The Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH), led by Director Stephen T. Higgins, PhD, is an interdisciplinary research center committed to investigating relationships between personal behavior patterns (i.e., lifestyle) and risk for chronic disease and premature death. Our work has historically focused on health disparities for the most vulnerable populations, particularly among the socioeconomically disadvantaged where these risk factors are overrepresented.


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Located in Burlington, VT at the University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine, VCBH researchers have a specific focus on understanding mechanisms underpinning risk and developing effective interventions and policies to promote healthy behavior. A common thread across VCBH research projects is the application of knowledge from the disciplines of behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology to increase understanding of vulnerability to unhealthy behavior and the use of incentives and other behavioral and pharmacological interventions to support healthy behavior change interventions and policies.

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Upcoming VCBH Events

10th Annual VCBH Conference
October 6-7, 2022
Learn More and Register

Monthly Lecture Series
Quinn R. Pack, MD
November 16, 2022
Registration Coming Soon

View videos and slides from our FY22 series
on our FY22 Archives Page.


Visit the Center on Rural Addiction



VCBH Career Opportunities

Check back soon for openings.

VCBH has one postdoctoral opening with Dr. Sarah Heil.

Visit our Career Opportunities page to learn more about open positions and how to apply.



  • Contingency Management and Addiction Recovery
    On September 7, 2022, AP News published "Candy, cash, gifts: How rewards help recovery from addiction," an inside look at how contingency management (CM), an evidence-based therapy rooted in behavioral economics that provides incentives or rewards for a desired behavior, is gaining support across the country and with the federal government. VCBH Director Steven Higgins contributed to the story.
  • VCBH Working on Low Nicotine Studies
    VCBH Director Stephen Higgins was interviewed by CBS affiliate WCAX about the center's current research examining "how lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes and e-cigarettes affect people’s need to smoke."
  • Financial Incentives Delivered via App Show Positive Outcomes for Pregnant Smokers
    A new study, led by researchers and colleagues at the Vermont Center of Behavior and Health, published in JAMA Network OPEN found that using a smartphone app (DynamiCare Health Inc) that monitored smoking and delivered incentives to participants’ debit cards, showed promise in achieving similar results to clinic-based best practices with financial incentives.
  • Higgins Named Recipient of 2022 CPDD Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award
    Stephen Higgins, PhD, director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, professor, and vice chair of psychiatry has been named the recipient of the 2022 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award, their career achievement award.
  • Stephen T. Higgins, PhD Receives SABA Award for Scientific Translation
    Stephen Higgins, PhD, director of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, professor, and vice chair of psychiatry has been selected by the Society of the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) as the recipient of the 2022 SABA Award for Scientific Translation.