Rethinking Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Studies

September 28, 2023

Assuming that biological or genetic differences relate directly to racial or ethnic categories can lead to false scientific conclusions and perpetuate bias. Misuse of population descriptors has harmed marginalized groups and promoted scientific racism. These limitations in existing population descriptors in genetics and genomics led 14 NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices to sponsor the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to establish an interdisciplinary committee of experts and explore the issue.

Feedback Sought on Cephalopod Care and Use

September 20, 2023

Earlier this month, we released a Request for Information seeking public input on the humane care and use of laboratory cephalopods at Assured institutions. The proposed guidance acknowledges the evidence suggesting these animals would benefit from oversight, but also that there are not yet specific care and use standards to allow them to be regulated under the Public Health Service Policy for the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Further Clarifying NIH’s Foreign Subaward Agreement Policy: Addressing Community Feedback

September 15, 2023

We released our final Guide Notice clarifying NIH’s long-standing policy on foreign subaward and consortium written agreements. Here, we talk about the origins of this notice, consideration of and changes made in response to public comment, the final oversight and compliance requirements, and how these efforts will ensure NIH remains a proper steward of taxpayer support.

Animal Welfare Noncompliance: Data and Process

August 17, 2023

As part of proper stewardship of taxpayer funds, we at NIH are obligated, both legally and ethically, to ensure the welfare and reduce risks for those involved in our supported research activities. This obligation includes research animals. Their humane care and use is something we take very seriously. Today we are taking some time to touch upon our policies to protect animal welfare, discuss how we process reports of noncompliance, and provide resources to help recipients and researchers ensure their work involving animals is conducted appropriately.

Case Study in Research Integrity – Banned From Supervising, Can’t Go in Lab, but No Impact on NIH Funded Research?

July 17, 2023

We have seen rising numbers of allegations related to harassment, discrimination, and hostile work environments since 2018 (when we first started tracking them). In many cases, we successfully work with recipient institutions to put appropriate measures in place to address unsafe working environments. However, too often we hear from institutions that a PI has violated the institution’s policies and is no longer permitted to supervise students or staff, but there will be “no impact on NIH-funded work.” We have a problem with this response.

Strengthening Integrity and Fairness in Peer Review Through New Required Trainings

July 11, 2023

Effective for the May 2024 council round (peer review meetings in early 2024), all reviewers will be required to complete trainings related to review integrity and bias awareness prior to serving on NIH peer review groups. These trainings build on our long-standing commitment to maintaining integrity and fairness throughout the review process.

Final Career Stage Analyses of Applications Submitted During the Pandemic (Part 7)

July 10, 2023

The HHS-declared public health emergency for COVID-19 ended on May 11, 2023 (NOT-OD-23-095). With this milestone, we are also closing out our series of blogs on the distributions of gender and race of designated principal investigators (PIs) of R01 and RPG applications submitted before and after the onset of the pandemic. This final post builds on previous … Continue reading “Final Career Stage Analyses of Applications Submitted During the Pandemic (Part 7)”