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NIH Almanac - Organization

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Office of the Director, NIH

The NIH is comprised of the Office of the Director and 27 Institutes and Centers. The Office of the Director is the central office at NIH. The OD is responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components.

The NIH Director provides overall leadership to NIH activities in both scientific and administrative matters. Although each institute within the NIH has a separate mission, the NIH Director plays an active role in shaping the agency's research agenda and outlook. With a unique and critical perspective on the mission of the entire NIH, the Director is responsible for providing leadership to the institutes for identifying needs and opportunities, especially for efforts that involve several institutes. The NIH Director is assisted by the Principal Deputy Director, who shares in the overall direction of the agency's activities.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the NIH Director stays informed about program priorities and accomplishments through regular staff meetings, discussions, and briefing sessions with OD and institute staff. The Director also receives input from:

  • the extramural scientific community, including both individual researchers and scientific organizations
  • patient advocacy and voluntary health groups that deal directly with NIH or indirectly through Congress and the media
  • the Congress, the Administration, and the Director's Council of Public Representatives, which brings public views to NIH.
Ongoing discussions with these groups and others provides the basis for an established framework within which priorities for the agency are identified, reviewed, and justified.

Program offices in the Office of the Director are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH and for planning and supporting research and related activities. Current program areas are: women's health, AIDS research, disease prevention, and behavioral and social sciences research. Program offices within the Office of the Director fund research through the institutes.

Staff Offices

The NIH Director is assisted by executive and administrative staff. The following describes the major staff offices in the Office of the Director:

Office of Extramural Research (OER)
On behalf of the NIH Director, the Office of Extramural Research provides guidance to institutes in research and training programs conducted through extramural (grant, contract, cooperative agreement) programs.

Office of Intramural Research (OIR)
On behalf of the NIH Director, the Office of Intramural Research coordinates research conducted directly by NIH personnel through intramural programs.

Office of Administration (OA)
The Office of Administration advises the NIH Director and staff on administration and management; develops and implements policies; and provides oversight in the areas of information resources management, management assessment, grant administration and contract management, procurement, and logistics.

Office of AIDS Research (OAR)
The Office of AIDS Research formulates scientific policy for, and recommends allocation of research resources for AIDS research at NIH.

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research advises the NIH Director and other key officials on matters relating to research on the role of human behaviors in the development of health, prevention of disease, and therapeutic intervention.

Office of Budget
The Office of Budget has primary responsibility for NIH-wide budget policy, planning, analysis, formulation and presentation; responsible for budget management once appropriations have been made including reprogramming and coordination of the use of the Director's Discretionary Fund and transfer authority; and provides budget advice to the Director, NIH and senior OD and IC officials.

Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL)
The Office of Communications and Public Liaison advises the Director and communicates information about NIH policies, programs, and research results to the general public.

Office of Community Liaison (OCL)
The Office of Community Liaison advises the Director, plans, directs and oversees activities to promote collaboration between NIH and its community, and ensures effective communication on policy and programs involving the community.

Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)
The Office of Disease Prevention coordinates NIH activities regarding the application of research to disease prevention, nutrition and medical practice.

Office of Education (OE)
The Office of Education provides a comprehensive guide to postdoctoral training opportunities available at the NIH.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management (OEODM)
The Office of Equal Opportunity advises the Director and NIH staff on matters related to equal employment opportunity programs and policies.

Executive Office (ODEO)
The Executive Office serves in both a staff and operational capacity for all administrative support activities for the Office of the Director, excluding the Office of Research Services.

Office of Financial Management (OFM)
The Office of Financial Management advises the NIH Director and staff and provides leadership and direction for NIH financial management activities; develops policies and instructions for budget preparation and presentation; administers allocation of funds; and manages a system of fund and budgetary controls.

Office of Human Resource Management (OHRM)
The Office of Human Resource Management advises the NIH Director and staff on human resource management; directs central human resource management services; and provides NIH leadership and planning on human resource program development.

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) serves as a focal point for women's health research at the NIH. The ORWH promotes, stimulates, and supports efforts to improve the health of women through biomedical and behavioral research. ORWH works in partnership with the NIH institutes and centers to ensure that women's health research is part of the scientific framework at NIH and throughout the scientific community.

Office of Research Services (ORS)
The Office of Research Services has the overall responsibility for managing and providing technical and administrative services to all components of NIH in support of the research mission, including engineering services, safety, space and facility management, support services, and security operations.

Office of Science Policy (OSP)
The Office of Science Policy advises the NIH Director on science policy issues affecting the medical research community; participates in the development of new policy and program initiatives; monitors and coordinates agency planning and evaluation activities; plans and implements a comprehensive science education program; and develops and implements NIH policies and procedures for the safe conduct of recombinant DNA activities.

Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis (OLPA)
The Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis serves as the principal legislative policy, analysis and development office for the Director, NIH, and other senior NIH staff; develops legislative policy and proposals; and provides analysis and liaison with the Congress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other Federal agencies on issues affecting NIH programs and activities.

Office of the Ombudsman/Center for Cooperative Resolution
The NIH Office of the Ombudsman, Center for Cooperative Resolution provides the NIH community with confidential and informal assistance in resolving work-related conflicts, disputes and grievances; promotes fair and equitable treatment within NIH; offers effective, efficient and innovative dispute resolution services; helps people use non-adversarial approaches in resolving disputes; and works toward improving the overall quality of worklife at NIH.

Office of Program Coordination
The Office of Program Coordination coordinates the Director's program and administrative decision-making process; facilitates communication among the Director, the NIH Deputy and Associate Directors, other senior OD staff and IC Directors; advises the Director, NIH on the status and implications of activities NIH-wide; brings the attention of the Director and recommends actions to resolve trans-NIH issues; directs the Executive Secretariat and the Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy; and directs the operations of the immediate staff of the Director, NIH.

Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)
The Office of Technology Transfer has been designated as the lead Public Health Service (PHS) agency for technology transfer activities. The office is responsible for the central development and implementation of technology transfer policies and procedures for the three major research components of the PHS – the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This page was last reviewed on July 18, 2003 .

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