National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Strategic Visioning Initiative Seeks Scientific Community’s Input

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking the scientific community’s input in its Strategic Visioning Initiative. To help determine NHLBI’s future direction, the Institute is seeking the community’s participation in an “ongoing process that will inform its priority setting, decision making, and resource allocation.” The purpose of the Initiative is to develop the Institute’s priorities for the next decade. In the video launching the initiative, NHLBI director Gary H. Gibbons explained that he is asking the NHLBI community to help identify the most compelling questions and critical challenges that the Institute must attend to in the coming years if it is “to take advantage of emerging scientific opportunities and bold new approaches for actively promoting human health, as well as significantly reducing and preventing disease.” There are four Strategic Goals for the Strategic Visioning process that span the NHLIB’s mission: (1) research on normal health and disease in heart, lung, and blood systems (HLBS); (2) the translation of research for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HLBS diseases; (3) treatment of these diseases; and (4) the support of training and resources for biomedical researchers across the HLBS landscape. Gibbons emphasized that “collective brainpower” will produce the best ideas in issuing the request to the scientific community. The Institute’s visioning process will occur in three phases in order to engage the entire NHLBI community in identifying the most Compelling Questions and Critical Challenges in heart, lung, blood, and sleep research. According to NHLBI, the compelling questions address scientific knowledge gaps and opportunities. The questions probe a specific line of inquiry, reach beyond the scope of a single investigator-initiated project, require NHLBI facilitation, and are feasible within the next five to ten years. Critical challenges are defined as barriers or impediments that impede scientific progress or overcoming a challenge. The challenges will require enabling tools or resources, will result in significant impact, and similar to the compelling questions are feasible to overcome with in the next five to 10 years. Phase two of the Institute’s visioning process includes charting an actionable path for pursuing the compelling questions and critical challenges, followed by a third phase that will address measuring and evaluating the Institute’s progress in realizing its priorities. Questions and challenges submitted on or before May 15, 2015 will be reviewed and synthesized by NHLBI and advisory groups into a draft Scientific Priorities to be released later in the summer. Submissions sent after May 15, will be reviewed on a rolling basis for inclusion in future revisions.

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