Behavioral, Social, and Implementation Sciences Core

<h4><a href=”#Engaging-with-Community-Advisory-Boards”>Community Engagement</a></h4>

Scientific Agenda

The Behavioral, Social, and Implementation Science (BSIS) Core provides services to investigators whose work addresses the contextual factors that drive the HIV epidemic. Faculty and collaborators who utilize the core often focus on biomedical aspects of HIV research and engage the BSIS Core to complement their projects with aims related to implementation research, development of effective interventions, and behavioral sciences. Visit the Find a Service page or email to request services.

Services and Resources

Chicago and Statewide HIV Surveillance and Public Health Data

The BSIS Core facilitates collaborations between Third Coast CFAR scientists, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health to leverage epidemiological, National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, and medical monitoring data for use in NIH applications and research projects. CFAR staff can offer navigation to investigators as they develop their projects and require Data Use Agreements, Releases of Information, and other agreements. With collaboration and approval from CDPH or IDPH, the CFAR may also facilitate retrieval and analysis of health department.

Presentations from the BSIS Core’s workshop on surveillance data and CDPH resources are available here

Statistical Consulting and Quantitative Methods

The Third Coast CFAR offers a breadth of doctoral and masters level statistical services. Consultation during the application phase is encouraged and may be offered at reduced rates. A budget for these core services may be built into NIH grants. Discuss your needs by reaching out to a CFAR research navigator Services include:

  • Power analysis
  • Methodology and experimental design
  • Survey construction
  • Traditional statistical modeling (e.g., ANOVA, regression, or survival analysis)
  • Latent variable modeling
  • Network Analysis
  • Geographic information systems and geospatial analysis

Implementation Science Training and Consultation

The BSIS Core offers consultation, training, and research navigation for investigators who work in implementation research or who wish to integrate these methods into their work. The Third Coast CFAR is home to experts in HIV implementation sciences and collaborates closely with Northwestern’s Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM) and the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH) to create resources available throughout the CFAR network. Recorded workshops and slide decks on fundamentals and methods in implementation sciences are available:

IS 101: An Introductory Workshop

IS 201: Experimental Designs for Implementation Research

Landscape of NIH-Funded HIV Implementation Research

Two Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trials of HIV Prevention eHealth Interventions for Diverse YMSM

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

Consultation and Collaboration with Public Health Department Experts

The Third Coast CFAR is well connected to many local and state public health departments in the U.S. Experts in the BSIS Core are available to facilitate connection, set up advisory consultation, and help investigators navigate the landscape of HIV/STI public health programs and data sources.

GIS Services

In health research, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an innovative way to visualize trends in data, such as HIV incidence relative to location or other contextual factors. BSIS Core GIS services include categorical, pattern, and buffer analysis. Geocoding services are also available. View more examples of maps tailored using local data in the GIS map gallery. To request GIS services or consultation, please visit the Find a Service page.

Research Participant Registry – CHAMP

Recruitment is often one of the most challenging aspects of HIV research. CFAR facilitates recruitment of Chicago residents age 16+ who are interested in participating in HIV-related studies. The BSIS Core populates the CHAMP registry through online and venue-based outreach, with a special emphasis on engaging Young Men who have Sex with Men. 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. Participants involved in CHAMP update these responses quarterly. If you are interested in the CHAMP registry as a recruitment tool for your project, please visit the Find a Service page.

Engaging with Community Advisory Boards

The BSIS Core collaborates closely with programs at Center on Halsted and other community partners in 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.

Social and Behavioral Measures

BSIS Core faculty are available to advise investigators to help them select relevant and well-validated surveys and scales for HIV research in the social and behavioral sciences.


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

Internal Advisory Committee

C. Hendricks Brown, PhD, Northwestern University
Jenny Trinitapoli, PhD, MSW, The University of Chicago
Celeste Watkins-Hayes, PhD, Northwestern University