Blog Archives

OBSSR to Hold Webinars to Present 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is holding two webinars to present the Office’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan and to solicit feedback from the scientific community, including “researchers in academia and industry, scientific or professional organizations, public health and health care professionals, patient advocacy organizations, and other interested members of the public.” OBSSR Director William Riley and Deputy Director G. Stephane Philogene will present the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan during both webinars; the information provided will be the same. The webinars are scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2016 (10:30 – 11:30 am EDT) and Thursday, May 12, 2016 (2:00 – 3:00 pm). Registration is required at the links above.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 19), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NCCIH Seeks Input on Draft 2016-2021 Strategic Plan

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NICCIH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking input on its draft NCCIH Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2021. Following up on a previous request for information (RFI), along with the response provided by its National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health and the NCCIH staff, this RFI is intended to seek the input of the larger public, including researchers and scientific/professional organizations, among others. NCCIH specifically is seeking comments on the five strategic objectives and the six high priorities contained in the plan. Comments will be accepted through April 15, 2016.

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 5), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

OBSSR Convenes Expert Panel to Provide Input into Strategic Plan

On January 19-20, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) convened an expert panel to provide input into the Office’s strategic planning process as it works to update the 2007 strategic plan for FY 2016-FY 2020. The meeting follows a series of internal meetings and a November 2015 request for information (RFI) (NOT-OD-16-018) seeking the broad input of the scientific community and the public, including academia, industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and/or professional organizations, and other federal agencies regarding the scientific priorities that should be considered in the update strategic.

In a January 26 blog post, OBSSR Director William Riley noted that he and the OBSSR staff were “energized and encouraged by the passion and urgency” the panel provided and highlighted some of the key messages observed during the meeting. A summary document will be developed based on the meeting discussions followed by a draft strategic plan, which will be made available for public comment. In addition, OBSSR plans to consult with relevant stakeholder groups to solicit feedback through an RFI and develop the proposed final plan to submit for final approval by the NIH director.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 9), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIH Strategic Plan, PMI Cohort, HIV/AIDS, and Big Data Discussed at NIH Advisory Committee Meeting

The December 10-11 meeting of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) included an update on the progress of several high-profile initiatives NIH is developing, including the Congressionally-mandated NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, the President’s proposed Precision Medicine Cohort Program, assessment of the NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities, and the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2k) program. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 15), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NCATS Issues RFI for Input into Strategic Plan

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking the scientific community’s input into the development of its five-year strategic plan. This is NCATS’ first strategic plan since its creation in the National Institutes of Health Reform Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-482).  Accordingly, NCATS has issued a request for information (RFI), “Soliciting Input for the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Strategic Planning Process” (NOT-TR-16-002).

NCATS “focuses on what is common across diseases and the translational process” emphasizing “innovation and deliverables, relying on the power of data and new technologies to develop, demonstrate and disseminate improvement in translational science that bring about tangible improvements in human health.”

Specifically, NCATS is seeking input on such issues as breaking down “professional, cultural, and scientific silos;” emphasizing inter-operability of data systems; “focusing on patient-driven research and patient/community engagement; forming innovative partnerships with a wide variety of stakeholders; identifying skillsets and competencies needed for training the next generation of translational scientists,” using “modern communication and dissemination tools to expand awareness of translational science to a wide variety of stakeholders.”

Comments are due January 8, 2016. For more information and/or to provide input see the notice.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Seeks Input on 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) has issued a request for information (RFI) (NOT-OD-16-018) seeking the broad input of the scientific community and the public, including academia, industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and/or professional organizations, and other federal agencies regarding the scientific priorities that should be considered as it begins its strategic planning process to update the Office’s 2007 strategic plan for FY 2016 – FY 2020.

OBSSR is congressionally mandated to “coordinate research conducted or supported by the agencies of the NIH; and identify projects of behavioral and social sciences research that should be conducted or supported by the national research institutes, and develop such projects in cooperation with such institutes.” The Office acknowledges the challenges of developing a strategic plan that fully incorporates the breadth of social and behavioral science research that includes psychology, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, economics, communication sciences, geography, statistics, and various public health sciences. Specifically, OBSSR is seeking input regarding “the critical challenges in the behavioral and social sciences that currently hinder scientific advancement and that, if resolved, would have broad, transformative impact on the behavioral and social sciences.”

Responses to the RFI will be accepted through November 20, 2015. To respond and/or obtain more information see the Notice.

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Posted in Issue 20 (November 3), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIH Seeks Input on Congressionally-Mandated Agency-Wide Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI) (NOT-OD-15-118) inviting comments and suggestions on the framework for its congressionally-mandated NIH-wide Strategic Plan. NIH is requesting feedback by August 16, 2015. The agency also plans to host webinars in early to mid-August to gather additional input.

