Behavioral, Social, and Implementation Sciences Core

The Behavioral, Social, and Implementation Science (BSIS) Core provides training, consultation, and custom services to support the work of faculty and collaborators throughout the Third Coast CFAR. Services draw on the BSIS Core’s expertise in intervention development, biostatistics, health department collaborations, and community engagement.

Services and Resources


Biostatistics and Data Analysis

The BSIS Core’s Biostatistics and Computational Resources Team (BCRT) provides consultation and direct core services in a range of quantitative methodologies to Third Coast CFAR members. Consulting with a research navigator during the proposal development phase is encouraged. Doctoral- and masters-level services are provided on fee-for-service basis. There is no fee for initial consultation. Areas of expertise include:

  • Power analysis
  • Methodology and experimental design
  • Survey construction
  • Traditional statistical modeling (e.g., ANOVA, regression, or survival analysis)
  • Latent variable modeling
  • Network analyses
  • Market research (discrete choice modeling and conjoint analyses)
  • Referral to non-CFAR expertise at Northwestern or University of Chicago 

Implementation Science

Training and consultation in HIV implementation science is available through the BSIS Core for CFAR members investigators who work in implementation research or who wish to integrate these methods into their HIV research portfolio. The Third Coast CFAR is home to experts in HIV implementation science and collaborates closely with Northwestern’s Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM) to create resources available throughout the CFAR network. Recorded workshops and slide decks on fundamentals and methods in implementation science are available:

Additional resources, links to training opportunities, and presentations on essential elements of HIV implementation science are also available via the Inter-CFAR Implementation Science Working Group section of the Third Coast CFAR website.

Public Health Data

The Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health work closely with the BSIS Core to form and enhance scientific partnerships with CFAR members. These collaborations often leverage existing surveillance data and CDC-funded data resources, including National HIV Behavioral Surveillance and Medical Monitoring Project, for use in HIV research. The BSIS Core provides consultation to investigators as they develop new projects and need navigation to create formal data requests, Data Use Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, Releases of Information, and other agreements. The Clinical Sciences Core provides navigation through health department and single IRB processes, as needed. With collaboration and approval from CDPH or IDPH, the CFAR may also facilitate retrieval and analysis of health department data. See the slide deck from a CDPH-CFAR workshop that details data resources available for HV research partnerships. 

Community Engagement

The BSIS Core works closely with community partners throughout Chicago. Faculty and staff are available to connect investigators to key community members for input on projects in development or to establish a new CAB for a long-term project. This service is available in addition to accessing the CFAR’s standing Community Collaboration Board, housed in the Administrative Core, which is also available for consultation.

Geospatial Analyses (ArcGIS)

Geospatial analyses visualize trends in data, such as HIV incidence relative to location or other contextual factors. Using ArcGIS software, the BSIS Core provides custom maps to faculty across disciplines of HIV research. Geocoding services and expert navigation to non-CFAR resources are also available. View examples of tailored maps using local data.

Participant Registry – CHAMP

CHAMP, the CFAR participant registry, connects community members interested in HIV research to studies open to enrollment. The BSIS Core populates the CHAMP registry through online and venue-based outreach, with a special emphasis on engaging communities most impacted by HIV. In addition to collecting relevant contact information (eg. email address and phone number), CHAMP includes self-reported HIV status and testing patterns, and basic demographics. See the data dictionary for more detail. Upon request, investigators may access the contact and health information for CHAMP participants who preliminarily meet inclusion/exclusion criteria for an IRB-approved study. 

Social and Behavioral Measures

Behavioral and social scientists in the BSIS Core are available to help investigators select relevant and well-validated surveys and scales for HIV research across disciplines. In addition to existing measures for HIV research, the core can also navigate users to non-CFAR resources available to support the development of new instruments. 

Contact

To request BSIS Core services, email a research navigator at cfar@northwestern.edu or visit the Find a Service page.

BSIS Core Leadership

Judith T. Moskowitz, PhD, MPH, Northwestern University
BSIS Core Director

Alida Bouris, PhD, MSW, The University of Chicago
BSIS Core Co-Director

Nanette Benbow, MAS, Northwestern University
BSIS Core Co-Director