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Chair, Department of Health, Behavior, and Society

Rajiv Rimal, PhD, MA, is Chair of the Department of Health, Behavior & Society. He works globally on social and behavior change interventions with a focus on gender norms.

Contact Info

624 N. Broadway, Hampton House 704

Research Interests

Health communication; risk communication; risky behaviors; adolescent health; health promotion; climate communication; social norms; gender based studies; anemia; vaccination & immunization
Experiences & Accomplishments
Stanford University
Southern Illinois University
Bhopal University
Dr. Rimal’s area of expertise is in social and behavior change interventions, focusing on gender and social norms-based approaches to improving the health of women, girls, and vulnerable members of society. His work on social norms has led to innovative global public health interventions for behavior change in the areas of alcohol consumption, violence against women, family planning and use of modern contraception methods, AIDS prevention, road safety behaviors, and adolescent health. His health communication expertise has been used to evaluate work in climate communication, focusing on those who are skeptical about climate change. He is currently running a large randomized trial to reduce anemia among women of reproductive age in India and another project to reduce vaccine sekepticism. In Nepal, he is running an intervention to improve immunization rates among infants.
Honors & Awards
Everett M. Rogers Award in Public Health Promotion and Health Communication, American Public Health Association Outstanding Teacher, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Combined ICA & NCA Distinguished Article Award, International Communication Association & National Communication Association Advisor to the Master's Thesis of the Year (Sarah Gibson, Advisee), Joint International & National Communication Association Past Chair, Health Communication Division, International Communication Association Past Chair, Health Communication Division, National Communication Association Top-Four Paper Awards, Health Communication Division, International Communication Association annual conferences in 2010, 2009 (two papers), 2008, 2004, 2003 (two papers), 2002, 2001, 2000, 1994. Top-Four Paper Awards, Health Communication Division, National Communication Association annual conferences in 2004, 2002. Nathan Maccobby Award for Excellence in Communication Research, Stanford University, 1995
Select Publications
Recent publications
  • Bieniek-Tobasco, A., McCormick, S., Rimal, R. N., Harrington, C. B., Shafer, M., & Shaikh, H. (2019). Communicating climate change through documentary film: Imagery, emotion and efficacy. Climatic Change, 154, 1-18.
  • Ganz, O., Rimal, R., Cohn, A. M., Johnson, A. L., Delnevo, C., & Horn, K. (2019). Receptivity to tobacco advertising among young adults with internalizing problems: Findings from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. Substance Use and Misuse. DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2019.1688349
  • Sedlander, E., & Rimal, R. N. (2019). Beyond individual-level theorizing in social norms research: How collective norms and media access affect adolescents’ use of contraception. Journal of Adolescent Health, 64, S31-36.
  • Sedlander, E., Bingenheimer, J. B., Edberg, M., Rimal, R., Shaikh, H., & Munar, W. (in press). Understanding modern contraception uptake in one Ethiopian community: A case study. Reproductive Health.
  • Sedlander, E., Rimal, R.N., Talegawkar, S., *Yilma, H., & Munar. W. (2018). Designing a socio-normative intervention to reduce anemia in India: A formative research protocol. Gates Open Research.
Reduction in Anemia through Normative Innovations (RANI) Project
Rejoice Architecture Meets Social Norms to Accelerate Vaccination in Nepal
Evaluation of Adolescent Education Program in Schools in India