NIDA requesting input on reorganization of Division of Clinical Neuroscience & Behavioral Research

Institute is considering incorporating division into other units.      

At its May 15, 2015, meeting, the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) was briefed by John Rotrosen of the New York University School of Medicine, who serves as chair of the institute’s Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research Work Group. The work group was charged with reviewing the programs of NIDA’s Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research (DCNBR) and their performance. Its goal was to assess the challenges facing the division within the NIDA strategic planning process and to provide recommendations for how the division can optimize its scientific output.       

The work group recommended incorporating DCNBR’s portfolio into other NIDA divisions. The rationale for this was largely based on considerations of overlapping research agendas and staff attrition, which has hampered DCNBR’s day to day operations.

NIDA is considering three major changes:

  1. The clinical neuroscience, human genetics and developmental neuroscience portfolios currently in DCNBR would be combined with the Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research and moved to a new Division of Neuroscience and Behavior.

  2. Longitudinal and epidemiology studies, along with translational treatment studies, would be moved to the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research.

  3. Intervention development and testing and combined medication and behavioral therapies would be incorporated into the Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences (formerly the Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse).

However, while these are the currently favored options, no decisions have been made yet.  NIDA director Nora Vokow requested input from researchers on her June 12 blog post. She stated: “I am inviting input from the research community and wider public on strategies to strengthen and integrate the scientific areas currently supported by DCNBR throughout the Institute.” Comments were accepted through June 24 and are included with the original blog posting.

On June 15, Geoff Mumford of the American Psychological Association’s Science Government Relations Office organized an additional opportunity for current and previous DCNBR grantees and other interested parties to engage in a discussion about the reorganization with Wilson Compton, the deputy director of NIDA, and Susan Weiss, NIDA’s director of extramural research, at the annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence in Phoenix, AZ. The session was well-attended and raised a variety of issues that NIDA will take under consideration as it moves toward a plan for implementing changes on October 1.

Read the full Work Group Report.

For more information please contact Geoff Mumford.