IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
June 22, 2005
I. DEAS Update
Presenter, Ms. Kelley, explained where the Division of Extramural Activities Support falls in the organizational structure of the Office of Extramural Research. Each IC is assigned to one of the three HUBs within the DEAS.
Some of the assumptions made in FY 03 were that the DEAS positions would be filled with a large population of experienced staff, that it would be staffed 100% by Federal employees and no contractors, and there would be approximately 1806 extramural customers. In reality the staff are about a 50/50 mix of experienced vs. new staff, there are 63 contractors, and 2547 customers.
Ms. Kelley compared the Pre-MEO staffing, the MEO bid, the MEO implemented on 10/3/04 and the current DEAS staffing. There are currently 657 staff including the 63 contractors. The overall workload for the DEAS organization has increased and additional resources are being acquired to meet increased workload demands. The largest increases will be in grants clerks at the GS-04/5/6 levels and the current hiring goal is 149 positions. There will be open and continuous announcements, the plan includes phasing out contractors, and additional staff will be assigned to ICs based on documented workload demands.
Ms. Kelley discussed the customized Extramural Customer Assistance Request System (ECARES) that provides a record of work requests and allows DEAS to collect workloads to justify additional resources. Based on customer feedback, a variety of enhancements are being planned to improve ECARES. IT issues have limited DEAS’ ability to support multiple business areas and multiple ICs. The NIH leadership has asked the NIH IT community to support the individual ICs and resolve the issues.
II. Smoking and the Effects of Nicotine in the Brain
Dr. Volkow decided to present this subject because smoking impacts the diseases that every IC at the NIH studies. Nicotine addiction is the largest case of preventable mortality in the world and 23 % of American adults are smokers. Dr. Volkow went on to describe the dopamine pathways in the brain and why they cause addiction.
Dr. Volkow reported that in 1965 when the Surgeon General’s report came out regarding the health risks of cigarette smoking there was a significant decrease in the number of smokers. However, over the last 15 years the significant decreases in the number of smokers in the US have slowed down.
Dr. Volkow also discussed:
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National Institutes of Health (NIH)