the co-editors of the RSH-SIG newsletter. It is anticipated that the newsletter will be published on a quarterly basis. If you have an idea for an article of interest for the newsletter, please email them at RSH-SIGnewsletter@mail.nih.gov.
Resources for Researchers
NIH RePORT and RePORTER: https://reporter.nih.gov
The Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools provides access to reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities, including information on NIH expenditures and the results of NIH supported research.
NIH PhenX Toolkit: https://www.phenxtoolkit.org
The PhenX Toolkit (consensus measures for Phenotypes and eXposures) provides recommended standard data collection protocols for conducting biomedical research. The protocols are selected by Working Groups of domain experts using a consensus process, which includes the scientific community. The Toolkit provides detailed protocols for collecting data and tools to help investigators incorporate these protocols into their studies. Using protocols from the PhenX Toolkit facilitates cross-study analysis, potentially increasing the scientific impact of individual studies.
Spirituality, religion linked to heart health among Black Americans
Select Past Presentations
Jesse Fox, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor & Chair, Stetson University
“Developing Research to Train Mental Health Providers in Spiritual and Religious Competencies”
July 18, 2023
Tyler J. VanderWeele, Ph.D.
John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
“Religion and Mental Health”
June 6, 2023
David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., APBB
Director of the Spirituality and Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
“Spiritual Psychotherapy For Inpatient, Residential & Intensive Treatment (SPIRIT)”
May 16, 2023
Harold G. Koenig, M.D.
Director, Duke University’s Center for Theology, Spirituality, and Health
“Religion, Spirituality and Health: Review, Update, and Future Directions”
December 14, 2021
Ralph L. Piedmont, PhD (RSH-SIG only)
Managing Director, Center for Professional Studies, LLC
“Psychology of Religion/Spirituality 101: Avoiding the Pitfalls”
August 10, 2021
Rezvan Ameli, PhD (RSH-SIG only)
Pain and Palliative Care Department, NIH Clinical Center
“The Effects of a Short Mindfulness-Based Self Care (MBSC) Program on Employee Stress”
July 13, 2021
Ann Berger, M.D., M.S.N.
“Development of an Instrument to Assess Psychosocial Spiritual Healing: The NIH HEALS”
May 18, 2021
Eve Namisango, PhD (RSH-SIG only)
NIH-HEALS PhD Fellow
African Palliative Care Association and Fellow at Cicely Saunders Institute
“Spirituality, Culture, Traditions, and Cancer Care: African Perspectives”
April 20, 2021
NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
“Harmonizing the Spiritual and Scientific Worldviews”
February 9, 2021
Scientific Focus Areas
Social and Behavioral Sciences
This page was last updated on Thursday, October 26, 2023