Expanding NIH’s Definition of Socio-Economic Disadvantaged to be More Inclusive and Diversify the Workforce

NIH has considered a different approach to defining scientists from disadvantaged backgrounds. We reviewed a wide variety of criteria, looking for those that are relatively easy to self-evaluate and that capture a large proportion of affected people. Continue reading

Case Study in Review Integrity: Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

This series aims to raise awareness and inspire creative problem solving of the challenges in maintaining integrity in peer review. In this case, Dr. Smith, who is being considered as a reviewer for the application, is a professional associate of Dr. Jones, the PI on the application. However, Dr. Smith had not declared a conflict with that application. Continue reading

New NIH Resource to Analyze Biomedical Research Citations: The Open Citation Collection

My colleagues within the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis sought to answer this call. Drs. Ian Hutchins and George Santangelo embarked on a hefty bibliometric endeavor over the past several years to curate biomedical citation data. They aggregated over 420 million citation links from sources like Medline, PubMed Central, Entrez, CrossRef, and other unrestricted, open-access datasets. With this information in hand, we can now take a better glimpse into relationships between basic and applied research, into how a researchers’ works are cited, and into ways to make large-scale analyses of citation metrics easier and free. Continue reading

Delving Further into the Funding Gap Between White and Black Researchers

In a paper recently published in Science Advances, we delved into the underlying factors associated with the funding gap between white and black researchers. We identified three decision points where disparate outcomes arose between white and black researchers: 1) the decision to bring applications to discussion during peer review study section meetings; 2) impact score assignments for those applications brought to discussion; and (3) a previously unstudied factor, topic choice – that is what topic the investigators chose to study. Continue reading

Seeking Comments on Using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources for NIH-Supported Research

NIH is currently accepting public comments on the use of standards for capturing, integrating, and exchanging clinical data for research purposes (NOT-OD-19-150). This is a great opportunity to hear more from the community on ways to strengthen approaches that find, share, and access high-quality patient data, while also making it more interoperable and reusable. Such goals align with long-standing NIH data sharing policies and what was also called for in a related NIH strategic plan on data science. Continue reading

Final Report on Reducing Administrative Burdens Associated with Research Involving Laboratory Animals

We are pleased to announce that last month the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published their final report on Reducing Administrative Burden for Researchers: Animal Care and Use in Research (NOT-OD-19-136). This report, called for in the 21st Century Cures Act, is the culmination of more than two years of diligent work to address inconsistent and overlapping policies governing oversight of research involving animals, while ensuring research findings remain credible and research institutions safeguard animal welfare. Continue reading

Thoughts on How Institutions Can Promote a Culture of Research Integrity

On May 22, I had the privilege of participating in a terrific national conference that focused on what institutions can do to foster a culture of research integrity. I was also given the opportunity to present my thoughts on promoting research integrity, something I have written about before. My talk dealt with approaches institutions may take to foster a culture of research integrity, and I wanted to share it here as a resource for others. Continue reading

Linking ORCID Identifiers to eRA Profiles to Streamline Application Processes and to Enhance Tracking of Career Outcomes

Enter once, reuse often. That’s the mantra of Open Researcher and Contributor Identification (ORCID), a non-profit organization that promotes the use of its unique digital identifier to connect researchers with their science contributions over time and across changes of name, location and institutional affiliation. With this in mind, in fiscal year 2020, NIH will begin requiring individuals supported by training, fellowship, career development, and other research education awards to have an ORCID iD linked to their personal electronic Research Administration (eRA) account. Continue reading

Achieving Gender Equity at Conferences

Inviting women to speak at conferences matters for many reasons – it’s a matter of fairness; it gives eminently qualified women a level playing field; it is just the right thing to do. In essence, it’s about changing the fundamental culture of the biomedical research enterprise to allow full participation from people of all backgrounds. In that vein, I’d like to remind you that if you are applying for an R13 conference grant from NIH, please be sure to read the requirements in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, where meeting diversity is a long-standing expectation. Continue reading

Clarifying Long-Standing NIH Policies on Disclosing Other Support

Who funds your current research? Make sure to let NIH know. It is required. Institutions and investigators must disclose all forms of what is termed “other support” when applying for and receiving NIH grants. Other support includes all resources, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value, available in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors. Continue reading