OER provides the corporate framework for NIH research administration, ensuring scientific integrity, public accountability, and effective stewardship of the NIH extramural research portfolio. It oversees activities related, but not limited to, high-profile digital platforms, grant compliance, peer review, communications with the extramural community, scientific misconduct, human subjects protection, and laboratory animal welfare.
The OER is an office within the NIH Office of the Director. OER supports the entire NIH extramural research community by providing policy, guidance, systems, and other support to the recipient community as well as to the 24 NIH Institutes and Centers that award grants. OER serves as a vital interface for the biomedical research community by guiding investigators and their institutions through the process of attaining grants funding and helping them understand and navigate through federal policies and procedures.
- Provide authoritative resources for the corporate framework for all phases of NIH extramural research funding (e.g., eRA, NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, NIH Data Book)
- Implement and inform infrastructure, policies, processes, and procedures that enable the execution of NIH extramural research programs (e.g., Funding Opportunities, staff training, Loan Repayment Program, SBIR/STTR)
- Ensure the integrity of and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies that govern NIH extramural research funding. (e.g., awards oversight, research misconduct, peer review integrity, clinical trials, animal welfare)
- Develop, assess, and enhance NIH policies and programs that support the training, career development and education of a diverse biomedical research workforce, incorporating analyses of national workforce trends and needs.
Key Successes and NIH-Wide Initiatives 2022-2023
- Accelerating the pace of scientific discovery by helping implement the Scientific Data Management and Sharing Policy, including developing and deploying the overarching comprehensive =Scientific Data Sharing website that provides information and resources for applicants, recipients, and NIH staff on NIH scientific sharing policies.
- Addressing integrity threats due to research misconduct, breaches of peer review confidentiality, inappropriate foreign influences, harassment and discrimination in the scientific workplace.
- Providing robust security systems to support grants administration for NIH and partner agencies, including implementation of two-factor security requirements via the use of a Login.gov or an InCommon Federated account through which users authenticate and access external eRA modules.
- Providing diverse education opportunities and resources to the extramural research community through major events including the Virtual NIH Grants Conference and Preconference Events (~ 15,000 attendees, ~88,000 post-event video views) and the Data management and Sharing two-part webinar series (~ 9,300 attendees). Reached thousands through our YouTube Grants Channel, All About Grants Podcasts, Extramural Nexus, and Twitter/X platforms.
- Leading the effort to ensure the future of the biomedical research workforce by focusing NIH attention on increasing the numbers of early stage investigators it funds, and helping foster programs such as the Katz Award that requires no preliminary data, the Pathway to Independence Award in support of researchers going from graduate school into a faculty level position, and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award that incentivizes early career researchers with support for innovative, high impact projects.
- Working collaboratively with leadership across the NIH to simplify the peer review framework for research project grant applications, aimed at focusing reviewers on the identification of the strongest, highest-impact research while mitigating the effect of reputational bias, and reducing reviewer burden.
- Leading the effort to implement foreign disclosure and risk management provisions of the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) Extension Act of 2022, requiring federal agencies to establish a due diligence program to assess security risks posed by applicants.
- Standing with NIH UNITE, by co-chairing Committee E helping NIH look at the extramural research ecosystem in terms of changing policy, culture, and structure to promote workforce diversity; to identify and dismantle policies and practices that may disenfranchise our workforce and our science; and, to institute new ways to support diversity, equity, and inclusion to end disparities within the biomedical research workforce.
- Continuing to implement provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, such as to reduce administrative burden associated with laboratory animal research programs while at the same time preserving the integrity and credibility of research findings and the protection of animals.