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Advisory Committee to the Director

Charter of the ACD


In February 1965, a distinguished committee appointed by President Johnson, under the chairmanship of Dr. Dean E. Wooldridge, conducted a study of the operations of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Among the recommendations the Wooldridge Committee made to the President in its report was that a new advisory group should be established to assist the Office of the Director, NIH, in the making of major plans and policies, especially those related to the allocation of NIH funds and resources. Accordingly, on May 9, 1966, under the authority cited below, the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH (Committee), was established.


42 U.S.C. 217a, section 222, of the Public Health Service (PHs) Act, as amended. The Committee is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.


The Committee shall advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Director, NIH, on policy matters pertinent to NIH mission responsibilities in the conduct and support of biomedical research, medical science, and biomedical communications. The Committee may make recommendations concerning program development, resource allocation, NIH administrative regulation and policy, and other specific or general aspects of NIH policy. In addition, the Committee may review and make recommendations on applications for grants and cooperative agreements for research and training for projects that show promise of making valuable contributions to human knowledge.

As needed, the Committee may seek advice from special consultants; assemble ad hoc working groups; and convene conferences, workshops or other activities.


The Committee shall consist of the Secretary, or designee, as Chair, and 20 members selected by the Secretary. The appointed members shall consist of authorities who are knowledgeable in the fields of research pertinent to the NIH mission and individuals who represent the academic and private sector research community, as well as representatives of the general public. None of these members serve as Representatives. A quorum for the conduct of business by the full committee shall consist of a majority of currently appointed members. A quorum for each subcommittee shall be three members.

Members shall be invited to serve for overlapping terms of up lo four years. Terms of more than two years are contingent upon the renewal of the Committee's Charter by appropriate action prior to its termination. Members may serve after the expiration of their term until successors have been appointed.

As necessary, subcommittees may be established by the Executive Director or other designated Government official within the Committee's jurisdiction. The advice/recommendations of a subcommittee must be deliberated by the parent advisory committee. A subcommittee may not report directly to a Federal official unless there is statutory authority to do so. Subcommittee membership may be drawn in whole or in part from the parent advisory committee. All subcommittee members may vote on subcommittee actions and all subcommittee members count towards the quorum for a subcommittee meeting. Ad hoc consultants do not count towards the quorum and may not vote. Subcommittee members who are not members of the parent committee may attend closed sessions of the parent committee meeting but they may not count towards the quorum of the parent committee and they cannot vote on committee actions.

The Department Committee Management Officer shall be notified upon the establishment of each standing subcommittee and shall be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings. Management and support services shall be provided by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

The Director, NIH, will assign a full-time or permanent part-time HHS/NII-I employee to serve as the Executive Director (also known as a Designated Federal Official or government official) of the Committee.


Meetings of the full Committee shall be held not less than (or approximately) five times a year, at the call of the Executive Director or other designated Government official. A Government official shall give advance approval of the agenda and be present at all of the meetings of the Committee and its subcommittees.

Meetings shall be open to the public except as determined otherwise by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in accordance with subsection (c) of section 552b of Title 5, U.S.C. Notice of all meetings shall be given to the public.

Meetings shall be conducted and records of the proceedings kept as required by applicable laws and Departmental policies.


Members shall be paid at the rate of $200 per day, plus per diem and travel expenses, as authorized by section 5703, Title 5 U.S.C., as amended, for persons in the Government Service employed intermittently. Members who are officers or employees of the IJnited States shall not receive compensation for service on the Committee.

Annual Cost Estimate

The estimated annual cost for operating the Committee, including compensation and travel expenses for members but excluding staff support, is $74,791. The estimate of annual personyears of staff support required is 0.4, at an approximate annual cost of $62,364.


In the event a portion of a meeting is closed to the public, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a report shall be prepared which shall contain, at a minimum, a list of members and their business addresses, the Committee's functions, dates and places of meetings, and a summary of the Committee's activities and recommendations made during the fiscal year. A copy of the report shall be provided to the Department Committee Management Officer.

Termination Date

Unless renewed by appropriate action prior to its expiration, the Advisory Committee to the Director, National Institutes of Health, will expire May 31, 2009.


This page was last reviewed on April 10, 2008.
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