Request for Information (RFI): NHLBI Strategic Visioning - Developing the Research Priorities for the Next Decade

Notice Number: NOT-HL-15-252

Key Dates
Release Date:  March 24, 2015
Response Date: May 15, 2015

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)


This Request for Information (RFI) seeks contributions to help guide the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in setting scientific priorities, making decisions, and allocating resources over the next decade.

The NHLBI provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematology, and sleep diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. The NHLBI stimulates basic discoveries about the causes of disease, enables the translation of basic discoveries into clinical practice, fosters training and mentoring of emerging scientists and physicians, and communicates research advances to the public.

The NHLBI is embarking on a Strategic Visioning process to collectively and iteratively identify the most pressing scientific questions that will advance its mission. Investigator-initiated research (e.g., R01 awards) comprises the majority (approximately 80%) of the NHLBI extramural budget and will remain a top priority for the Institute. The Strategic Visioning process will largely inform our investments that focus on Institute-initiated activities (approximately 20% of extramural research funds).

The goal of the Strategic Visioning process is to identify compelling questions (CQs) and critical challenges (CCs) in heart and vascular, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) research that the NHLBI can address through activities, such as initiatives and workshops. The Strategic Visioning process involves engaging our diverse and broad stakeholder groups — including investigators, medical professionals, advocacy and professional groups, and patients — in a dialogue about the most compelling scientific opportunities, pressing scientific knowledge gaps, and barriers to progress in HLBS research. This dynamic process will identify scientific priorities and ensure that our NHLBI community and partners have a voice in framing the Institute’s future direction. It involves (1) fostering an iterative dialogue to identify the most urgent CQs and CCs in HLBS research, (2) charting an actionable path for pursuing these questions and challenges, and (3) measuring and evaluating our progress in realizing the NHLBI’s priorities.

Information Requested
The NHLBI is using a crowdsourcing approach to begin a dialogue and collectively identify scientific knowledge gaps and opportunities (CQs) as well as barriers to scientific progress (CCs) that will be prioritized over the next year to be included in the Strategic Visioning Scientific Priorities. This approach also enables respondents to comment and vote on other CQ and CC submissions.

CQs should transcend an individual investigator-initiated program, require the NHLBI to facilitate an approach to answer it, and be feasible to address within the next decade. CCs will generally identify needed resources, infrastructure, or tools that could catalyze major scientific advances.

The CQ and CC submissions should relate to the four Strategic Goals that span the NHLBI mission:
Goal 1: Promote Human Health – To expand knowledge of the molecular and physiological mechanisms governing the normal function of HLBS systems as essential elements for sustaining human health.
Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease – To extend our knowledge of the pathobiology of HLBS disorders and enable clinical investigations that advance the prediction, prevention, preemption, treatment, and cures of human diseases.
Goal 3: Advance Translational Research – To facilitate innovation and accelerate research translation, knowledge dissemination, and implementation science that enhances public health.
Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources – To develop and enable a diverse biomedical workforce equipped with the essential skills and research resources to pursue emerging opportunities in science.

How to Respond
To gain the broadest response possible, a digital crowdsourcing platform will serve as the primary means for contributing ideas and comments ( Alternatively, responses may be emailed to or mailed to:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Attn. Strategic Visioning Team
Building 31, Room 5A48
31 Center Drive MSC 2486
Bethesda, MD 20892

Contributions made via email or mail will be published in the crowdsourcing platform, and all contributions from any source will be analyzed and may be published in NHLBI reports and documents. Responses will be accepted until May 15, 2015. Additional details on the Strategic Visioning process are available (

For submissions via email or mail, your comments should be formatted as suggested below to allow for full NIH consideration. :
1. Provide a title for your CQ or CC idea.
2. Describe your CQ or CC (in no more than 300 words).
3. Provide the Strategic Goal number to which your CQ or CC is aligned.
4. Provide 1-3 keywords describing your CQ or CC.
5. List the idea as a CQ or a CC.
6. Describe the impact of answering this CQ or CC.
7. Describe the feasibility and challenges of answering this CQ or CC (focusing on the next decade).

Submissions made through email or mail should also include the name of the organization associated with the authorship of the idea and an email address at which participants can be contacted regarding the submission.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. 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. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The NHLBI may use the information gathered to develop grant, contract, or other funding priorities and initiatives.
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 Federal Government in general, the NIH, or the NHLBI specifically. The NHLBI does not intend to 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:

Dana A. Phares, Ph.D.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0314