Since 2010, NIAMS’ current Long-Range Plan has been informing the Institute’s priority setting process and enabling the Institute to adapt to the rapidly changing landscapes in biomedical and behavioral sciences. Originally intended to be a 5-year planning document, it is slated to expire at the end of the next fiscal year (FY). We have begun framing the process by which we will be updating this important document, and I’d like to share our next steps with you.
We will be discussing this activity with our Advisory Council during its September meeting and soliciting public comments via a Request for Information. This input will be combined with the numerous scientific opportunities that our communities have identified, and are continuing to identify, through NIAMS-sponsored roundtable discussions, scientific planning retreats, and listening sessions. We expect to share an early draft version with our Advisory Council next spring and, after incorporating Council members’ feedback, will make the draft available for public comment during the summer.
When complete, our Long-Range Plan for FY 2015-2019 will outline the Institute’s perspective on research needs and opportunities within NIAMS’ mission, and will serve as a resource for all who are interested in NIAMS’ activities. Because we will continue to devote the majority of our extramural budget toward funding the best investigator-initiated research ideas, the new Plan will continue to encourage creative approaches for generating the scientific discoveries that will ultimately improve the health of the American public.
Please take a few moments to review the current Plan and reflect on what research opportunities should be modified due to progress over the past five years, and new areas that have emerged. Soon, we will invite you to share your ideas through the NIAMS website, and we will announce this opportunity through all of our communications channels. We welcome your thoughts as researchers, patient and health advocacy organizations, professional societies, academic departments, clinicians, and individuals and families affected by the diseases and conditions within NIAMS’ mission.