Freedom of Information Act Office
IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
September 23, 2002
|From:||Senior Policy Analyst, Executive Secretariat|
|Subject:||IC Directors' Meeting Highlights July 11, 2002|
I. K30 Awards Follow-up to May 30 Discussion
Dr. Baldwin briefly reviewed the discussion of the K30 program that took place at the May 30 IC Directors' meeting, which led to formation of a small group to analyze whether the program was serving its intended purpose, whether it should be continued, and, if so, whether to raise the funding level from $200,000.
The working group determined that the K30 program is, indeed, serving its intended purpose: helping institutions "glue together" existing resources to develop more effective clinical research curricula. The program is too new for the NIH to truly gauge the success of trainees in those curricula, but some results are apparent. The working group recommends reissuing the K30 RFA to continue the program. The group further recommends extending current, first-year participants for another year (at a one-time cost of $7 million) and then holding a single wide-open competition on a new round of applications; awards resulting from that new competition should be increased to $250,000.
In terms of logistics, the working group recommends continuing voluntary contributions from the ICs to fund the awards and continuing to have a single IC administer the program.
After discussion, the IC Directors agreed to the working group's recommendations. Program staff will develop a formal evaluation system before the new RFA is issued.
II. Modification of NIH Policy Regarding Foreign Inventions Developed With NIH Funding
Dr. Baldwin briefly reviewed the history of the issue. The Bayh-Dole Act tipped the scales of invention ownership toward the grantee, but questions have arisen more recently regarding suitable return on the Government's investment in research. She also mentioned that under current policy a contractor typically retains no rights to an invention developed through work performed under an NIH contract. Under the proposed new policy for grants, the grantee would still retain rights within his or her own country. The policy applies only to awards made directly to foreign grantees, and an IC can agree to greater rights for the grantee in any individual case.
The group discussed possible means of ensuring that all current and potential grantees understand the policy, and also discussed what conditions might favor an IC deciding to grant greater rights to a grantee. In response to a question from Dr. Zerhouni, Dr. Baldwin said the new policy would only apply to future grants; past or current grants would not be affected.
Because the proposed policy modification, as announced in March, has raised concerns, OER has drafted clarification. The group agreed that Dr. Baldwin should proceed with publication of the clarification. Dr. Baldwin said that OER will explicitly ask for feedback and will contact large US organizations involved in multinational activities to ensure they do not see problems with the proposed policy.
III. Loan Repayment Program Implementation for FY03
Dr. Lenfant briefly reviewed the provisions of the program and explained that the primary issue regarding implementation for FY03 is eligibility. For the coming year, investigators who receive support from sources other than the NIH (and spend at least 50 percent of their time doing qualifying research) will be eligible to apply for loan repayment. The research of applicants who receive non-NIH support will receive NIH peer review. Researchers who receive direct support from industry remain ineligible.
Dr. Zerhouni emphasized that the main needs are to ensure that the definition of who is eligible is absolutely clear, and that implementation satisfies the intent of Congress within existing law.
IV. Information Items
Dr. Alexander thanked the group for support of the Savings Bond campaign and said the campaign exceeded its goals. Dr. Zerhouni told the group that he views health disparities research as a very important strategic focus for the NIH truly a trans-NIH priority. He has met with Dr. Ruffin, who will work with all the ICs to accelerate activities in this area. Dr. Ruffin will present the NIH Strategic Research Plan and Budget to Reduce and Ultimately Eliminate Health Disparities at the next IC Directors meeting.
cc: OD Staff