Request for Information (RFI): Centers Evaluation Working Group Final Report

Notice Number: NOT-AR-13-024

Key Dates
Release Date: July 1, 2013
Response Date:  August 12, 2013

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)


The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has completed an evaluation of its Centers programs to design funding strategies to optimally support integrated, synergistic groups of investigators, based on evolving research needs and forward-looking opportunities.


As part of this evaluation effort, the NIAMS undertook a series of “Listening Sessions” with investigators from the skin, muscle, bone, rheumatology, and orthopaedic research communities.  The themes that were expressed regarding the need to integrate groups of investigators and what Centers should strive to accomplish were similar in all the groups, even though the specific research questions were different.

As another component of the planning process, NIAMS formed a Centers Evaluation Working Group (CEWG), composed of representatives from the NIAMS Advisory Council, researchers from our mission areas, and NIAMS staff. The CEWG was charged with integrating the different themes from the Listening Sessions into a set of goals that Centers should be designed to accomplish. In addition, feedback was obtained from outside organizations and individuals through a Request for Information (NOT-AR-13-007) published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts in November 2012.The CEWG identified common themes which led to the development of a set of high priority goals for the NIAMS Centers program. These goals reflect both emerging research opportunities, as well as the need to continue supporting the mission areas of the NIAMS. 

Information Requested

The NIAMS invites you to comment on the final report of the Final Report of the NIAMS Centers Evaluation Working Group. The findings in the report were presented to the NIAMS Advisory Council in June 2013.  Recommendations from the report will be considered by the NIAMS leadership as they develop new funding strategies for the Centers program. Comments should not address the issues of any one Center at a particular institution, but rather the goals and opportunities outlined in the final report.

Reponses to this RFI are voluntary. Any personal identifiers (e.g., names, addresses, email addresses, etc.) will be removed when the comments are compiled. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your comments. The United States government reserves the right to incorporate any of the comments in the report and to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only, and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the United States government to provide support for any ideas identified in the report. Please note that the United States government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for its use of that information. Comments will be compiled and shared internally with staff from NIAMS and its Advisory Council, with one or more subcommittees of the Council, and with scientific working groups convened by the NIAMS, as appropriate.

How to Submit a Response

Interested investigators and organizations are invited to respond.

Responses to this RFI will be accepted until August 12, 2013. You will not receive any feedback on your comments. No basis for claims against the United States government shall arise as a result of a response to this RFI or from the United States government’s use of such information.

All comments must be submitted using this web page:


Please direct all inquiries to:

Robert H. Carter, M.D., Deputy Director
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)