Learning More About NIH Research Directions and How You Can Provide Input: Highlighting Autoimmune Disease Research


Regular readers of this blog know that we often seek feedback on various grant policies and initiatives broadly affecting the extramural research community. As just a few examples from last year, we sought input on research misconduct regulations, care and use of laboratory cephalopods, foreign subaward agreements, postdoctoral training, and review of fellowship applications. There are also opportunities to weigh in on future directions for the many different disease-specific research areas NIH supports, which we typically do not discuss on this blog. Here, we wanted to briefly share some resources about these comment opportunities and how to be informed when they arise.

As one recent example to highlight, the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health released a Request for Information seeking input on advancing autoimmune disease research. The feedback received will help shape a strategic plan guiding wider NIH efforts and priority research areas in the next phase of autoimmune disease research. They seek input on novel cross-cutting collaborative research areas, improving outcomes for individuals living with autoimmune diseases, developing a publicly accessible central repository for autoimmune disease research, and more. Comments may be submitted electronically through March 1, 2024.

Along with a wide array of NIH grants data, many of NIH’s strategic plans are available on our Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) site. We strongly recommend researchers review these strategic plans to learn about the varied research interests of the NIH Institutes and Centers before applying. The plans share insights into their research directions, high priority initiatives, and commentary from their leadership. Knowing this information will also help ensure that you are applying to an Institute or Center relevant for your research area of interest.

The NIH Institutes and Centers will typically release a Request for Information to seek comments from the public to help inform the development of their strategic plans. These requests are usually advertised on the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The NIH Guide is the official publication for NIH biomedical and behavioral research grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunities. You can subscribe here.

We appreciate all the thoughtful comments you and your colleagues provide. The input is invaluable to ensure the policies and programs NIH implements will continue moving us forward to address the many issues facing biomedical research and public health.

Before submitting your comment, please review our blog comment policies.

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