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  • Washington Highlights

    NIH Requests Input on Agency-Wide Strategic Plan

    Anurupa Dev, Director, Science Policy & Strategy
    Stephen Heinig, Director, Science Policy

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) July 22 released a Request for Information (RFI) inviting comments and suggestions on a framework for a five year NIH-wide strategic plan. The strategic plan was mandated in the 2014 “CRomnibus” federal spending bill and is due to Congress by December 2015 [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 12, 2014].

    NIH Principal Deputy Director Larry Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., presented an outline of the plan to the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) in June. A revised framework based on the committee’s feedback was subsequently presented to ACD members during a July 20 conference call. The framework highlights areas of cross-cutting research opportunities that apply across biomedicine under the categories of: promoting fundamental science, improving health promotion and disease prevention, and advancing treatments and cures. The plan also sets forth unifying principles on NIH priority-setting and stewardship of the research enterprise, which include enhancing workforce diversity and promoting scientific rigor and reproducibility.

    The NIH is soliciting input from the research community and general public regarding the proposed framework. The notice states, “the goal of this larger NIH-wide strategic plan is not to outline the myriad of important research opportunities for specific disease applications…but to highlight major trans-NIH initiatives.”

    The NIH plans to analyze and incorporate RFI feedback in the fall, prior to finalizing the strategic plan. Comments must be submitted electronically and are due to NIH by Aug. 16.