NIH unveils Strategic Plan for 2016-2020

January / February 2016 | Volume 15, Issue 1

Cover of the NIH-wide strategic plan fiscal years 2016-2020

The NIH has developed a new strategic plan to ensure the agency remains well positioned to capitalize on new opportunities for scientific exploration and address new challenges for human health.

"Scientific and technological breakthroughs that have arisen from NIH-supported research account for many of the gains that the United States has seen in health and longevity," said NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins. "But much remains to be done. This strategic plan will guide our efforts to turn scientific discoveries into better health, while upholding our responsibility to be wise stewards of the resources provided by the American people."

The plan focuses on four interdependent objectives that will help guide NIH's priorities over the next five years:

  • advance opportunities in biomedical research in fundamental science, treatment and cures, and health promotion and disease prevention
  • foster innovation by setting NIH priorities to enhance nimbleness, consider burden of disease and value of permanently eradicating a disease, and advance research opportunities presented by rare diseases
  • enhance scientific stewardship by recruiting and retaining an outstanding biomedical research workforce, enhancing workforce diversity and impact through partnerships, ensuring rigor and reproducibility, optimizing approaches to inform funding decisions, encouraging innovation, and engaging in proactive risk management practices
  • excel as a federal science agency by managing for results by developing the "science of science," balancing outputs with outcomes, conducting workforce analyses, continually reviewing peer review, evaluating steps to enhance rigor and reproducibility, reducing administrative burden, and tracking effectiveness of risk management in decision making.

Over the next five years, NIH leadership will evaluate progress in meeting the plan's objectives.

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