NIH Issues Challenge to Find Advances Tied to NIGMS Support

The National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking the public’s help in capturing the Institute’s progress toward its strategic goal: “to advance awareness and understanding of the basic biomedical research enterprise, including its value, requirements, and potential impact.” The Institute has issued a challenge to the scientific community with the goal of identifying past advances that are serving (or have served) to improve human health and well-being. It excludes ongoing studies that may, in the future, have a major impact.

NIGMS intends to use the examples to help inform the historical context of scientific breakthroughs and the Institute’s role in supporting them. The examples will supplement NIGMS’ ongoing efforts to link advances in human health and well-being to taxpayer-supported basic research and to stimulate further innovation by explaining the value and the impact of basic research on human health.

Submissions are expected to be a written document that describes the basic research and how it directly led to improvements in human health, well-being, or other tangible benefits to the public; NIGMS support must have played a major/critical role in one or more of the underlying discoveries. A history of continuous or exclusive NIGMS support is not required.

The focus of the submission must fall into one or both of the following categories:

  1. Major advances funded by NIGMS that have led to improvements in human health, well-being, or other tangible benefits to the public.
  2. Applications in medicine, industry, technology, or elsewhere that have their roots in NIGMS-funded research projects. Examples include commonly used diagnostics, therapeutics, devices, or technologies used in medical, industrial, agricultural, or other fields.

NIGMS plans to select up to ten winners, who will receive $500 prizes and recognition on the NIGMS website. Submissions are due by October 20, 2014. For additional requirements, judging criteria, FAQs, and other information, see NIGMS’ website.

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