On March 24, 2008, the National Institutes of Health announced the appointments to the NIH Council of Councils (see the roster). The NIH Reform Act of 2006 authorized the Council of Councils and the Common Fund to support trans-NIH initiatives (see November 2007 Nexus).
A major element of the Reform Act of 2006 was the new authority it gave to the NIH director to improve program coordination, assemble accurate data, implement strategic plans based on IC-determined priorities, ensure resources are properly allocated, and further maximize investigator-initiated research.
The Council is made up of 27 members selected from the NIH Institute and Center (IC) advisory councils and advisory committees to the NIH Office of the Director. The Council will advise the NIH director on cutting-edge trans-NIH priorities and matters related to the policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, established by the NIH Reform Act 2006, and the Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives. It also will act as an external advisory panel to the IC directors during the concept approval stage of the review process for trans-NIH initiatives.
The Council’s first official meeting was March 31-April 1, 2008, on the NIH campus, Bethesda, MD. It was open to the public; and an agenda is available on the Council’s Web site.