NIH Releases 2021-2025 Strategic Plan

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its agency-wide Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2021-2025,  a roadmap outlining key objectives and themes for the agency for the next five years. The plan organizes its strategy into three major objectives for the agency:

  • Advancing Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences;
  • Developing, Maintaining, and Renewing Scientific Research Capacity; and
  • Exemplifying and Promoting the Highest Level of Scientific Integrity, Public Accountability, and Social Responsibility in the Conduct of Science.

The Strategic Plan also outlines five cross-cutting themes that run through each of the three major objectives and all aspects of the agency’s strategy:

  • Improving Minority Health and Reducing Health Disparities
  • Enhancing Women’s Health
  • Addressing Public Health Challenges Across the Lifespan
  • Promoting Collaborative Science
  • Leveraging Data Science for Biomedical Discovery

Notably, the role of the social and behavioral sciences in NIH biomedical research are highlighted throughout the Strategic Plan, with the report noting “for the purposes of this Strategic Plan, the term biomedical is used broadly to include biological, behavioral, and social scientific perspectives.” Other topics in which the social and behavioral sciences are highlighted include the social determinants of health, maternal health, minority health and health disparities, and strengthening the research workforce. More information about the Strategic Plan is available on the NIH website.


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