NINDS consideration of FAIR data practices, use of existing data standards and harmonization with NIH- and NINDS-supported data and biospecimen repositories
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

January 5, 2024

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


The purpose of this Notice is to alert the research community that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) will consider adherence to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data practices and leveraging of existing NIH- and NINDS-supported data infrastructure in its strategic and budgetary prioritization decision-making processes. NINDS is committed to the development of a resource-efficient and interoperable data ecosystem that strikes a balance between maximizing data harmonization and enabling innovation. Developing such a data ecosystem is consistent with multiple cross-cutting strategies outlined in the NINDS Strategic Plan including Rigor and Transparency, Technology Access, and Data Sharing and Data Science. Moreover, in a limited resource environment, the development of this type of data ecosystem will provide cost savings that can be used to fund more research. Accomplishing this goal necessitates a strong expectation that applicants to NINDS will leverage existing NINDS-supported data infrastructure and resources, harmonize their data to existing NIH or NINDS data standards for interoperability, and adopt NINDS-supported standard operating procedures for biospecimen collection whenever applicable. Applicants proposing something that overlaps with or is incompatible with existing resources will need an especially strong justification for NINDS to accept an ARA request over $500K or fund the application.

NINDS Expectations for Data Standards, Infrastructure, and Harmonization

Applicants who are interested in creating new standards or building new data and/or biospecimen repositories are strongly encouraged to review the existing NINDS Data Sharing Policies, Data Standard Resources and NINDS-Supported Data Repositories, which can be found on the NINDS Data Sharing website. When choosing an appropriate data repository, whether NINDS-supported or not, investigators should note that data need to be shared in accordance with FAIR principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse. Investigators should choose the optimal data repository based on their research needs provided the repository meets NINDS standards. Additionally, investigators are strongly encouraged to use applicable NINDS Common Data Elements (CDEs) and NIH-endorsed CDEs for research studies and to harmonize fluid and tissue collection and banking approaches with the appropriate NINDS-supported Cell/Tissue/DNA Resources regardless of selected data repository.


Please direct all inquiries to:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)