Sean Grant

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Behavioral and Social Scientist; Professor, 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

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Sean Grant is a behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He is interested in advancing the overall transparency, openness, and rigor of intervention research for evidence-based policy and practice. He principally researches interventions for behavioral health, though he is interested in intervention research methodology across the behavioral, social, and health sciences.

Grant currently leads several projects developing methodological guidance for social and psychological intervention researchers on reporting: trial protocols (BITSS and LJAF; PI), completed randomized controlled trials (UK ESRC; RAND PI), and confidence in the body of evidence used to estimate intervention effects (UK ESRC, RAND PI). He is also PI of two projects that are exploring the intersection of open science with Institutional Review Boards (RWJF) and evidence tiers for social interventions (LJAF), as well as Co-I for a project to create an online method for patient and caregiver engagement in clinical guideline development (PCORI). Substantively, Grant is co-PI of a project on social and emotional learning interventions under the Every Student Succeeds Act (Wallace Foundation), co-I of a project to identify and evaluate decision rules for adolescent substance use treatment (NIDA), and a team leader for a series of systematic reviews on interventions for behavioral health conditions (PHCoE).

Grant completed his masters and doctoral degrees at the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention, University of Oxford. At RAND, he is an investigator with both the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center and the ExpertLens research team.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses


Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

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

Recent Projects

  • Transparency of research underpinning social intervention tiers
  • Open science and institutional review boards
  • Rating confidence in evidence on the effects of complex interventionss
  • Developing adaptive interventions for adolescent substance use treatment settings
  • Social and emotional learning interventions under the Every Student Succeeds Act

Selected Publications

Grant, S., Booth, M., & Khodyakov, D., "Lack of pre-registered analysis plans allows unacceptable data mining for and selective reporting of consensus in Delphi studies," Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 99(7), 2018

Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Grant, S., "Meta-analysis of complex interventions," Annual Review of Public Health, 39, 2018

Grant, S., Hazlewood, G. S., Peay, H. L., Lucas, A., Coulter, I., Fink, A., & Khodyakov, D., "Practical considerations for using online methods to engage patients in guideline development," The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 11(2), 2018

Grant, S., Hamilton, L. S., Wrabel, S. L., Gomez, C. J., Whitaker, A., Tamargo, J., Unlu, F., Chavez-Herrerias, E. R., Baker, G., Barrett, M., Harris, M., & Ramos, A., Social and emotional learning interventions under the Every Student Succeeds Act: Evidence review, RAND Corporation (RR-2133), 2017

Grant, S., Agniel, D., Almirall, D., Burkhart, Q., Hunter, S. B., McCaffrey, D. F., Pedersen, E. R., Ramchand, R., & Griffin, B. A. , "Developing adaptive interventions for adolescent substance use treatment settings: Protocol of an observational, mixed-methods project," Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 12, 2017

Grant, S., Colaiaco, B., Motala, A., Shanman, R., Booth, M., Sorbero, M., & Hempel, S., "Mindfulness-based relapse prevention for substance use disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Journal of Addiction Medicine, 11(5), 2017

Grant, S. , Mayo-Wilson, E., & Montgomery, P., "Implementing quality improvement for psychosocial interventions," JAMA, 315(9), 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), 2016

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
  • Clarendon Fund – Green Templeton College Annual Fund Scholar, Oxford University Press and Green Templeton College, University of Oxford
  • Valedictorian, Loyola Marymount University


  • Vaccinations at a community clinic

    Open Science and a Culture of Health: You Two Should Talk

    By working together, the Culture of Health and Open Science movements could increase their potential to accelerate the use of scientific evidence to address impediments to population health and collective well-being.

    Mar 7, 2018 Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences

  • A group of young school children stretching their arms out above their heads

    Building Support for Social and Emotional Learning: Having an Evidence Base Is Critical

    Students need more than proficiency in reading or math. Perseverance, active listening, empathy and good decision-making help kids succeed both academically and in life. Schools need access to high-quality social and emotional learning assessment measures to ensure programs will improve student learning and their futures.

    Dec 14, 2017 CASEL