Request for Information (RFI): To Solicit Input on Partnerships between Extramural and NIH Intramural Investigators Utilizing the NIH Clinical Center

Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-005

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

Key Dates
Release Date: October 12, 2011
Response Date: December 1, 2011 

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The NIH Clinical Center (CC) seeks input from extramural scientists to identify potential opportunities for proposals involving use of the CC, in collaboration with the NIH intramural community, to enhance translation of basic biological discoveries into clinical applications that improve health. Information is sought on potential paradigms for collaborative partnerships, not necessarily on specific projects.


The NIH Clinical Center is a hospital exclusively dedicated to clinical research. Its mission includes the support of clinical studies that are considered intellectually challenging and high-risk but with the potential of high reward with new breakthroughs in medicine.

In December 2010, the Congressionally-mandated Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) recognized the potential benefits of opening the Clinical Center to extramural investigators. Their final report states, “The Clinical Center has boasted a long, distinguished history of significant research accomplishments. It also has served as a home for many of our nation’s leading clinical investigators and academic leaders and is considered by many to be the premier institution for training the next generation of clinical researchers. Nonetheless, the traditional perception is that the Clinical Center is a resource intended only for NIH and its intramural program. Given  the unique resources, expertise, and patient populations housed within the Center, some have argued that allowing qualified external investigators to conduct research at the Clinical Center could yield tremendous benefits to the clinical research enterprise overall.”  The SMRB formally recommended that the role of the NIH Clinical Center “should be to serve as a state-of-the-art national resource, with resources optimally managed to enable both internal and external investigator use.” SMRB Report on the Clinical Center: pgs. 8 – 10. (

The special environment of the CC supports collaborative studies with NIH intramural investigators that may not be readily supported elsewhere. This is because the CC is a hospital that is exclusively dedicated to research with such special resources and opportunities as listed below, which may be accessible to extramural investigators via partnerships with intramural investigators:

To implement the SMRB recommendations and to broaden and accelerate translational research, the NIH is considering the establishment of a new Bench to Bedside program of cooperative agreements between basic and clinical researchers, both within and outside the NIH. Teams will have at least one NIH intramural and one extramural investigator. These investigators will have access to the NIH Clinical Center, leveraging its diverse resources, expertise, and infrastructure to test promising discoveries in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

Information Requested

NIH requests responses to all or some of the following items:

  1. How would partnering with NIH intramural investigators and use of the NIH Clinical Center resources help advance your research project or enhance your science?
  2. What special Clinical Center resources would you be most interested in using and why?
  3. What current barriers or challenges exist for you in accessing the Clinical Center or in partnering with the NIH intramural community?
  4. What actions should the NIH and Clinical Center consider taking to address these challenges or to make it more feasible for you to access the Clinical Center and NIH intramural investigators? If you have ever utilized the Clinical Center or partnered with an intramural program at the Clinical Center, how did the partnership/utilization work and how satisfied were you with your overall experience?

 How to Submit a Response
Response to this RFI is voluntary.  Interested extramural investigators and other interested parties are invited to respond. Responders are free to address any or all the above items. Please note that the Government will not pay for response preparation or for the use of any information contained in the response. 

All comments must be submitted electronically to:

Responses to this RFI will be accepted through December 1, 2011. You will receive an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions.  No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.

A summary of responsive input will be made publicly available.  Personally identifiable information will be removed to the extent possible prior to making the comments public.  We recommend that respondents remove personal identifiers prior to submission and that no proprietary information be included in the response. 


Specific questions about this RFI should be directed to the following e-mail address:

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