Request for Information (RFI):  FY 2013–2018 Strategic Plan for the Office of Disease Prevention, National Institutes of Health

Notice Number:  NOT-OD-13-051

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

  • September 23, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-118. Request for Information: Draft Office of Disease Prevention Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014–2018.
  • April 2, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-052. This Notice extends the expiration date.
Key Dates

Release Date:     March 22, 2013
Response Date:  April 14, 2013 (Extended to April 30, 2013 per NOT-OD-13-052)

Issued by

Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to seek broad public input on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013–2018 Strategic Plan for the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP), National Institutes of Health (NIH).


The mission of the ODP is to improve the public health by increasing the scope, quality, dissemination, and impact of prevention research supported by the NIH. The ODP will fulfill this mission by providing leadership for the development, coordination, and implementation of prevention research in collaboration with NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) and other partners. The Office is responsible for advising the Director of the NIH regarding prevention research issues, actions, and activities. The Office also provides overall guidance to the ICs on biomedical programs that seek to improve the Nation’s health through research, training, knowledge translation, and public education as they relate to health promotion and disease prevention.

Prevention research at the NIH encompasses research designed both to promote health and to prevent the onset of disease, disorders, or injuries and the progression of asymptomatic disease. Prevention research targets biology and genetics, individual behavior, factors in the social and physical environments, and health services, and informs and evaluates health-related policies and regulations.

Prevention research includes:

  • Identification and assessment of risk and protective factors
  • Screening and identification of individuals and groups at risk
  • Development and evaluation of interventions to reduce risk
  • Translation and dissemination of effective preventive interventions into practice
  • Development of research methods to support this work.

Although established in 1986 in response to a directive in the Health Research Extension Act of 1985, the Office has never had a formal strategic plan. With increased attention on the application of prevention research nationally and the recent reorganization of ODP, the Office has embarked on an extensive planning process to develop a strategic plan for FY 2013–2018.

Information Requested

This RFI is intended to gather broad public input on the strategic priorities to be included in the plan and other suggestions on how to enhance the prevention research portfolio at the NIH. The ODP invites input from prevention researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public. Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of their organization and membership as a whole.

Your perspectives can include, but are not limited to, the following topics as they relate to the six draft strategic priorities listed below:

  • Suggested changes, additions, or deletions to the list of strategic priorities
  • Recommended measurable objectives associated with an individual priority
  • Appropriate benchmarks for gauging progress toward each recommended objective.
Strategic Priorities

Characterization of the NIH prevention research portfolio is based on a broad definition of prevention and limited to an analysis of the title and abstract of each application. This approach does not provide either enough sensitivity or specificity or enough detail on other important features (e.g., content area, methods, target population) to adequately characterize patterns or trends or to identify areas that would benefit from targeted efforts by the NIH Institutes and Centers. ODP has an opportunity to play an important role in the development and validation of new methods for characterizing the NIH prevention research portfolio.

Strategic Priority #1:  Systematically monitor NIH investments in prevention research and the progress and results of that research.

The Institutes and Centers at NIH periodically ask ODP for advice on areas and topics for new or expanded prevention research. More effective characterization of the prevention research portfolio would allow identification of areas with limited investment or inadequate coordination. The reports from other federal agencies can also be used for this purpose. Regular interactions with professional societies and the extramural community can also be helpful. ODP has an opportunity to facilitate the allocation of resources to areas in need of additional attention.

Strategic Priority #2:  Identify and promote prevention research areas that deserve expanded effort and investment by the NIH.

It is important that the best available methods in prevention research be utilized to move the science forward. Increased awareness of and training in the use of newer and more efficient approaches for measurement, intervention, design, and analysis are needed to improve both the quality and success of prevention research applications submitted to the NIH. Opportunities exist for ODP to support the development of these methods and to encourage training in their use for a variety of audiences, including NIH program and review staff, intramural investigators, and the extramural community.

Strategic Priority #3:  Promote the use of the best available methods in prevention research and support the development of new and innovative approaches.

All of the Institutes and Centers support prevention research in their own areas. This approach has helped to create a robust and diverse research portfolio that addresses a range of important scientific questions. Even so, enhanced collaboration and coordination among NIH Institutes and Centers could result in better outcomes and more efficient use of resources. Opportunities exist for ODP to encourage coordination of prevention research across Institutes and Centers.

Strategic Priority #4:  Encourage development of collaborative prevention research projects and facilitate coordination of such projects across the NIH and with other public and private entities.

Part of the mission of the ODP is to disseminate the results of high quality evidence-based disease prevention research. Opportunities exist for ODP to facilitate the identification and promotion of effective evidence-based interventions.

Strategic Priority #5:  Identify and promote the use of effective evidence-based interventions.

Many NIH Institutes and Centers have well-organized communication and outreach programs that promote the findings of their research. Opportunities exist for ODP to play a central role in highlighting the scientific and public health impact of the NIH prevention research portfolio.

Strategic Priority #6:  Increase the visibility of prevention research at the NIH and across the country.

Additional Input

In addition to the strategic priorities, the ODP welcomes suggestions on how to enhance the prevention research portfolio at the NIH:

  • Suggested changes to the approach used by the NIH to develop funding opportunity announcements that could improve the quality of prevention research supported by the NIH.
  • Suggested changes to the approach used by the NIH to review applications that could improve the quality of prevention research supported by the NIH.
  • Suggested changes to the approach used by the NIH in managing funded projects that could improve the quality of prevention research supported by the NIH.

How to Submit a Response

To ensure consideration, responses must be received by April 14, 2013, and should be submitted electronically using the web-based form available at The web form will provide confirmation of response submission, but respondents will not receive individualized feedback. All respondents are encouraged to sign up for the ODP email list at to receive information related to Office activities, including updates on the development and release of the final strategic plan.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. Please do not include any personally identifiable or other information that you do not wish to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in responses. Comments submitted will be compiled for discussion and incorporated into the ODP strategic plan as appropriate. Any personal identifiers (personal names, email addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled.

This RFI is for informational and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the United States Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the U.S. Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of that information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Wilma Peterman Cross, M.S.
Senior Public Health Advisor
Office of Disease Prevention
National Institutes of Health
Phone: (301) 496-1508