Washington Update

NIH Begins Final Review of Agency-Wide Strategic Plan

By: Yvette Seger
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

On November 13, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils convened to discuss the draft NIH-wide strategic plan for fiscal years (FYs) 2021–2025. Development of the agency-wide strategic plan is required by the 21st Century Cures Act. The current NIH-wide strategic plan expired earlier this year.

The draft plan represents over a year of effort to collect input from leaders of NIH’s 27 individual Institutes and Centers as well as the broader scientific community and public (view FASEB’s feedback on the proposed framework). Over the past few months, this feedback has been integrated into a draft plan emphasizing three key objectives:

  • Advancing Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences
  • Developing, Maintaining, and Renewing Scientific Research Capacity
  • Exemplifying and Promoting the Highest Level of Scientific Integrity, Public Accountability, and Social Responsibility in the Conduct of Science

Each objective includes several specific goals and examples of current or planned programming aimed to address them. The plan also highlights themes that cut across these objectives, such as minority health and health disparities, women’s health, public health challenges across the lifespan, collaborative science, and data science.

Notably, the plan does not emphasize COVID-19 research priorities. This will be covered by a separate NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research, which is open for public comment through December 7, 2020. NIH anticipates finalizing the NIH-wide Strategic Plan following final input from the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director in December.