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


February Lecture Series: Erin Winstanley, PhD

Visiting Professor
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
February 21, 2024
12:00-1:00 PM
Davis Auditorium, UVM Medical Center

March Lecture Series: Cancelled

Many of the VCBH's faculty and trainees will be attending the SRNT annual meeting in Scotland at this time and will not be available for this month's lecture.

Visit the Center on Rural Addiction



VCBH Career Opportunities

Predoctoral & Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Click here for more information.

Health Care Professional needed to work with a Principal Investigator to deliver prolonged exposure (PE) therapy via telemedicine to research participants. Click here for complete job posting.


Getting Used to Our “New Normal”

June 19, 2020 by Nicole Twohig

UVM Vermont Center on Behavior & Health faculty members Allison N. Kurti, Ph.D., and Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., discuss how to manage the natural urge to socialize, how to understand our reactions and feelings, and how to establish new, healthy routines to help us cope with our “new normal” and help keep our communities safe.

Allison N. Kurti, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychological science, and Stephen Higgins, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and psychological science, and director of VCBH, recently authored an article for the UVM Medical Center's blog entitled, "Getting Used to Our 'New Normal.'" The article explores several important behavior change questions community members face as the weather becomes warmer and sunnier, we see opportunities to gather outdoors, and we desire a return to our pre-pandemic lives despite knowing COVID-19 has not been eliminated, there is no treatment, nor a vaccine.

  • Why is it so hard to continue practicing physical distancing even though we know it’s the right thing to do?
  • How can we overcome our tendency to lose sight of greater future rewards, like a healthier community?
  • How do we set up routines for ourselves?
  • Where can we find more of these fun resources?

Read the entire article on the blog and visit the new VCBH COVID-19 website to find resources to help maintain health and wellness while social distancing and adjusting to the "new normal."