Enhancing Diversity at NIH-Funded Conferences

At NIH, we have and continue to focus not just on gender equity but on ensuring greater diversity in all aspects of the biomedical workforce. This means, that along with women, members of racial and/or ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are also included. To help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation, NIH needs the richness and breadth of varied perspectives that comes from having a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds.

In that spirit, today we released a guide notice (NOT-OD-21-XXX) that updates guidance for NIH R13/U13 Conference Grant applicants and recipients. Continue reading

Check Out NIH’s New COVID-19 Research Website

We are pleased to announce that the new NIH COVID-19 website launched earlier this week. The site provides a central location for trusted, up-to-date, accurate information about NIH research and our strategic role in COVID-19 research. The site complements information made available on our COVID-19: Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding webpage. Continue reading

What You Read in 2020

Looking back on 2020 includes seeing how well we have done to capture your interest with our Open Mike blog posts.  Did we hit the mark?  Here we analyze page views on the Open Mike blog. Similar to what we did for 2018, below we show the top ten blog posts from 2020 based on overall page views. Posts on topics that are directly related to grant funding were the ones that were viewed the most. Continue reading

Reflections on 2020, Looking Towards 2021

From struggles to successes, 2020 deserves a look back. Right before the holidays, I sat down with Dr. David Kosub from the NIH Office of Extramural Research’s communication shop to reflect on 2020 and what may be in store for the year ahead. I invite you to watch our conversation and hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe new year! Continue reading

Case Study in Review Integrity: Sharing an Application Being Reviewed

Sharing an application with anyone who has not been officially designated to participate in the peer review process is a big no-no. It undermines the integrity of peer review. It disregards the confidentiality that is required of peer reviewers, who specifically sign a confidentiality agreement before accessing the applications. And it is specifically prohibited by NIH peer review policy. Continue reading

Some Thoughts Following the NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan 2 Workshop

“The [NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan] policy, and the review and reporting requirements associated with it, should help ensure that children and older adults are not inappropriately excluded from clinical studies. The policy also has the potential to provide a more robust understanding of the full spectrum of participants recruited into clinical studies.”

Together with my NIH colleagues Drs. Marie Bernard and Janine Clayton, we made this point in a 2018 JAMA opinion piece following the inaugural NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan workshop. Fast forward, we revisited this issue at the NIH’s Inclusion Across the Lifespan 2 workshop held this past September. You can watch the videocast here. The report covering the event was posted today, and I wanted to share some of my takeaways.
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Should We Keep Meeting This Way?

How will study sections meet in the future? NIH peer review depends on robust meetings where groups of scientists, through vigorous discussion, identify the applications of highest merit. For the last 75 years, until last March, nearly all chartered review committee meetings were held in-person. Today, in response to the pandemic, 90% of all CSR review meetings are run as video (“Zoom”) meetings. CSR is taking steps now so that when all options are back on the table, we can make informed choices about how best to convene review meetings. Continue reading

NIH Challenges Academia to Share Strategies to Strengthen Gender Diversity

On behalf of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers, the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health has launched a new challenge competition to promote the advancement of women in leadership roles in academia. It is called the NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity in Biomedical and Behavioral Science. Dr. Janine Clayton, Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, described the competition as one that will recognize institutions that have successfully and systemically addressed gender diversity and equity issues among faculty members in biomedical and behavioral sciences (see her full post here.) Continue reading

Introducing the Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Grant Program

Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., led the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases from 1995 until his passing in 2018. Dr. Katz was a talented physician scientist, NIH leader, and civil servant throughout his career who was profoundly dedicated to mentoring and training the next cadre of scientists. During his memorial service at NIH, you can see this dedication on full display. I, along with countless NIH colleagues, were blessed with Dr. Katz’s mentoring and sage advice. That is why, in his honor, we are pleased to announce the publication of Funding Opportunity Announcements for the Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant program . Continue reading

Continued Impact of COVID-19 on Biomedical Research

It’s been over eight months since the COVID-19 pandemic crisis struck, changing every facet of life as we knew it. The U.S. biomedical research enterprise was not spared, as lockdowns and severe restrictions on activities took hold across the country. At the time, we offered our perspectives on efforts we could take to cushion the shock. Since that time, much has happened. COVID-19 research has blossomed with impressive results including FDA approval of a therapeutic agent (remdesivir, which was found to have value in a large-scale NIH-funded trial), development of several candidate vaccines that have already made to pivotal Phase 3 trials, and the rapid development of a variety of diagnostic testing platforms. However, research unrelated to COVID has seen a different picture. Continue reading