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  • Washington Highlights

    NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Data Science

    Anurupa Dev, Director, Science Policy & Strategy
    Heather Pierce, Senior Director, Science Policy & Regulatory Counsel

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) June 4 released its first Strategic Plan for Data Science. It presents a roadmap for “modernizing the NIH-funded biomedical data-resource ecosystem” and “maximizing the value of data generated through NIH-funded efforts.” Among other objectives, the plan addresses the development of data management and storage tools; policies for secure, ethical, and productive data use; and the need to train the biomedical research workforce in the fundamentals of data science.

    The plan commits to use of the FAIR Data Principles for NIH-supported initiatives and research, already widely adopted by the data science community, which identify how data can be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. The agency has also created a new position of Chief Data Scientist to guide the NIH’s growing portfolio of activities in data science.

    The AAMC previously submitted comments to the NIH in response to a request for information (RFI) on the agency’s draft plan. In its letter, the AAMC recommended that the NIH work with the extramural research community in the strategic planning process and ensure the use of robust evaluation measures during the plan’s implementation.