Request for Information: Soliciting ideas for new NIH Common Fund programs
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

July 20, 2022

Response Date:
September 30, 2022

Related Announcements


Issued by

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit ideas for potential NIH Common Fund programs.


The Common Fund supports bold scientific programs that catalyze discovery across all biomedical and behavioral research. These programs create a space where investigators and multiple NIH Institutes and Centers collaborate on innovative research expected to address high priority challenges for the NIH as a whole and make a broader impact in the scientific community. Many Common Fund programs are designed to produce specific deliverables, such as broadly useful datasets, tools, technologies, research methods, or fundamental scientific paradigms. These deliverables are expected to have exceptional impact on the way science is conducted, our understanding of human physiology or disease, or our ability to support human health.

Common Fund programs fall into three broad categories:

Transformational Science and Discovery: Some Common Fund programs create entirely new ways for scientists to establish new scientific principles and models to explain how the world works. They often develop new research tools to accelerate scientific discoveries, or support emerging areas of research that could revolutionize our understanding of health and disease.

  • Example program: Cellular Senescence Network comprehensively identifying and characterizing senescent (no longer dividing) cells across the body, across various states of human health, and across the lifespan.

Catalytic Data Resources: Many Common Fund programs create unique and valuable biomedical research data or computational tools. In addition to creating the data, programs in this category are exploring ways to make large, complex datasets more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), so that the entire research community can use the data to make new discoveries.

  • Example program: Bridge to Artificial Intelligence setting the stage for widespread adoption of artificial intelligence approaches to tackle complex biomedical challenges by generation of flagship data sets, best practices for machine learning analysis, software and standards, tools, and training.

Re-engineering the Research Enterprise: Some Common Fund programs are designed to transform how we do biomedical and behavioral research, how we transition that research into prevention and therapies, and how those successful prevention and therapies can be adopted broadly. Some programs in this category are experimenting with ways to make the biomedical workforce as robust as possible, so new perspectives and ideas can contribute to discovery.

  • Example program: Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation establishing and maintaining cultures of inclusive excellence in biomedical research through cluster hiring of early career faculty and institutional culture change efforts; performing rigorous evaluation to determine whether cluster hires and culture change efforts positively affect faculty diversity.

Information requested

The NIH requests ideas for potential new Common Fund programs that may be supported in fiscal year 2025 or beyond.

Idea submitters are encouraged to keep the following characteristics of Common Fund programs in mind. In general, Common Fund programs:

  • Are trans-NIH (not disease-specific or relevant to the mission of only one or a few NIH Institutes and Centers)
  • Require a large, coordinated effort in which many investigators undertake research projects directed at a common goal
  • Have specific goals and deliverables that can be achieved in 5-10 years
  • Are sufficiently large and complex (with an approximate budget of $25-50 million/year for 5-10 years) to warrant a trans-NIH, coordinated approach

NIH encourages idea submissions that describe what you think is the greatest opportunity or challenge in biomedical research today and what makes it the right time to address this idea through a Common Fund program.

NIH encourages concise ideas to facilitate the review process. Submissions should focus on broad concepts rather than detailed descriptions..

How to submit a response

All responses must be submitted electronically on the submission website. Organizations and groups of people working together to develop ideas are strongly encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of their organization and membership as a whole.

Responses must be received by 11:59:59 pm (ET) on Friday, September 30, 2022

What NIH will do with responses

After submission, ideas will be reviewed for adherence to the criteria above by NIH staff. A small group of ideas that best meet the criteria and are deemed to have the highest potential as Common Fund programs will be provided to senior NIH leaders for further consideration. Submitters of selected ideas will be invited to present their idea and respond to questions from senior NIH leadership. Invitations to present ideas will be sent in approximately early November 2022, with presentation to NIH leadership in approximately late November or early December 2022. Due to the large number of anticipated responses, NIH will not provide individual responses to submitters of ideas that are not selected for presentation.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Due to the nature of the selection process, responses may NOT be submitted anonymously. Please do not include any information that you do not wish to make public. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitations(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements. This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for use of that information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Stephanie Courchesne, Ph.D.
Office of the Director (OD)