A psychological scientist joins the chorus voicing support for NIH

Advocates meet with their Members of Congress to urge increased funding for medical research.

By David C. Schwebel

Dr. Schwebel is university professor of psychology and associate dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Rally for Medical Research is an annual event designed to bring together the wide-ranging groups who support National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded medical research. As psychologists know quite well, medical research – including that conducted by psychologists – undeniably saves and improves lives. At the 2018 Rally for Medical Research, I joined patients, physicians, scientists, and members representing dozens of other organizations, traveling from across the United States to meet with their Members of Congress and share their personal stories to help the Senators and Representatives recognize the value of NIH-funded medical research.

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Taking another look at the BRAIN Initiative

NIH seeks input on next phase: understanding brain circuitry.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released a  Request for Information (RFI; NOT-NS-18-075) soliciting feedback on the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative  The purpose of the RFI is to gain feedback on the vision, priorities and goals outlined in BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision, the strategic plan for the BRAIN Initiative issued in 2014.

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NIH seeks feedback from scientists on registration and reporting of basic human research

Submit comments and share with APA for inclusion in APA’s response.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has taken two steps this summer toward clarifying and possibly revising its recent policy that would include basic research conducted with humans within its definition of clinical trials and would impose requirements designed for clinical trials on the registration and reporting of basic research.

On July 20, the NIH issued a Guide Notice (NOT-OD-18-212) explaining its plan to loosen enforcement for basic research projects of clinical trials registration and reporting requirements through September 24, 2019.  (See previous report.)

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GEARing up to focus on applied research

Psychologists can submit ideas for enhancing effectiveness of federal government.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input to be used in establishing a Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center.  It appears to be a ripe opportunity for applying psychological science to improve the functioning of the federal government.  As described in the RFI overview: “This non-governmental, public-private partnership would address operational and strategic challenges facing the Federal Government, both now and into the future, by engaging researchers, academics, non-profits, and private industry across an array of disciplines, such as data science, organizational behavior, and user-centered design.”

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Flexibility announced regarding NIH clinical trials policy

Enforcement will be delayed until September 24, 2019, but issues remain.

The National Institutes of Health announced, in a notice in the NIH Guide, a series of “interim policy flexibilities” for some basic research studies that have recently been subsumed under the expanded reporting and registration requirements for clinical trials. From now until September 24, 2019, NIH will reassess its approach to registration and results reporting for prospective basic science studies involving human participants while delaying enforcement.

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