The Strategic Plan was envisioned as a “scientific blueprint for the next decade.” It had two overarching objectives:
- Develop a living, working plan from an inclusive and participatory process.
- Identify strategic priorities where NHLBI:
- Initiates – does not happen unless the Institute takes a lead
- Catalyzes – Institute facilitates the outcome
- Supports – investigator-initiated research
The development of the plan was guided by four main principles:
- Identify the scientific directions for which NHLBI is well positioned to make major contributions
- Ensure an inclusive process with grantees and other NHLBI constituencies having an active role
- Look inward as well as forward; evaluate NHLBI operational policies as part of the process
- Create a truly living document by providing for ongoing implementation and evaluation
Four questions served to guide the Level 1 Working Group meetings.
- What are the most pressing scientific opportunities and challenges in heart, lung, blood and sleep research?
- What are the obstacles to progress and what must be done to overcome them, including needed technologies and resources?
- How should NHLBI business operations be changed to facilitate this research?
- How is the NHLBI uniquely positioned to enable the community to address these opportunities and challenges?