Open Mike

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An Opportunity to Collaborate and Use the Unique Resources of the NIH Clinical Center

Three years ago, NIH created a program to enable extramural researchers to collaborate with our intramural scientists and use the exceptional resources of the NIH Clinical Center. Since then, 20 awards have been made to support projects of significant breadth, such as a trial for treatment of relapsed leukemia; a malaria vaccine trial; and a trial testing a new cardiac catheter. This is the fourth year that NIH has issued this funding opportunity. The December 15 pre-application deadline is approaching, and I wanted to remind you what this program offers.

As described in the funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) (PAR 15-286 and PAR 15-287), this program seeks to broaden and strengthen translational research partnerships between NIH’s intramural investigators and the extramural research community. Through the program, collaborating researchers can access resources and expertise from the NIH Clinical Center—a hospital dedicated exclusively to clinical research.  In addition, the NIH Clinical Center hosts large cohorts of patients and is conducting studies of over 500 rare diseases. The NIH campus has several home-like environments (e.g., The Children’s Inn at NIH) that can support patients and families while they participate in clinical research.

The NIH Clinical Center’s collaboration website allows you to learn about the many research resources at our campus in Bethesda, such as biomedical specimens, equipment, or unique data sets. The site also describes NIH intramural scientists’ research, so you can identify a potential collaborator for your application. We suggest that you watch the video of our November 9 pre-application webinar, as it provides an overview of this initiative and can address questions about preparing an application.

Fifteen NIH institutes, as well as the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements and Office of Research on Women’s Health, are participating in this innovative program. NIH has also expanded eligibility to include applications from foreign organizations and applications that contain foreign components. If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please review both FOAs for additional program details; specific areas of interest for this program, as aligned with the mission of participating institutes; and program officer contact information so that you can consult with NIH staff in developing your application.

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