NIH News Advisory
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
Office of the Director

FOR RELEASE
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 1997

Mary Jo Hoeksema
(301) 435-0937

NIH Sponsors Roundtable to
Deliberate Agency's "Reinventing Government" Initiatives

The Office of Extramural Research (OER) at the National Institutes of Health is sponsoring its second "Reinvention Roundtable," a meeting at which top-ranking NIH officials will obtain input from representatives of the research community on some of the agency's key reinvention initiatives. The initiatives that will be featured at the Roundtable propose changes in several of the agency's extramural research activities, especially those governing the NIH grant application, referral, review and award processes. The meeting is being organized for NIH Director Harold Varmus, M.D. and will be co-chaired by NIH Deputy Director Ruth Kirschstein, M.D. and NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Wendy Baldwin, Ph.D. A select group of invited participants, including NIH advisory council members, research administrators and scientists, will take part in the roundtable.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Building 31, Conference Room 10 on the main campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. With the exception of one closed session at lunch, the meeting will be open to the public. Although the central roundtable participants are taking part in the meeting on an invitation-only basis, representatives from scientific organizations, academic institutions, independent research institutes, hospitals, and other individuals involved in research administration are encouraged to attend and observe the event's proceedings.

Participants at the roundtable will hear and respond to presentations on proposals that would shorten the time from receipt of a grant application to award for the most meritorious applications; simplify the grant application and award processes by reducing the amount of budget detail and other related information that must be provided at the time of application; and improve the communication of research progress. Participants will also receive an update on Electronic Research Administration (ERA)--an effort NIH is pursuing to conduct all grant applications and related business transactions electronically via the Internet. In addition to a preview of the features of the NIH system under development, two grantee institutions, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles, will be on hand to demonstrate the internal systems they are developing for the future exchange of research-related information with the NIH.

NIH hosted its first Reinvention Roundtable on July 14, 1994, shortly after the agency was designated a "reinvention laboratory" by Vice President Gore's National Performance Review, which was established to help agencies create a government that works better and costs less. Participants at the first reinvention roundtable provided pivotal feedback, which influenced the design of the initial reinvention projects undertaken by the NIH.

Additional information about the second Reinvention Roundtable is available on the NIH homepage at: http://www.nih.gov/grants/news.htm.