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.
As NIH has been emphasizing for more than a decade, the rigor and transparency of a study are key for gleaning the robustness of its results. This includes the design, implementation, analysis, and interpretation of experiments.
Sheila Garrity, JD, MPH, MBA, began as director of the HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in March. As our offices work closely together to address research misconduct in NIH-funded biomedical research, we recently took some time to sit down and chat to get to know her better and welcome her to this new role.
Case Study in Research Integrity – Banned From Supervising, Can’t Go in Lab, but No Impact on NIH Funded Research?
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.
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.
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)”
Reviewers are trusted and required to maintain confidentiality throughout the application review process. Thus, using AI to assist in peer review would involve a breach of confidentiality. In a recently released guide notice, we explain that NIH scientific peer reviewers are prohibited from using natural language processors, large language models, or other generative AI technologies for analyzing and formulating peer review critiques for grant applications and R&D contract proposals.
Over the past two years, we supported 1,412 early stage investigators (ESIs) in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and 1,513 in FY 2021, which were both all-time highs. These ESIs were first-time Principal Investigators (PIs) designated on type 1 (new) R01-equivalent awards. Today, we are pleased to announce that even more ESIs were supported in FY 2022 as part of our continued Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) efforts.
Today Science published our letter “Safeguarding integrity and collaborations,” which summarizes our perspectives on NIH efforts to address long-standing foreign interference threats, many stemming from foreign malign talent recruitment programs. We are grateful to Science for publishing our letter and for endorsing our efforts to “talk more openly.”
The UNITE E Committee recently updated the research community on their progress towards creating a “multipronged strategy to advance racial equity and create the most inclusive biomedical research environment possible.” We wanted to briefly share a few of their efforts here.