Helping To Protect the Privacy of Participants in Non-NIH Funded Research

You likely know that for human-participant research funded wholly or in part by NIH, we automatically issue Certificates of Confidentiality (CoCs) as a term and condition of award. CoCs protect identifiable, sensitive information of people who participate from being disclosed to others not associated with the study. But, for human-participant research funded by an entity other than NIH, did you know that you can reach out to us to request a CoC as well? Read on for more!

The NIH SABV Policy: E-learning Opportunities and a Symposium Provide Guidance and Inspiration

Interest in sex and gender in research—and resources to help investigators—is growing. In the 5 years since NIH enacted its pioneering Policy on Sex as a Biological Variable (SABV) (see our progress report here), there has been a lot of activity, including increased attention on sex differences and influences and many questions and requests for assistance. I’m pleased to announce the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) has issued two new courses, Sex as a Biological Variable: A Primer and Bench to Bedside: Integrating Sex and Gender to Improve Human Health, to our suite of free e-learning offerings.

Reminder: NIH Will Continue to Accept Preliminary Data as Post-Submission Material Through January 2022 Council

In recognition of the fact that COVID-19 may still be adversely affecting the ability of applicants to generate preliminary data, NIH will continue to accept a one-page update with preliminary data as post-submission materials for applications submitted for the January 2022 Council (beginning with applications submitted for the May 25, 2021 due date for Fall 2021 review meetings), ONLY if the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) used for submission allowed preliminary data in the application.

CSR’s Commitment to Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review

On March 1, NIH Director Francis Collins announced NIH’s broad-based initiative, UNITE, to end structural racism and racial inequities in biomedical science. This is a recognition of the need for urgent, sustained effort on many fronts across the research enterprise, including in all parts of the NIH’s extramural processes, to change culture. While the NIH Institutes and Centers will examine their programmatic priorities and discretionary funding practices, here at CSR, we are committed to pushing ahead with efforts to protect the peer review process from the systemic biases that exist in all areas of the scientific community.

Announcement of Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Supported Individual Fellows

As part of our on-going efforts to develop programs which support family-friendly research environments for the NIH-supported workforce, NIH will begin providing an option for NRSA fellows to request support for childcare costs in new and continuation applications or as administrative supplements to existing awards effective April 8, 2021. The NRSA childcare costs apply to full-time NIH-NRSA supported fellowship positions. Each fellow is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period to defray childcare costs. The NRSA childcare costs are not tied to any payback obligations.

NIH Stands Against Structural Racism in Biomedical Research

I am proud to join my NIH colleagues today in reaffirming our commitment to fostering a diverse biomedical research workforce and ending structural racism at NIH, the institutions we support, and anywhere where NIH research activities take place. Working together, we can continue identifying and dismantling any policies, practices, or other impediments that may harm our supported workforce and science. We encourage you to join us in this effort. Please take a moment to read the statement below from the NIH Director on achieving racial equity in biomedical research and visit our new webpage, which includes more on the UNITE initiative. You are also welcome to share your thoughts and ideas to our Request for Information directly with us here.

Help Us Understand How You Use Common Data Elements in NIH-Supported Research

Common Data Elements foster rigor, facilitate data sharing, and allow multiple datasets to be integrated. They also help make data more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). Many different CDEs are currently in use and can vary across research disciplines, so we would encourage researchers check out databases like the NIH CDE Repository for examples, tools, and other related resources. Through a recently released Request for Information (NOT-LM-21-005), we seek your thoughts on how you use CDEs, potential challenges to their adoption, and how NIH might facilitate and incentivize their use to help us plan future CDE-related efforts.

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.

Reminder: NIH Will Continue to Accept Preliminary Data as Post-Submission Material Through August/October 2021 Councils

In recognition of the fact that COVID-19 may still be adversely affecting the ability of applicants to generate preliminary data, NIH will continue to accept a one-page update with preliminary data as post-submission materials for applications submitted for the August/October 2021 council (beginning with applications submitted for the January 25, 2021 due date for Summer 2021 review meetings), ONLY if the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) used for submission allowed preliminary data in the application.