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January 13, 2009
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I have a constituent who needs information about a disease or disorder, where should I go?

A: The Health Information Index lists most health and disease categories studied at NIH-supported institutions. Each entry includes the lead institute or center with responsibility for funding that disease or health area of research. It also lists other institutes with additional related research programs. An example of how to use this resource follows:

In searching "Alzheimer's disease" you will find the following entry: Alzheimer's disease - NIA 301-496-1752, NIMH 301-443-3513, NINDS 301-496-5751, NIDCD 301-496-7243. Using the index, you will find that there are four institutes that have information on various aspects of Alzheimer's disease. There is a direct link to the institute and the phone number for the communication office of that institute. Some entries include only one primary institute, for example: amblyopia—NEI 301-496-5248.

The consumer database at the National Library of Medicine is another resource. Both of these sites are searchable.

Q: How can one of my constituents find out about participating in clinical trials?

A: Here is a comprehensive site for all federally funded clinical trials with contact information.

Q: How can a constituent become involved at the National Institutes of Health?

A: NIH has an Office of Communication and Public Liaison, and each institute has a public liaison officer who will be able to tell you more about becoming directly involved in the work of an institute.

Q: How much money does NIH spend on a particular disease such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease?

A: All funding figures are done by the Office of the Director, Office of Budget. You can obtain most figures from the disease table on its web site.

Q: I want to send a letter to NIH, to whom should it be addressed?

A: Correspondence to NIH should be addressed to

National Institutes of Health
Director, Executive Secretariat
1 Center Drive, MSC 0122
Bethesda, MD 20892-0122

Q: What are the names of the Institute Directors?

A: Here is a list of the current NIH Institute Directors. From there you can link to the individual ICs and OD offices.

Q: How much money does NIH award to my State?

A: A listing of funding by congressional districts is maintained by the Office of Extramural Research.

Q: Where on the NIH site can issued contracts and their abstracts be reviewed (similar to the CRISP system)?

A: The Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects (CRISP) is a searchable database of federally funded biomedical research projects conducted at universities, hospitals, and other research institutions. The database, maintained by the Office of Extramural Research at NIH, is the only system that contains abstracts and project summary information on research contracts that users, including the public, can use to search for scientific concepts, emerging trends and techniques, or to identify specific projects and/or investigators. Access CRISP here. It is noted, however, that the Office of Acquisitions Management and Policy's Contract Data Management Program provides NIH contract management data reporting and analyses to the NIH acquisition community, DHHS, and the general public. It also provides a monthly listing of all NIH acquisitions (contracts and purchase orders) that are awarded in excess of $25,000. This listing does not contain the "abstracts"; however, it does include a brief "project title" for each action.


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