Request for Information (RFI): Optimizing Funding Policies and Other Strategies to Improve the Impact and Sustainability of Biomedical Research

Notice Number: NOT-OD-15-084

Key Dates
Release Date: April 2, 2015
Response Date: May 17, 2015

Related Announcements
None    

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

This is a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit input regarding the possible development of new policies and other strategies to improve the impact and sustainability of the NIH-funded biomedical research enterprise.

Background

The mission of the NIH is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. In order to accomplish this mission, the NIH must support a broad and diverse biomedical research portfolio. This goal is particularly challenging in the present fiscal environment in which many excellent research applications are not funded, and talented investigators struggle to maintain their laboratories or choose to pursue other career paths. To address current challenges and lay a more stable foundation for future generations of researchers, the NIH is conducting a critical evaluation of its funding policies and seeks input from the community about how to optimize them.

Information Requested

The NIH wants to maximize the impact of the taxpayers’ investments in biomedical research.  The NIH is especially interested in identifying strategies that will: a) maximize the productivity and creativity of the biomedical research workforce it funds and b) ensure funding for a broad and diverse group of investigators studying a wide range of important questions.  These strategies should enhance the stability of individual research teams and the sustainability of the overall research enterprise. The NIH seeks input from researchers, academic institutions, professional societies and other stakeholders on potential strategies to achieve these goals.  We invite comments on any or all of the following areas:

1.  Key issues that currently limit the impact of NIH’s funding for biomedical research and challenge the sustainability of the biomedical research enterprise. We welcome responses that explain why these issues are of high importance.
2.  Ideas about adjusting current funding policies to ensure both continued impact and sustainability of the NIH-supported research enterprise.  We welcome responses that point to specific strengths or weaknesses in current policies and suggest how we can build on or improve them.
3.  Ideas for new policies, strategies, and other approaches that would increase the impact and sustainability of NIH-funded biomedical research.
4.  Any other issues that respondents feel are relevant.

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through May 17, 2015. 

Responses must be submitted electronically through https://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=42.

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. Responses to the RFI may be reflected in future funding opportunity announcements. The information provided will be analyzed, may appear in reports, and may be shared publicly on an NIH website. Respondents are advised that the government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information 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), policies or procedures.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:  OER_RFI@mail.nih.gov

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