The UNC CFAR Social and Behavioral Science Research Core seeks to facilitate and support new collaborative HIV-related research that is interdisciplinary and inter-institutional. We provide: socibehavcore200

-Services and resources to support biomedical and social science researchers interested in exploring social, psychological, and structural factors affecting the HIV epidemic; and

-Scientific leadership, mentorship, and networking opportunities to junior faculty, international investigators, and scholars new to HIV research or from traditionally minority institutions.

Examples of services and support include assistance in the planning, development, and study design of research projects; survey development and programming; and data collection and analysis.

We also provide training in Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Interviewing, and data collection methods. Additional information is available on our Services tab.

Resources include our open source training materials; and the Social and Behavioral Instruments (SABI) database, an online, searchable, user-friendly database that enables researchers to search for instruments and scales to measure constructs relevant to social and behavioral HIV research. Additional information is available on our Resources tab.

The Core regularly hosts networking events and maintains a directory of social and behavioral researchers at UNC, FHI 360, and RTI International to promote networking and new collaborations in HIV research. Please see the Events tab or contact Breana Castonguay, Core Manager, for more information.

This Core Supports the UNC CFAR Office of Bioethics


For more information about the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Core, contact the Core Manager, Breana Castonguay via email or at (919) 843-2532.

Carol E Golin, M.D.

Core Director

Dr. Carol Golin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education in the UNC School of Public Health and the Division of General Medicine and Epidemiology in UNC Department of Medicine. Dr. Golin is an experienced health services and behavioral researcher. She has been Principal Investigator and co-investigator of numerous federally funded studies of antiretroviral (ART) adherence and HIV prevention, including trials of the SAFETALK, STAR, and PACT interventions as well as the ADEPT cohort and the HIV Costs and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS). Dr. Golin has expertise in developing theory-based health behavior interventions, particularly incorporating Motivational Interviewing, and in conducting formative research to inform behavioral intervention development. She has been actively involved in developing and testing new ways to measure ART adherence.

725 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
CB# 7590 Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-3811
Office Phone: 919-966-7939

William Zule, Dr.P.H.

Core Associate Director

Zule_W_5138-600Dr. William Zule is a Senior Health Research Analyst and Senior Fellow at RTI. He has been conducting ethnographic, epidemiologic, and prevention intervention research related to HIV among people who use injected or non-injected drugs since 1989. As a leading expert in these fields, he has been a Principal Investigator, Project Director, and ethnographer on multiple largescale HIV epidemiologic projects, such as his current project- Pilot Test of an Intervention to Change Syringes Used by Injecting Drug Users. He has extensive experience in substance abuse research, developing and integrating biomedical and behavioral interventions, and translating research into practice through implementation studies. In addition to his research, Dr. Zule also serves on the board of directors of the North Carolina Harm Reduction Association.

3040 East Cornwallis Rd. P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194
Office Phone: 919-485-2797

Breana J. Uhrig Castonguay, M.P.H

Core Manager

View More: Castonguay is the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Core Manager and oversees the day-to-day functioning of the Core. She provides consultations to HIV investigators on intervention design, survey development and programming, personalized retention strategies, and qualitative data collection methods. She brings extensive field experience particularly in correctional health where she was Clinical Field Supervisor for CARE+ Corrections, an RCT focused on understanding better strategies for HIV-infected returning citizens for medication adherence and HIV care. Her passion for public health and HIV/AIDS began as a community organizer and continued while completing her MPH at GWU where she won Best Thesis for her project, “A Formative Needs Assessment of Routine HIV Testing in Corrections.”

313 Rosenau Hall CB# 7440
Chapel Hill, NC
Phone: 919-843-2532
Fax: 919-966-2921

Jessica Carda-Auten, M.P.H.

Qualitative Research Specialist 

Jessica Carda-Auten is a Qualitative Analyst on the CFAR Social and Behavioral Sciences Core. With a decade of research experience in academic, government, and nonprofit settings, Jessica knows how to select or create the most appropriate data collection tools and methods, and can synthesize and present data in ways that are innovative and tell a relatable story for a variety of audiences. She is particularly skilled at building rapport with research participants, and has a knack for putting people at ease, connecting with individuals, and creating environments where participants forget that they are part of a research study rather than a casual conversation.

313 Rosenau Hall CB# 7440
Chapel Hill, NC
Phone: 919-843-2532
Fax: 919-966-2921

Randall Teal, M.A.

