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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
decadal survey graphic

Call for White Papers
(The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2017)

The Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences is leading an unclassified decadal survey sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to identify opportunities in the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) that are poised to contribute significantly to the analytic responsibilities of the intelligence community (IC). For more information, please see the Statement of Task. This project kicked-off with a national summit that was held on October 4-5, 2016. Currently, we are in the second phase of the study, the decadal survey. A key aspect of the decadal survey is the outreach to and input gathered from the scientific and, in this study, the intelligence communities.

As part of the outreach and information gathering requirement, the decadal survey will have two separate calls for white papers. The present call for white papers is being issued to provide direct input from the scientific community into the initial work of the committee and workshop panels. Toward that end, we are seeking input from SBS academics and researchers with IC experience and/or knowledge to provide insights into the IC’s needs and challenges with respect to the use of SBS research for analytic capabilities. White papers should address the following questions:

1. What are some of the key challenges, questions and needs facing the intelligence community regarding social and behavioral developments
(see below)?
2. What makes these challenges and questions important at this time and in the foreseeable future?
3. What are the anticipated national security benefits for addressing these challenges and questions?

 View/Download PDF Instructions

In response to these questions, it is anticipated that white papers will consider challenges and questions across a range of SBS domains with possible implications for national security and intelligence analysis. Such areas may include (but are not limited to):

--  Developments likely to affect human life and human capacity (e.g., advances in skill assessment and training; enhancements of physical capabilities; massive urbanization and implications of megacities; treatment of diseases and migration of disease agents; and access to food, shelter, and/or healthcare)

-- Developments likely to affect social stability and social/political institutions and relationships between citizens and governments or employers (e.g., perceptions of equity and justice; enhanced capacity to identify individuals’ characteristics and tendencies; and advances in automation, emerging technologies and other changes to employment and communication)


-- Developments likely to affect governance, state capacity, and the viability of transnational regimes (e.g., expectations of government-provided services with regard to the varying characteristics and demographic profiles across populations; changes to government’s ability to satisfy the needs of citizens; and anticipation of fragmentation and consolidation of social and political units)

-- Development of global ideas and their uptake in different cultural and political contexts (e.g., social transmission of ideas through a variety of media and platforms; behaviors in response to strongly held beliefs; and implications for public well-being, trust in government, recruitment of terrorists and sympathizers; and destabilization of states) 

Please note that while this study is primarily focused on analysis (see Statement of Task); we also understand that collection plays a valuable role in facilitating the work of analysts. Thus, white papers identifying key challenges in the area of collection as they relate to the social and behavioral sciences are also welcome.

We thank you for taking the time to prepare and submit a white paper. The success of this decadal survey depends in large part on such input; it will be important that voices and ideas are heard from a broad range of disciplines and research communities. The information gathered from these white papers will be used solely to inform this project and the work of the committee.

A second call for white papers focused on SBS solutions to the IC challenges identified in this initial call for white papers will be announced mid-2017. To receive notifications of these requests, please sign up for the decadal survey listserv by emailing

Decadal Flag Line Bar

Submission Requirements/Instructions



-- Paper length is limited to 5 pages with 2 pages of references. Anything beyond 7 pages will not be reviewed.
-- Paper margins should be at least 1” on all sides.
-- 12 point font.

-- 1.5 line spacing. 

   -- Papers should be submitted in PDF format
   -- There is a maximum single file size limit of 10MB.
   -- File Name Format: LastName_FirstName_PaperShortTitle 
   -- Figures and tables published elsewhere should not be included. If such tables or figures are useful to your narrative, please instead provide citation

information for the source and reference to the table or figure number.


Please note that all submissions will be listed in the Public Access File for this project and posted online. As part of the submission process, the principal author will need to agree to the terms and conditions on the
National Academies’ consent form.

Responses are requested by February 15, 2017 to ensure that all papers are considered prior to the first meeting.

Please direct all questions to Julie Schuck at  or 202-334-3379.

Please note: The table below is in GoogleDoc format. High security settings may delay or prevent the upload of white papers.
  • If you do not receive an email confirming that your paper has been received, please email Julie Schuck at
  • If papers are not visible, please click HERE to view submitted papers.



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