Created by on 10/01/2010


On September 22nd, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the Biennial Report of the Director for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. The report provides a consolidated portrait of NIH research activities and centers of excellence, making it easy for Congress, advocates, patient groups, and the general public to understand the many functions of the agency. Five separate chapters describe the operating structure of the 27 institutes and centers, summarize research on specific diseases and disorders, and discuss tools and training programs funded by NIH. Cancer, neuroscience and disorders of the nervous system, infectious diseases, and minority health are highlighted in the section on research projects. The report also includes appendices outlining priorities supported by the Office of the Director, as well as a strategic planning report about the Common Fund, a statement on how the agency is monitoring compliance with the NIH policy on inclusion of women and minority subjects in clinical research, and data on research training and graduate medical education.

Mandated by the NIH Reform Act passed by Congress in 2006, the Director’s Report is intended to replace the many disparate documents previously produced by individual institutes. In a press release accompanying the report, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins stated “When I began my tenure as NIH director a little more than one year ago, I restated our collective commitment to be as transparent as possible. We have worked to make the NIH Biennial Report a key resource for NIH’s partners, collaborators and constituents to help keep them informed about what the agency is doing and why we are doing it.” An electronic version of the document is available on the NIH website. Print copies of the report will be available in the fall. Members of the public can visit the agency website to provide feedback on ways to enhance the report to improve NIH transparency and accountability.