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Freedom of Information Act Office

IC Directors' Meeting Highlights

October 26, 2011

To: IC Directors
Subject: IC Directors' Meeting Highlights — May 26, 2011

HHMI Withdrawal of Support for the Cloisters Scholars Program: Michael Gottesman

In February 2011 the HHMI Board of Trustees decided to discontinue their support of the HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program after 25 years. The last HHMI class will arrive this summer and HHMI will completely stop funding effective September 2012.

Historically, the HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program funds 42 new Scholars each year. In addition to this program, NIH has three additional medical student programs available; the Clinical Research Training Program, the Clinical Electives Program, and the Clinical Investigator Student Trainee Forum. Many students who participate in these programs tend to remain in research careers.

The consensus among the IC Directors’ to continue medical training at NIH is strong. Training and funding options will be explored and an update will be given to the Directors’ in the future.

Update on the Common Fund and Innovation Brainstorming: Jim Anderson

The NIH Common Fund was established by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act to support cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs that requires participation by two NIH Institutes or Centers or would otherwise benefit from strategic planning and coordination. The Common Fund is coordinated by the Office of Strategic Coordination within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives.

The Common Fund is used to support high impact, cross-cutting projects that provide a broad benefit to public health. Strategic planning for new programs takes roughly 18 months to complete as broad program ideas are refined in to specific program initiatives.

In planning for FY 2013, an “Innovation Brainstorm” meeting was held May 4-6, 2011, at the Bolger Center in Potomac, Maryland. Early career scientists from across the intramural program gathered to identify recent discoveries with high potential for transformative impact on biomedical research and to discuss ways that strategic investments by the Common Fund can reduce the time for that potential to be realized. Participants identified and discussed recent papers from the scientific literature that have the potential for exceptionally high impact and then articulated ways that this potential might be realized more effectively.

Special Guest Speaker: Mr. Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, HHS

Mr. Park has served as HHS’s Chief Technology Officer since August 2009 and today he presented an HHS Health Data Initiative overview. The vision of this initiative is “to stimulate a rising tide of innovation using our data that helps health and health care”. The initiative has three core activities:

  • to publish new HHS data for public access;
  • make existing data more accessible; and
  • to market the data to innovators.

Having such readily and open access to health data will help consumers control their health and health care, help providers deliver better care, and help entire communities improve their overall health.

This page last reviewed on May 29, 2012

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