Government Relations Update

NICHD requests comments on 10-year Scientific Vision Process

Institute seeks comments on white papers from scientists, new investigators, and external organizations.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a component of the National Institutes of Health, is soliciting input from the scientific community as it continues work on its Scientific Vision Process that began in 2010 (see previous report in PSA).  At this stage in the process, the Institute invites comments from a wide range of stakeholders, including scientists, new investigators, and external organizations, on the white papers that were produced as a result of theme-based workshops held over the last year.

The nine themes are: development, plasticity, cognition, behavior, reproduction, pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, developmental origins of health and disease, environment, and diagnostics and therapeutics. Recognizing that some topics cut across many of these themes, the Institute incorporated the following crosscutting issues: systems biology, training and mentoring, animal and computational models, differences/disparities across populations, stem cells, epigenetics, bioinformatics, analytical and measurement tools and methods, bioethics, biotechnologies/ bioengineering including assistive and related technologies, implementation science, nutrition, global health, prevention, and developmental trajectory.

Five of the white papers, including Behavior, have now been posted to the Vision Process website and NICHD invites scientists’ feedback, particularly regarding any perceived gaps in the white papers ( i.e., any key scientific opportunities related to the Vision themes that are not in the white papers but that merit attention).  The deadline for comments on all white papers is June 10, 2011.

Psychologists are encouraged to submit comments on the white papers to NICHD, as well as to share them with the American Psychological Association so that they can be incorporated into APA’s own comments.   You may send your comments to Karen Studwell, Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer within APA’s Science Government Relations Office.