Qualitative Research/Health Behavior Intervention Development Specialist CHAI Core Liaison

RandallTeal Mr. Teal is a Qualitative Researcher, possessing a high-level knowledge of qualitative research methods; extensive experience managing and conducting health research projects; extensive experience organizing and conducting interview and focus group research; strong qualitative analytic understanding; and clear and effective communication skills in writing and presenting qualitative findings. In addition, Mr. Teal acts as a liaison between Core G and CHAI Core, a NIH-funded core facility at UNC, that offers state-of-the-art resources and techniques to the development of high-quality and rigorously-evaluated behavioral science interventions aimed at health promotion and disease prevention in populations at risk.

1700 MLK Jr. Blvd., Room 103 CB# 7294
Phone: 919-843-7830

David Rosen, M.D., Ph.D.

Epidemiology and Prison Database Project Specialist

Dr. David Rosen is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the UNC School of Medicine. Much of Dr. Rosen’s research focuses on the intersection between incarceration and public health. Substantively, his research includes broad assessments of disease prevalence and use of healthcare and mortality among prison-involved populations. He has also conducted several studies examining the use of health services among HIV-infected prisoners and released prisoners. Methodologically, most of Dr. Rosen’s research utilizes the linkage and analysis of large administrative databases to address questions of public health significance for correctional populations and the communities to which they return.

130 Mason Farm Road CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Phone: 919-962-0752

Catherine Grodensky, M.P.H.

Qualitative Research/Survey Development Specialist

IMG_5523Catherine Grodensky’s main areas of expertise are HIV prevention and ART adherence among patients living with HIV/AIDS. She has additional expertise and interest in survey development, process evaluation, qualitative research methods, and the relationship between alcohol use and antiretroviral adherence.

Seth Noar, Ph.D.

Health Communication Specialist

Seth Noar, Ph.D.

Dr. Seth M. Noar is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the UNC – Chapel Hill. His work addresses health communication – specifically health behavior theories, message design and mass media campaigns, and eHealth applications. Dr. Noar has been an Investigator on several NIH-funded studies testing health communication strategies for health promotion and disease prevention, with a significant focus on both HIV and cancer prevention. In 2014, Dr. Noar was recognized by Thomson Reuters as among the top 1% most cited researchers in the social sciences.

382 Carroll Hall
Phone: 919-962-4075

Byron J. Powell, PhD, LCSW

Research Fellow

Byron J. Powell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Research Fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a licensed clinical social worker whose research and scholarship focuses on 1) identifying contextual determinants of implementing evidence-based practices in routine care; 2) identifying, selecting, and tailoring implementation strategies to address determinants of effective implementation; and 3) advancing research methodology in implementation science. His work is currently supported by a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (K01MH113806). He is a past Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health Fellow (2015) and current NIMH-funded Implementation Research Institute Fellow (2016-2018), and serves on the editorial board of the journal Implementation Science.

1105C McGavran-Greenberg Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Kemi Amola, Ph.D.

Motivational Interviewing Specialist

Kemi AmolaDr. Kemi Amola is a training specialist with the Social and Behavioral Science Research Core. She assists in designing and conducting trainings for researchers, professionals, and lay people both nationally and internationally on Motivational interviewing techniques used to enhance HIV prevention practices related to risk reduction, provider patient communication, medication adherence, compassion fatigue, etc. In this role, Dr. Amola also provides consultation to HIV/AIDS research projects aimed at addressing behavioral or social risk factors in a participant population by utilizing formative research strategies, intervention development and design and integrating counseling and Motivational Interviewing techniques.

130 Mason Farm rd CB 7215 Suite 2160 L
Chapel Hill NC 27599-7215
Phone: 919-843-2642
Fax: 919-966-8536

Steve Bradley-Bull, M.A., M.Ed.

Motivational Interviewing Specialist

Steve Bradley-Bull, MA, MEdSteve Bradley-Bull has expertise in developing health behavior interventions, primarily focused on the use of Motivational Interviewing. He has conducted numerous MI sessions (including with incarcerated individuals living with HIV and who were about to be released), trained practitioners in how to conduct MI sessions, developed MI training curricula, created intervention materials for MI sessions, designed process evaluation instruments, and completed MITI coding. Steve holds a Masters of Education in Counseling and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).


130 Mason Farm Road CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Phone: 919-812-9203

Stuart Rennie, Ph.D., M.A.

