Washington Update

NIH Council of Councils Approves New Concept Clearance on Validating Animal Models

By: Naomi Charalambakis
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
On May 19-20, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils convened to discuss a variety of trans-NIH activities related to the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives housed within the Office of the Director. As part of their discussion, council members approved a new concept clearance from the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) for developing resources and technologies for enhancing rigor, reproducibility, and translatability of animal models in biomedical research.

The purpose of the proposed initiative is to support research and resource related projects aimed at developing broadly applicable technologies, tools, and resources for validating animal models. Funds for the new resources are also intended to facilitate improved rigor and reproducibility in animal research, particularly preclinical studies that have the potential to advance to human clinical trials. The challenges and opportunities for animal model validation tools were a key focus of the 2021-2021 ORIP workshop, a series of 10 virtual sessions that covered a variety of topics related to improving animal research and data integration. 

ORIP plans to use a variety of grant mechanisms to achieve the initiative’s goals and provide flexibility for researchers working on animal model validation, including two-year exploratory research project grants (R21) and resource-related research projects under cooperative agreements (U24). Proposed projects must align with ORIP’s 2021-2025 strategic plan which, among other themes, emphasizes the importance of facilitating the development and availability of the highest quality and most useful animal models for the advancement of research on human disease.