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NIH Wants Your Ideas on Ways to Invest Its "Common Fund" Money

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a “Request for Information (RFI): To Solicit Ideas for Common Fund/Roadmap Trans-NIH Strategic Initiatives.”

By Patricia Kobor

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a “Request for Information (RFI): To Solicit Ideas for Common Fund/Roadmap Trans-NIH Strategic Initiatives.” NIH is seeking comments from the scientific community, health professionals, patient advocates, and the general public about innovative and cross-cutting initiatives to be funded through the NIH Common Fund beginning in the year 2010. The NIH Common Fund / Roadmap was created by the NIH in 2004 and enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act to support cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs. The budget of the Common Fund has been growing, while the budgets of institutes and centers have been flat. (This fiscal year’s Common Fund budget is $495 million.) Therefore it is wise for psychological scientists to think carefully about potential Common Fund initiatives that could advance behavioral and social science progress.

Because NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) regularly collaborate in areas of shared interest, the NIH Leadership developed specific and more exacting criteria for Common Fund / Roadmap programs. Primary among these criteria is that Common Fund programs are expected to have exceptionally high impact and to transform the way research is conducted. All Common Fund / Roadmap programs are relevant to multiple diseases. They address common challenges that are faced by investigators working in multiple disease areas.

One new initiative just adopted as part of the Roadmap, and therefore eligible for Common Fund money, is “The Science of Behavior Change.” See the NIH website for a description.  Funding and other announcements in support of this initiative are in preparation.

Please see the NIH Grants official notice for more information and instructions for responding by the deadline of June 2, 2008. Watch for updates in Psychological Science Agenda (PSA) and Science Policy Insider News (SPIN) [now APA Science Policy News] about this announcement and others related to the Roadmap and NIH Common Fund.