NIH Releases Agency-Wide Strategic Plan

In response to calls from Congress, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its first agency-wide strategic plan. The research strategic plan for fiscal years 2016–2020, entitled “Turning Discovery Into Health”, is intended to harmonize decision making across the institutes and centers (IC), but not replace the strategic plans developed for each individual IC.

There are four objectives outlined in the plan:

Advance Opportunities in Biomedical Research through exploration of fundamental science, discovery of treatments and cures, and advancement of health promotion and disease prevention.

Foster Innovation by Setting NIH Priorities by balancing the opportunities presented by the best science, public health needs and the unique ability of the NIH to address challenges in human health that would otherwise go unmet.

Enhance Scientific Stewardship by supporting the best scientific ideas and scientific minds while also earning and maintaining public trust.

Excel as a Federal Science Agency by Managing for Results through developing methodologies to evaluate scientific investments, conducting workforce analyses, continuously review of the peer review system, enhancing scientific rigor and reproducibility, and reducing administrative burden.

The plan also offers a list of “stretch goals” for the next five years, including enhancing survival of cancer patients through application of precision medicine; development of a universal flu vaccine; development of a wearable bio-sensor for monitoring blood alcohol levels; and development of an artificial pancreas for management of diabetes.