This 46-page plan describes four objectives: “advance opportunities in biomedical research” by funding fundamental science, treatments, and disease prevention; set priorities; enhance stewardship; and “managing for results.” Much of the report describes ongoing research and projects—from the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) neuroscience initiative championed by the Obama administration to efforts to train a surfeit of young scientists for careers outside of academic research.
The plan focuses on four essential, interdependent objectives that will help guide NIH’s priorities over the next five years as it pursues its mission of seeking fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and applying that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. The objectives are to:
- 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; and
- 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.