Request for Information: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Strategic Plan Update

Notice Number: NOT-DC-10-001

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Key Dates
Release Date: September 2, 2010
Response Due By: December 5, 2010 (per NOT-DC-11-002) Previously: November 5, 2010

Issued by
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), (


The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) is updating its Strategic Plan (Plan). This five-year Plan will cover FYs 2012-2016. The purpose of this time-sensitive Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit information that will help guide NIDCD in updating the Plan.


Established in 1988, NIDCD is mandated to conduct and support biomedical and behavioral research and research training in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. The Institute also conducts and supports research and research training related to disease prevention and health promotion; addresses special biomedical and behavioral problems associated with people who have communication impairments or disorders; and supports efforts to create devices which substitute for lost and impaired sensory and communication function. It is estimated that more than 46 million people in the United States suffer some form of disordered communication. NIDCD has focused national attention on disorders of human communication and has contributed to advances in biomedical and behavioral research that will improve the lives of millions of individuals with communication disorders. NIDCD has made important contributions to the body of knowledge needed to help those who experience communication disorders and to advance research in all aspects of human communication.

The NIDCD Strategic Plan presents a series of goals and objectives that serve as a guide to the NIDCD in prioritizing its research investment to remain current with the state of the science in the field of human communication research. Since FY 2000, the Plan has included four Strategic Plan Priorities (SPPs) and the NIDCD has categorized each funded research project with the appropriate SPP in order to track and evaluate our research portfolio. These SPP areas are:

  1. Causes, Etiology: Molecular and Non-Genetic Bases of Normal and Disordered Communication Processes
  2. Anatomy/ Physiology and Morphology: Development, Deterioration, Regeneration, and Plasticity of Sensory Processes Mediating Normal and Disordered Communication
  3. Sensing and Processing: Perceptual, Cognitive, Sensorimotor, Behavioral, and Environmental Factors Affecting Processing in Normal and Disordered Communication
  4. Interventions and Prevention: Development and Improvement of Devices, Pharmacologic Agents, Behavioral Strategies, and Treatments for Diagnosis, Habilitation, Rehabilitation, and Prevention of Human Communication Disorders

The Plan serves as a guide to the NIDCD and to the National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NDCD) Advisory Council. For example, the Plan becomes a key decisive tool when considering investigator-initiated research grant applications for High Program Priority (HPP) funding, developing Funding Opportunity Announcements, and developing new research areas within the Intramural Research Program. Furthermore, the Plan is distributed by staff at NIDCD-sponsored workshops or research conferences, so the research community can be aware of the priorities of NIDCD. Scientists also submit focused or directed applications for research projects in response to priorities within the Plan.

Information Requested

NIDCD is seeking information to help inform the NIDCD in developing the FYs 2012-2016 NIDCD Strategic Plan. Specifically, NIDCD is seeking input to the following questions:

1. What are the most significant scientific discoveries in the communication sciences that have occurred in the past decade? (Please provide reference(s) to scientific journal article(s), if applicable).
2. What are the gaps in current research and training in the communication sciences?
3. What pressing needs of individuals with communication disorders can be helped with additional research?
4. What are the greatest challenges or barriers to progress in the communication sciences?


All comments must be submitted electronically via the web-based form at: and will be accepted through November 5, 2010. You will receive an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback from NIDCD on any comments.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Any personal identifiers (e.g., names, addresses, e-mail addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled. Only the de-identified comments will be used. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).

This Request for Information (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 Federal Government, or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH does not intend to award a grant or contract to pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the NIH’s use of such information. No basis for claims against the NIH shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or the NIH’s use of such information as part of the NIDCD Strategic Plan.


Specific questions about this RFI should be directed to the contact listed below:

Mr. Baldwin Wong
Science Policy and Planning Branch
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institutes of Health

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