Long-Term Intramural Research Program (LT-IRP) Planning Working Group
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) maintains a robust Intramural Research Program (IRP) to conduct fundamental research that reveals new principles of biology, provides a new understanding of human disease, and changes treatment paradigms using innovative approaches. The structure and resources of the IRP are designed to foster the pursuit of projects beyond the scope of what is reasonably fundable in the extramural community, such as the ability to start long-term research projects or to change directions quickly when the scientific opportunity or public health need arises. Previously, reviews of the IRP have been particularly insightful and useful in guiding the IRP in its long-term planning efforts; however, the last review, undertaken by the Institute of Medicine to review the entire NIH organizational structure, was completed in 2003. Therefore, Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH Director, assembled a working group of the ACD to examine and assess the IRP in an effort to identify areas of opportunity, enhance the uniqueness of the IRP, evaluate the sustainability of current approaches, and guide the future vision of the IRP.
The LT-IRP Working Group of the ACD is charged with evaluating the NIH IRP and providing recommendations on its long-term planning efforts.
- Recommend how the IRP should ensure its distinctive role in biomedical research, and how it should differ from extramural research institutions
- Define the essential components of the IRP necessary to maintain or extend its special nature and the components that need modification
- Articulate potential barriers to achieving this vision
- Define what, if any, changes are needed or should be avoided
- Identify areas of opportunity that the IRP should focus on in the next 10 years to take advantage of the IRP's distinctive features
- Identify what needs to be done to ensure sustainability of the IRP's distinctive features, including the Clinical Center
- Assure alignment of recommendations for the opportunities and needs in the IRP with the work of other ACD and internal NIH WGs regarding the demographics of workforce, age, sex, ethnic/racial diversity, MDs vs. PhDs
PROCESS, DELIVERABLES, and TIMEFRAME
The LT-IRP Working Group of the ACD will review a variety of reports focusing on the IRP, including reports from each Institute and Center on their long-term planning efforts, and present a final report for consideration by the ACD at its December 11–12, 2014 meeting.