Request for Information (RFI): Inviting Input Regarding NIDCD’s Support of Non-Invasive Imaging in Humans
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

January 3, 2023

Response Date:
March 01, 2023

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)



This Notice is a Request for Information (RFI) inviting input and suggestions from stakeholders throughout the basic and clinical research, advocacy, and clinical practice communities on NIDCD’s support of non-invasive imaging in humans for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of communication disorders.


In pursuit of its mission and as outlined in the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan (, NIDCD supports basic, translational, and clinical research on hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech and language. Imaging technologies are widely used to diagnose disease or injury and inform treatment and its effectiveness. Indeed, current imaging technologies are rapidly advancing, however, imaging tools are lacking or do not have the necessary capability to visualize at the cellular or structural resolution that is required for a detailed diagnosis of the underlying cause of dysfunction of the human auditory, vestibular, olfactory and gustatory systems. In addition, there is a need for improved imaging technologies examining the functional aspects in disorders of voice, speech and language as well as hearing, balance, taste and smell. New, improved imaging capabilities are likely to improve diagnosis and aid treatment.

Information Requested:

Please respond by identifying what you consider to be the major needs of the NIDCD research and clinical communities related to non-invasive imaging for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of communication disorders; in particular, please focus on needs that could be addressed by NIDCD through grants, contracts, expertise, or resources. Input is requested on, but is not limited to, the following topics:

    • Key limitations of current technology for non-invasive diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of communication disorders paired with enhancements that are achievable in five to ten years.
    • Resolution requirements for imaging the living human cochlea, vestibular end organs, taste buds, and/or olfactory epithelium.
    • Imaging tools and approaches needed to better diagnose the underlying etiology for the loss of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.
    • New technologies or devices needed to visualize, at the cellular or structural resolution, chemosensory, auditory or vestibular peripheral and central targets in humans.
    • New advances needed to improve spatial or temporal resolution for static and functional imaging of peripheral and central systems involved in hearing, balance, taste, and smell, as well as disorders of voice, speech, and language.
    • New opportunities to reduce the burden of imaging procedures (e.g., cost, time, invasiveness).

Submitting a Response:

All responses to this RFI must be submitted via email to by March 01, 2023. Please include the Notice number in the subject line of your response. Response to this RFI is voluntary.

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 Federal Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the United States Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for its use of that information.

The NIDCD will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder’s submission. No proprietary, classified, confidential or sensitive information should be included in your response. Respondent names and email addresses will be removed to anonymize submissions. Anonymized responses may be shared with NIH staff, the NDCD Advisory Council and/or other scientific expert groups convened by NIDCD. Responses may have shared interests with other Institutes.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Janet L. Cyr, PhD
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)