NIH Deputy Director Larry Tabak presented the agency’s first iteration of its draft plan at the June 11 meeting of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) (see Update, July 14, 2015). At the July 20 meeting of the ACD, Tabak presented a revised draft framework incorporating the feedback it received from Committee members, including recommendations to keep the plan short, approximately 10 pages; make it inspirational and forward looking; integrate cross-cutting themes, and accentuate needed flexibility and nimbleness. The revised framework includes areas of opportunity that apply across biomedicine. Tabak explained that each area of opportunity will include a “succinct description of emergent opportunities” and will highlight specific examples of recent breakthroughs.strategic-plan-2015 (more…)

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Posted in Issue 14 (July 28), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Strategic Visioning Initiative Seeks Scientific Community’s Input

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking the scientific community’s input in its Strategic Visioning Initiative. To help determine NHLBI’s future direction, the Institute is seeking the community’s participation in an “ongoing process that will inform its priority setting, decision making, and resource allocation.” The purpose of the Initiative is to develop the Institute’s priorities for the next decade. In the video launching the initiative, NHLBI director Gary H. Gibbons explained that he is asking the NHLBI community to help identify the most compelling questions and critical challenges that the Institute must attend to in the coming years if it is “to take advantage of emerging scientific opportunities and bold new approaches for actively promoting human health, as well as significantly reducing and preventing disease.” (more…)

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Posted in Issue 6 (April 7), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Aging and Mental Health Institutes Seek Comments on Draft Strategic Plans

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are seeking public comment on the development of the Institutes’ strategic plans. The plans will guide the Institutes’ research priorities.

National Institute on Aging

The NIA recently released a request for information (RFI) seeking guidance on its strategic plan, Aging Well in the 21st Century: Strategic Directions for Research on Aging. The draft plan outlines NIA’s broad strategic directions for the Institute and “provides a point of reference for setting priorities and a framework for systematically analyzing the Institute’s scientific portfolio and assessing progress.” Its goals falls into three categories: understanding the dynamics of the aging process; improving health, well-being, and independence of adults as they age; and supporting the research enterprise.

The goals include:

  1. Better understand the biology of gaining and its impact on prevention, progression, and prognosis of disease and disability.
  2. Better understand the effects of personal and societal factors on aging, including the mechanisms through which these factors exert their effects.
  3. Develop effective interventions to maintain health and function and prevent or reduce the burden of age-related diseases, disorders, and disabilities.
  4. Improve our understanding of the aging brain, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Develop interventions to address Alzheimer’s and other age-related neurological conditions.
  5. Improve our understanding of the consequences of an aging society to inform intervention development and policy decisions.
  6. Understand health differences and develop strategies to improve the health status of older adults in diverse populations
  7. Support the infrastructure and resources needed to promote high quality research.
  8. Disseminate information to the public, medical and scientific communities, and policy makers about research and interventions.

Specifically, NIA would like feedback regarding (1) research needs and opportunities that should be added to the plan and (2) emerging research needs and future opportunities that should be included in the plan.

Responses will be accepted until December 15, 2014 and must be submitted via email to the NIA Office of Planning, Analysis and Evaluation at niaplanning@nia.nih.gov.

National Institute of Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health’s revised Strategic Plan is intended to guide its priorities from 2015–2020. Accordingly, NIMH is inviting public comment and is specifically interested in receiving ideas for “scientific advancements, new technical capabilities or tools, or major challenge topics that promise substantial change to mental health research if pursued.” NIMH is the largest funding agency for mental health research.

In his message, NIMH director Tom Insel notes “that some scientists reject the concept of ‘directed science,’ believing that science rarely follows a plan.” Conversely, Insel noted, a strategic plan “can identify the most important problems and identify areas of traction.”

The 2015–2020 plan revises the original four high-level Strategic Objectives which are intended to serve as a “broad roadmap” for NIMH’s priorities.

These objectives include:

  1. Define the biological basis of complex behaviors;
  2. Chart mental illness trajectories to determine when, where, and how to intervene;
  3. Strive for prevention and cures; and
  4. Strengthen the public health impact of NIMH-supported research.

According to the revised draft plan, the Institute’s funding strategy is “to support a broad spectrum of investigator-initiated research in fundamental science, with increasing use of Institute-solicited initiatives for applied research where public health impact is a short-term measure of success.”

The revised plan also includes cross-cutting themes that are relevant to each of the objectives. These themes include: transforming diagnostics, accelerating therapeutics, the growing digital enterprise, transforming the trajectory of mental illnesses through preemptive medicine, global mental health, mental health disparities, partnerships, and training future research scientists.

Responses to the draft plan are due by December 11, 2014and can be submitted to: NIMHSTRATPLAN@mail.nih.gov. Additional information is available here.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

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