Biomedical Ethics Specialist

Stuart Rennie, PhD, MADr. Stuart Rennie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Medicine and Core Faculty in the UNC Bioethics Centre. He helps run two NIH-funded bioethics training programs in Cape Town (South Africa) and Kinshasa (DR Congo), and has written extensively about the ethical issues in HIV research, treatment, prevention, surveillance and cure, mostly focused on low-income settings in Southern Africa.

333D MacNider Hall

Amanda Kotey

Graduate Research Assistant

Amanda Kotey is a Research Assistant within the Social and Behavioral Science Research Core, where she aids in assisting with research projects stemming from the Core. Ms. Kotey has a B.S from the University of Notre Dame in Science Pre-Professional Studies, which focuses on preparing students for advanced study in the health professions. She also has a minor in Anthropology. Amanda is currently an MPH student, studying Health Behavior and has experience in clinical research, data analysis, gender-based violence, and community-based interventions. Her research interests primarily include disease prevention and health disparities.

Marjorie Margolis, MSPH

Graduate Research Assistant

Marjorie Margolis, MSPH, is a research assistant with the Social and Behavioral CFAR core. She directly supports CFAR researchers on research activities including grant writing, survey development and design, quantitative analysis, and systematic literature reviews. She is a third year doctoral student in the Health Behavior department of Gillings School of Global Public Health focusing on the influence of patient-provider communication on health behavior. She previously worked in the Health Communication program at RTI, International.


Reana Thomas

Graduate Research Assistant

Reana Thomas is a Research Assistant with the Social and Behavioral Science Research Core, where she assists with a number of Core projects and events. Mr. Thomas has a B.S. from Loyola University Chicago in Biology with a minor in Anthropology. Reana is currently an MPH student, studying Health Behavior, with interests in systemic level change with regard to health equity domestically and globally. Before starting at UNC, Reana gained insight into HIV lifestyle management and medication adherence through her service with AmeriCorps AIDS United.





-Motivational Interviewing: a person-centered counseling style for addressing the common problem of ambivalence about change. For more information about MI and the services we offer, check out our MI Page and MI Blog.

-Cognitive Interviewing: a strategy used to pre-test questionnaires and surveys to ensure that items are understood by respondents as intended by the developers.

-Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, including survey administration, semi-structured interviewing, and focus group moderation

Research proposals/planning

-Grant proposal review and development, including guidance on study design

-Development of analysis plans

-Preliminary data analysis

-Letters of support

Intervention Development and Evaluation

We provide support for the development of:

-Theoretical models

-Intervention protocols, content, and materials

-Process evaluations

Data collection and analysis

We provide support for qualitative research, including:

-Focus group and interview guide development

-Support for data collection

-Data coding and analysis

For additional information about our services related to qualitative research, please see our menu. We also provide support for quantitative research, including:

-Questionnaire design, survey development, and scale development

-Computer assisted survey  (CAPI and ACASI) programming

-Assistance with database creation

-Support for data collection

Manuscript preparation

-Reviews, edits, and feedback on manuscript drafts

-Assistance selecting target academic journals (see Journal Selection Database under Resources tab)

-Assistance with manuscript formatting

-Guidance for submission to academic journals

Mentoring and Networking

We provide mentorship for new CFAR members, junior and minority investigators, and investigators new to HIV social and behavioral research. We facilitate inter-institutional and inter-departmental collaboration in HIV social and behavioral research, particularly through:

-Biannual networking events

-A resource directory of social and behavioral HIV researchers

-Assistance with topical working groups

-Regular networking events

Criminal Justice Related Support

-Consultation regarding recruitment and retention of incarcerated populations

-Access to large, administrative databases to answer research questions related to criminal justice and HIV

For more information about services or to request a service, please use the red service request button at the top of this website.   *Please note: Most of these services do not carry a charge for an initial 1-2 hour consultation. Subsequent fees, or percent effort, are determined from the estimated scope of work.  

Examples of Past Projects

Past Events

Spring 2015 Networking Event: “The Science of Community Engagement: Part I”IMG_5544

Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 11:30am-1:00pm; Pagano Conference Room, Lineberger Cancer Center The SBSRC hosts a networking event each semester, usually geared around a theme to provide a forum for multidisciplinary researchers to meet and network with each other. At the Spring 2015 Networking Event, participants learned more about how community engagement can create increased support and collaboration for clinical and public health research. This event covered how to implement essential community engagement principles at various stages of research by providing successful research study examples.

