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IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
December 12, 2002
I. Data Sharing
Dr. Baldwin stated that members of the national and international research communities generally agree that scientific data sharing benefits good science except when privacy or proprietary interests are overriding. Data sharing does involve some additional effort, but there are also considerable benefits in allowing valuable data to be accessed by other researchers. After explaining the trans-NIH working group activities in this area, she presented three options for the NIH to pursue:
NIH could issue a public statement regarding the value of data sharing and encouraging its use;
NIH could require applicants to address in their applications a plan for sharing resulting data or why such sharing would not be advisable; or
NIH could craft regulations requiring data sharing. After a discussion of these options, the group agreed that the NIH should issue a statement of its intent to promote data sharing. However, Dr. Zerhouni also charged Dr. Baldwin with crafting NIH guidance to the ICs that would require them to further the practice but would be flexible and permit adaptation of any requirements to the specific needs of the ICs' respective research communities.
II. Continuing Resolution and Its Implications for NIH
Mr. Poppke explained what a continuing resolution (CR) is and how the current CR that runs through January 11 is affecting NIH activities. The major concern is that if there is a CR that extends too far into the new calender year, new activities or activities with major expansion, such as NIH's biodefense program, will be delayed. Mr. Poppke observed that Congress is very aware of this situation. He then noted that the 2004 passback is expected on December 3, 2002. He then noted, in response to a question, that the passback usually does not specify dollars for specific ICs but rather reflects the President's general management and fiscal agenda. ICS will probably get related 2004 budget information about the first of the year.
III. Results of the Election and Its Implications for NIH
Mr. Smolonsky discussed the various NIH-related committee membership and leadership changes resulting from the election, pointing out that health care issues remain high on the Congressional priorities list.
lV. Information Items
Dr. Ehrenfeld gave an update on NIH's participation in the Combined Federal Campaign, announcing that 8 components have reached their goals.
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