Request for Information (RFI): Soliciting Comments for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on Planned Extramural Training Activities Relevant to Data Reproducibility

Notice Number: NOT-GM-14-003

Key Dates
Release Date: February 6, 2014  
Response Date:  February 28, 2014

Related Announcements
None

Issued by
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Purpose

This is a time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI) directed at obtaining input to assist the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in its planning for a small program of grants to develop training modules that will address issues related data reproducibility. 

Background

Several studies have suggested that a significant amount of basic and preclinical research cannot be reproduced by other laboratories under the conditions described in the publications. In some instances the lack of reproducibility may simply be due to inherent imprecision in performing cutting-edge science or to the inability to exactly reproduce the experiments, either because the methods section of the publication is incomplete or because the investigators were unaware of experimental variables that need to be more adequately controlled.  Other contributing factors might include lack of attention to issues of bias and experimental design and insufficient attention to statistical analysis.  Analysis of the published literature has found large numbers of reports in which basic information such as sample size, definition of control groups, randomization, blinding, and so forth, was lacking, indicating that attempts to repeat the work described in the papers would be difficult and that some of the studies could contain flaws in experimental design.

Information Requested

NIGMS is planning to issue a Request for Applications (RFA) to support a small program of grants to develop training modules to highlight causes of data reproducibility issues and propose or elaborate procedures necessary to eliminate or minimize them.  To aid its planning, the Institute invites feedback from the scientific community on training activities to improve data reproducibility.  NIGMS also seeks input on how proposed training modules might best complement existing or planned institutional activities.  NIGMS invites comments on the topics below; however, comments are not limited to these topics: 

1. The training activities for graduate students that currently exist at your institution that address experimental design, appropriate and adequate statistical approaches, minimizing bias, transparency in reporting, and/or other factors that could contribute to data reproducibility issues.
2. The  training activities for postdoctoral students that currently exist at your institution that address experimental design, appropriate and adequate statistical approaches, minimizing bias, transparency in reporting, and/or other factors that could contribute to data reproducibility issues.
3. The training activities to address these issues that are being planned at your institution.
4. The gaps that you think NIGMS might address that would best complement the training activities relevant to data reproducibility already ongoing or planned at your institution.

Submitting a Response

All responses must be submitted to https://www.research.net/s/nigms_nih_gov by February 28, 2014. Responses are limited to 500 words per question.

This RFI is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the government.  The government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the government’s use of that information.

The NIH will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder's submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in future funding opportunity announcements. The information provided will be analyzed and may appear in reports. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted.  No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Michael E. Rogers, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Telephone: 301-594-3827
Email relevant to this RFI: NIGMS_RFI_Data_Reproducibility@mail.nih.gov

 

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