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Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)


OPERA provides leadership and oversight in grants management policy and compliance, intellectual property, and OMB clearances to the extramural research community and NIH extramural staff through policy development, expert guidance, analysis, outreach, and related information dissemination in order to promote effective stewardship of NIH extramural funds in support of health research.

Major Responsibilities:


Immediate Office of the Director

Director: Michelle Bulls 
Deputy Director: Robert Tarwater 

  • Project Clearance Branch
    The Project Clearance Branch is the NIH control point for the Office of Management and Budget clearance functions concerning public information collection activities. 
  • Systems Policy Branch
    The Systems Policy Branch (SPB) serves as the liaison between OPERA and system owners at NIH and across the Federal government. SPB provides leadership and support to implement policies and compliance initiatives in NIH electronic systems.
    • Grants Information
      Provides a communications resource service for NIH grant-related inquiries. Information specialists help prospective NIH grantees navigate NIH and identify the appropriate resources, funding opportunities, or offices.
  • Division of Central Grants Processing
    The Division of Central Grants Processing (DCGP) is a central coordination and receipt location for documents submitted from grantees or principal investigators. The center provides closeout of grants and cooperative agreements for the OD and 24 NIH insitutes and centers that make awards.
  • Division of Grants Policy
    The Division of Grants Policy (DGP) implements new NIH and Federal-wide initiatives, maintains NIH policy source documents such as the Grants Policy Statement, and provides leadership and support to address emerging issues associated with grants policy, electronic research administration, and grants management. 
  • Division of Grants Compliance and Oversight
    The Division of Grants Compliance and Oversight (DGCO) is the focal point to advance external compliance with policy and legislative mandates and enhance compliance oversight by recipient institutions. The DGCO also ensures and evaluates the efficient and effective management of extramural resources.
    • Public Access Support Center
      Responds to questions from the public and recipients about the NIH Public Access policy and helps NIH recipients bring their scientific papers into compliance with the policy. 
  • Division of Grant Systems Integration
    The Division of Grant Systems Integration (DGSI) works under the auspices of OPERA to develop, implement, and monitor extramural intellectual property policies and invention reporting under the Bayh-Dole Act. The Division also promotes the proper utilization of NIH-funded patents and inventions in extramural programs, and facilitates the distribution and sharing of research resources.  

Contact Us:

Direct OPERA phone line: 301-435-0949

Project Clearance Branch
Systems Policy Branch
Grants Information
Division of Grants Policy
Division of Grants Compliance and Oversight
Public Access Support Center
Division of Extramural Inventions and Technology Resources


This page last updated on October 9, 2018
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