Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)

OPERA Organizational Chart (PDF)


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:

Senior Leadership:

Director: Michelle Bulls 
Special Assistant: Shellie Wilburn
Executive Assistant: Jacqueline Helfer

Senior Advisor: Vacant


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.

Chief: Mikia Currie

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.

Director: Samuel Ashe

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.

Director: Diane Dean 

Division of Extramural Inventions and Technology Resources 

The Division of Extramural Inventions and Technology Resources (DEITR) 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.

Director: Ann Hammersla

Contact Us:

Direct OPERA phone line: 301-435-0949

Division of Grants Policy
Division of Grants Compliance
Division of Extramural Inventions and Technology Resources 
Project Clearance Branch


* Contractor