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"When we looked at the public-health relevance, there was no question that these projects should have been funded and should continue to be funded."

NIH Director Elias Zerhouni

The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/13/04


"I strongly urge the Members to resist the temptation to select a few grants for defunding because they do not like the sound of them based on one paragraph out of what probably was a number of pages of information. It would set a dangerous precedent and put a chill on medical research if we start to micromanage individual NIH grants.  

     This has worked well over the years. We have had enormous progress because of these grants in achieving medical knowledge and giving the public a better health care system. I do not think this body, this committee, wants to get into the process of reviewing 120,000 grants and trying to pick 40,000 out of that group for funding."

Rep. Ralph Regula -- Chairman, House

Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee,

 fHouse floor July 11, 2003


I have served on the subcommittee that deals with NIH for a long time, and the one thing I came to understand very quickly is that the day that we politicize NIH research, the day we decide which grants are going to be approved on the basis of a 10-minute horseback debate in the House of Representatives with 434 of the 435 Members in this place who do not even know what the grant is, that is the day we will ruin science research in this country. We have no business making political judgments about those kinds of issues.

Rep. David Obey -- Ranking Member, House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, House floor July 11, 2003


"When you look at the impact of sexually transmitted disease, you're talking about HIV/AIDS and many others that affect millions of people and their reproductive lives."

NIH Director Elias Zerhouni

USA Today, Jan. 13, 2004



"Decisions about medical research should be made by scientists, not by politicians promoting an ideological agenda.

Democratic House Leader

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, July 2003




"Here we have people saying, 'I don't like how that disease was contracted, so I don't  want to study that disease.' It's equivalent to sticking your head in the sand. It's very important that the scientific community rises up and objects to the imposition of ideology in these areas."


Alan Leshner, President  and CEO, AAAS, Washington Post, 1/19/04


CPR sponsors Congressional briefing -- Lost in Translation:  Public Health Implications of Sexual Health Research

The Scientific, Public Health, and Advocacy Community Reacts

Statements of Support


NIH Responds to Congress (Download letter to Congress)

CPR Sends Letter of Support to Dr. Zerhouni Dr. Zerhouni

Sex-Related Research at NIH Addresses Critical Public Health Issues

2002 Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior

Member Organizations 

Become a Member of CPR -

download membership form (pdf)





For more information about the Coalition contact:


Angela Sharpe (COSSA) at (202) 842-3525




Karen Studwell (APA) at (202) 336-5585

Support Scientific Integrity


Your Help is Needed to Support the National Institutes of Health  


There is continuing debate in Washington and across the country about the impact of the $787 billion stimulus funding that Congress approved in the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). As the National Institutes of Health received $10.4 billion in ARRA funding, its funding decisions have also come under some scrutiny, leading to questions about the peer review process and the economic impact of biomedical research. The increased levels of transparency in NIH funding decisions have made it easier for anyone to find individual grants or titles that they find undeserving of NIH funding or not closely tied closely enough to the ARRA goals of creating jobs. 


Congress has an appropriate oversight responsibility for the NIH and has established mechanisms to assist NIH in setting research priorities and responding to changing circumstances - including the recently empanelled Scientific Management Review Board, mandated in the NIH Reform Act of 2006.   NIH has proven to be flexible and responsive to national concerns. The agency takes its responsibility seriously and relies on a rigorous peer review process involving thousands of scientists who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure that only scientific proposals of the highest quality are approved for funding.  NIH’s peer review process is the gold standard for determining the quality and relevance of grant proposals; however, it does not operate in a vacuum.  Thousands of scientists from across the country with expertise in their fields of research make independent and objective evaluations of each proposal submitted to the NIH.  Advisory councils with public representation also approve projects before they are funded by the NIH. The NIH merit review process is rigorous and exacting, resulting in the funding of less than one grant out of five received. 


While the organizations representing scientists, researchers and those advocating for federally-funded research on a wide range of health concerns are doing their best to defend peer review and the NIH's decision-making process, Congress needs to hear from you.  If you would like to lend your support to the protection of peer review, you may join the 5,000 scientists that have signed CPR's Petition to the U.S. Congress to Support Scientific Integrity that is shared with Congress in discussions of federal research funding and policy.


Read the Petition
Sign the Petition
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Updated June 05, 2006