Scientific Management Review Board Continues Deliberating Substance Use Research

The NIH Scientific Management Review Board met to review the recommendations of the Substance Use Abuse and Addiction Working group and to approve principles developed by the Deliberation of Organizational Change and Effectiveness Working Group. Insights regarding a functional or structural merger of two institutes, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) were also provided.
On May 18, the NIH Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) met to review the recommendations of the Substance Use Abuse and Addiction Working group and to approve principles developed by the Deliberation of Organizational Change and Effectiveness Working Group. Several panels (PDF, 77KB) representing different perspectives including the community stakeholders, early stage investigators, NIH grantees and the current Directors of NIDA and NIAAA provided insights as to whether a functional or structural merger of the two institutes would best optimize the state of substance use research at NIH. Although the working group had not reached a consensus, the majority (five working group members) favored a functional reorganization, while a minority (three working group members) favored a structural merger. The SUAA Working Group plans to review the comments from all the panelists they’ve heard to date and then will develop a final recommendation to NIH Director Collins in a teleconference scheduled for June. An archived webcast of the meeting is available on the NIH website.