Request for Information: Soliciting Input for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s New Strategic Plan
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

April 27, 2020

Response Date:
July 13, 2020

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Issued by

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)



The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is updating its Strategic Plan to guide the Center’s research efforts and priorities over the next 5 years (2021-2026). The purpose of this notice is to seek input and feedback from the public on topics of interest to the NCCIH.


The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is to determine, through rigorous scientific investigation, the fundamental mechanisms, safety, and effectiveness of dietary, psychological and physical approaches that may have originated outside of conventional medicine and are considered complementary because they are used in conjunction with conventional treatments. Dietary approaches include natural products, such as dietary supplements, plant-based products and probiotics. Psychological and physical approaches include a diverse group of “mind and body” practices such as meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, manual therapies and acupuncture. Integrative health care seeks to bring conventional and complementary approaches together in a safe, coordinated way to maximize the therapeutic benefit while focusing on whole person health. It also emphasizes a holistic, patient-focused approach to health care and wellness – often including mental, emotional, functional, spiritual, social, and community aspects – and treating the whole person rather than, for example, one organ system.

The NCCIH is developing a new strategic plan to guide the Center’s research efforts and priority setting for 2021 through 2026. Seeking input into the strategic planning process through this Request for Information (RFI) is critical for identification and consideration of research areas and topics to be included in the new plan. NCCIH will use responses collected as part of this RFI to inform the current and future needs and directions for complementary and integrative health research and research training. The resulting NCCIH Strategic Plan will be posted in draft form for additional public comment in the fall of 2020.

Current Strategic Objectives

  • Advance fundamental science and methods development
  • Improve care for hard-to-manage symptoms
  • Foster health promotion and disease prevention
  • Enhance the complementary and integrative health workforce
  • Disseminate objective evidence-based information on complementary and integrative health interventions

Information Requested

NCCIH invites input from stakeholders, experts, communities, and members of the public, including but not limited to researchers and trainees across academia, industry, and government; health care providers and health advocacy organizations; nongovernmental, scientific, and professional organizations; and Federal agencies. Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of their organization and membership as a whole.

Please provide your perspective or expertise on any or all of the following points:

  • High-priority objectives that you do not see reflected among the five strategic objectives stated above.
  • Opportunities for, and challenges facing, progress in integrative and complementary health research, including whole person health.
  • Gaps and opportunities in basic, mechanistic, translational, and clinical research. The Center is particularly interested in feedback on research opportunities and methodologies in whole person health and multi-modal approaches.
  • Opportunities in implementation science. Implementation science is a field of study that focuses on identifying, understanding, and overcoming barriers to the adoption, adaptation, integration, scale-up, and sustainability of evidence-based interventions, tools, policies, and guidelines.
  • Emerging research needs and opportunities that should be considered as the Center’s 2021 Strategic Plan is developed.
  • Research needs and opportunities articulated in the Center’s current Strategic Plan that should be modified because of progress over the past 5 years. (The Center’s current plan is available at:
  • Recommendations for steps, actions, activities, or opportunities that will help NCCIH to make progress on the current Strategic Objectives or any new objectives that you are suggesting.
  • Successes, shortcomings, and impacts of existing NCCIH policies, practices, partnerships, strategies, or activities.
  • Any other topic that you find relevant to the development of the NCCIH Strategic Plan.

For recommendations you make, please consider indicating appropriate objective success criteria, including quantitative and qualitative benchmarks and milestones for gauging progress in the corresponding area.

NCCIH also welcomes your general comments, including those regarding the extent to which the 2016?2020 plan has guided and encouraged the field.


Responses to this RFI must be submitted via e-mail at or the Web-based form available at Responses will be accepted until June 30, 2020.

Responses are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. Each comment received in response to this RFI will be considered in aggregate as part of the overall Strategic Planning process. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. Please do not include any personally identifiable or other information that you do not wish to make public. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response.

This request 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. NCCIH will not make any awards based on responses to this RFI or pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Mary Beth Kester, M.S.
Director, Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
National Institutes of Health

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