Washington Update

FASEB Urges NIH to Evaluate Processes for Stakeholder Engagement

By: Yvette Seger
Thursday, March 29, 2018

On March 12, FASEB sent a letter to Michael Lauer, MD, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), urging the agency to modify its processes for engaging the stakeholder community.

Through analysis of Requests for Information (RFIs) published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts during calendar years 2013-2017, FASEB determined that median response period was brief, ranging from 35 to 46 days. In its comments to Dr. Lauer, FASEB stated that RFIs provide an invaluable mechanism for stakeholders, ranging from individuals to professional organizations, to provide policy input to federal agencies.

Unfortunately, many organizations – FASEB included – have found difficulty providing meaningful feedback from their memberships within these increasingly short timelines. Therefore, FASEB recommended establishing a minimum RFI comment period of 60 days to ensure stakeholder engagement.

FASEB’s comments also highlighted the increased utilization of blogs, newsletters, webinars, and social media to share information with the research community, but that these mechanisms should supplement rather than replace the formal RFI process.