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Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) National Institutes of Health  •  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Annual Planning and Selection Process for NIH Roadmap for Medical Research Initiatives

New Roadmap program ideas will be solicited on annual basis and will include the review of both new proposals for the NIH Roadmap as well as amended proposals from the previous year. The number of approved new programs will vary each year based on the proposals that are received.

As part of the annual review process, the NIH seeks input from the scientific community, health professionals, patient advocates, and the general public about innovative and cross-cutting initiatives that will improve and accelerate biomedical research and its impact on the health of the Nation. Collecting these ideas is an initial step in the process of identifying a new cohort of “Roadmap” trans-NIH strategic initiatives. The Request for Information (RFI) process also provides an opportunity for respondents to submit their own ideas. The RFI process will be updated and announced each year. In addition to the RFI process that occurs from March to May each year, Institutes and Centers (ICs) are continually seeking public input concerning emerging opportunities and needs through workshops and meetings.

Specifically, the process for developing, reviewing, and approving trans-NIH initiatives will involve the components described below.

In addition to the RFI, broad input will also be gathered from the Council of Councils, NIH program staff, public meetings, and an analysis of the NIH portfolio.

After receiving input from these multiple sources, OPASI will make this information available to NIH staff for review and consideration. NIH staff from various ICs will then naturally congregate into working groups around topics of common interest and use the solicited input to help generate potential Roadmap program proposals. These working groups will also further refine their proposals by seeking additional public input and by conducting an analysis of the NIH portfolio regarding their topic.

Each February, the IC Directors will consider the proposals that are submitted by the working groups and prioritize them based on the Roadmap criteria. These preliminary funding recommendations will then go to the NIH Director for final conceptual approval.

Following approval, the newly formed working groups for each new program will solidify the programmatic details and begin drafting Requests for Applications (RFAs).


The NIH expects to spend $30 - 50 million per year from within the currently projected Roadmap budget for approximately three to eight new 5-year (or in exceptional cases up to 10-year) initiatives.

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This page last reviewed: June 25, 2008