Request for Information (RFI): Input on a Planned NIH Common Fund Mechanisms of Fatigue Program

Notice Number: NOT-RM-16-023

Key Dates
Release Date: July 7, 2016
Response Date: July 28, 2016

Related Announcements

Issued by
Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit background information and guidance on the development of various research directions of the planned NIH Common Fund “Mechanisms of Fatigue” program.   

The NIH Common Fund supports research areas that have an impact on a wide array of disease conditions and broadly impact health.  Fatigue is a common comorbid condition in a multitude of disease conditions.  It can greatly reduce quality of life and may impact the disease progression and recovery.   Fatigue also results from somnolence, and from mental and physical activity and may serve a protective function in these cases, and perhaps in some disease conditions.    

The goals of a Mechanisms of Fatigue program would be to determine whether molecular, cellular, or imaging signatures of fatigue can be defined; if so, the program would identify molecular triggers of fatigue and determine how this condition is resolved by rest in healthy individuals. This would then provide the foundation necessary to understand why fatigue can be debilitating and/or fails to resolve in the presence of disease/disorders/aging. Data from these studies would be made available in a public database and would be expected to catalyze research in this area for years to come.

Information Requested

Information is sought that might be used in the development of a comprehensive research program focused on the relationship of fatigue to health. The information sought includes, but is not limited to, information to improve our understanding of:

  • How to best measure fatigue in an objective, valid, and meaningful way for research and clinical purposes. 
  • The commonalities and differences between various types of fatigue and whether there are fundamental differences between pathological and protective fatigue.
  • How rest and sleep may impact fatigue of differing types and origins, and the biological factors that determine if fatigue will ameliorate with rest and/or sleep.
  • The current major barriers (if any) impeding research on the mechanisms of fatigue.
  • The relationships (if any) between physical and mental fatigue (as well as perceived fatigue).
  • The impact of fatigue on disease and vice versa.

How to Submit a Response
Responses to the RFI will be accepted until July 28, 2016.  Respondents will not receive individualized feedback. No basis for claims against the United States government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Unites States government’s use of such information.  All comments must be submitted .

Response to this RFI is voluntary.  All interested parties are invited to respond.  Any personal identifiers (e.g., names, addresses, email addresses) will be removed when responses are compiled.  Only the de-identified comments will be displayed.  Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response.  The United States government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).

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 United States 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.  Responses will be


Please direct all inquiries to:

Vicky Whittemore, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Telephone: 301-496-1917

Carlos Blanco, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Telephone: 301-443-6504

Patricia Labosky, Ph.D.
Office of Strategic Coordination/Office of the Director
National Institutes of Health
Telephone: 301-594-4863