Sean Grant

Behavioral and Social Scientist; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in social intervention, University of Oxford; M.Sc. in evidence-based social intervention, University of Oxford; B.A. in psychology, Loyola Marymount University; B.A.. in philosophy, Loyola Marymount University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Sean Grant is a behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation and affiliated faculty at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Grant is interested in advancing the transparency, openness, and rigor of intervention science. He principally evaluates interventions for substance use, though he is passionate about applying intervention research methods to topics spanning the behavioral, social, and health sciences. He has experience in program evaluation, systematic reviews, stakeholder engagement, and consensus methodology. At RAND, Grant is an investigator with the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center and the ExpertLens research team. Grant currently works on several projects that aim to improve the quality of evidence for behavioral and social interventions: CONSORT-SPI, a new reporting guideline for randomized controlled trials of social and psychological interventions (UK ESRC; RAND PI), adapted reporting standards for protocols of social intervention trials (BITSS and LJAF; PI), and guidance for rating the quality of the body of evidence for complex social interventions (UK ESRC, RAND PI). Grant is also Co-PI of a project funded by the Wallace Foundation to review evidence on interventions that promote students' social-emotional learning outcomes. In addition, Grant is Co-Investigator for a NIDA-funded project to identify and evaluate sequences of decision rules (adaptive interventions) for adolescent substance use treatment, and for a PCORI-funded project to create an online method for patient and caregiver engagement in clinical guideline development. Grant holds a Ph.D. in social intervention and an M.Sc. in evidence-based social intervention from the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention, University of Oxford.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Associate Member, Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention, University of Oxford

Recent Projects

  • Engaging patients and caregivers managing rare diseases to improve the methods of clinical guideline development
  • GRADE extension for complex social interventions
  • Review of evidence on social and emotional learning
  • Causal effects of community-based treatments for youths
  • Reporting guidance for trial protocols of social science interventions

Selected Publications

Grant, S., Kandrack, R., Motala, A., Shanman, R. M., Booth, M., Miles, J. N. V., Sorbero, M. E., & Hempel, S., "Acupuncture for substance use disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 163:1-15, 2016

Grant, S., Pedersen, E. R., & Neighbors, C., "Associations of PTSD symptoms with marijuana and synthetic cannabis use among young adult U.S. veterans: A pilot investigation," Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(3):509-514, 2016

Grant, S., Mayo-Wilson, E., & Montgomery, P., "Implementing quality improvement for psychosocial interventions," Journal of the American Medical Association, 315(9):943, 2016

Cybulski, L., Mayo-Wilson, E., & Grant, S., "Improving transparency and reproducibility through registration: The status of intervention trials published in clinical psychology journals," Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 84(9):753-767, 2016

Grant, S., Pedersen, E. R., Osilla, K. C., Kulesza, M., & D'Amico, E. J., "It is time to develop appropriate tools for assessing minimal clinically important differences, performance bias and quality of evidence in reviews of behavioral interventions," Addiction, 111(9):1533-1535, 2016

Grant, S., Watkins, K. E., Bogart, A., Paddock, S. M., & Hepner, K. A., "Patient-reported offers of alcohol treatment for primary care patients at high-risk for an alcohol use disorder," Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine,, 29:682-687, 2016

Grant, S., Pedersen, E. R., Osilla, K. C., Kulesza, M., & D'Amico, E. J., "Reviewing and interpreting the effects of brief alcohol interventions: Comment on a Cochrane review about motivational interviewing for young adults," Addiction, 111(9):1521-1527, 2016

Grant, S., Mayo-Wilson, E., Melendez-Torres, G.J., & Montgomery, P., "Reporting quality of social and psychological intervention trials: A systematic review of reporting guidelines and trial publications," PLOS One, 8(5):e65442, 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Leamer-Rosenthal Prize for Emerging Researchers in Open Social Science, Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences, with support from the John Templeton Foundation
  • Barnett Prize, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford
  • Valedictorian, Loyola Marymount University