Dr. Christopher Hurt, Dr. Allison Mathews, Caressa White, and Dr. Carol Golin spoke about essential community engagement principals and illustrated evidence-based practices for initiating community engagement at various stages in the research process. The CFAR SBSRC seeks to stimulate and promote new research and support ongoing collaborative HIV-related social and behavioral research at UNC, FHI, RTI, and other related institutions.

“Motivational Interviewing for Public Health Professionals: A Person-Centered Approach to Achieve Healthier Outcomes”Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 3.42.20 PM

February 17, 2016, 1:00-2:30pm; Virtual During the presentation, participants learn the fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing and how to apply it in a variety of public health settings. This webinar was hosted by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) featuring presenters from the Social and Behavioral Science Core.

Fall 2015 Networking Event: “Building and Sustaining Partnerships between Researchers and Community Based Organizations (CBOs)”

Invitation to Networking EventNovember 19, 2015, 12-1:30pm; Room 508, Koury School of Dentistry  At this lunch-and-learn event, guest speakers Dr. Geni Eng, Dr. Jennifer Schaal, and Ms. Neda Pedilla provided strategies for engaging community partners to strengthen research and improve the health of populations most at need using the “Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative” as an example of a successful researcher-CBO partnership. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Spring 2015 Networking Event: “Meet the Core”

May 1, 2015, 12-1:30pm; Pagano Conference Room, Lineberger Cancer Center This event provided an opportunity for researchers from UNC, RTI, FHI 360, and other institutions to learn more about the services that our core offers and to meet and mingle with colleagues!

Charlotte AHEC 2-Day Motivational Interviewing Workshop

Motivational Interviewing and Medication Adherence: A Person-Centered Approach to Achieve Healthier Outcomes March 10-11, 2015; Charlotte AHEC This two-day workshop focused on learning the fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing and how to apply it specifically to medication adherence in a variety of settings and with diverse individuals. Instructors: Dr. Carol Golin, Dr. Kemi Amola, and Steve Bradley-Bull

i-Engage Motivational Interviewing Booster Training

February 5-6, 2015; University of Alabama at Birmingham This two-day training for iEngage clinicians from 4 sites across the United States featured a review of motivational interviewing skills and discussions about the successes and challenges of MI in practice. Using skill building exercises, videos, demonstrations, role plays, and discussions, the clinicians left with a better understanding of MI and how to more effectively conduct MI sessions with their clients.

CFAR World AIDS Day 2014

The Social and Behavioral Science Core, in partnership with the Criminal Justice WorkingGroup, organized and presented an afternoon session on “HIV and Criminal Justice: Thinking Inside and Outside the Box.” Dr. Robert Fullilove discussed the interconnected epidemics of HIV and mass incarceration and the potential of people considered “the problem” to, in fact, be an underutilized, inspiring solution; Dr. Becky White introduced the nature of HIV and the North Carolina prison system; and Dr. Carol Golin spoke about the research history of the Criminal Justice Working Group. This was followed by a moderated discussion among stakeholders including representatives from the state prison system, jail system, academia, mental health advocacy, and harm reduction advocacy sector. Watch the session here.

More Past Events


The Social and Behavioral Sciences Core assists in webinar and presentation facilitation and development. Please listen to our most recent webinar on the fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing and how to apply it in a variety of public health settings.


The Social and Behavioral Sciences Core holds regular trainings for research professionals. Please access our open source training materials here.


The Social and Behavioral Instruments (SABI) Database is a user-friendly database of instruments (also called measures or scales) measuring social and behavioral constructs relevant to HIV research that researchers can use to find and compare measures.  The database presents a comprehensive list of instruments have been used to measure certain domains in HIV research.  To use the SABI database, please visit our website.


This database includes information about the journals most frequently publishing UNC CFAR-assisted articles. This information can be used to 1) assist researchers in selecting a target journal for their manuscripts, and 2) provide researchers with an overview of journal submission requirements. Data include a description of the journal, impact factor, acceptance rate, length limitations, costs associated with submission and publishing, details about formatting requirements, and supplementary materials required for submission. In addition to the Journal Selection Database available here, the CFAR Social and Behavioral Sciences Core also offers in-person consultation services to supplement online resources. If you are interested in additional guidance regarding journal selection, please request this service here.