Help NIA map out our strategic direction
As you know, NIA’s Strategic Directions document serves several purposes. It acts as a point of reference for setting scientific priorities; a framework for systematic analysis of the NIA’s research portfolio; and a benchmark against which we can assess progress. Perhaps most importantly, the Strategic Directions are a definitive statement of the NIA’s scientific priority areas within the rapidly evolving field of aging research.
In an April blog post, we announced that we will be updating the Strategic Directions document in FY 2019. To that end, we sent out a survey asking you several questions about how familiar you are with the document, how useful it is to you, and how you use it. We received some important information:
- Almost half of our readers—48 percent—said they were not familiar with the document. That tells us we have some work to do in getting the word out about our plans and priorities.
- Nearly three-quarters of respondents said that they use the document to find general information about the NIA’s priorities. About half said they use it to determine whether their research is a good “fit” for NIA.
- Several of you took the opportunity to leave comments, either within the survey or directly on the blog post. Respondents indicated that they used the document to shape and clarify grant applications or provide additional justification for grant funding. Others called for additional research on the etiology of biological aging, both in the United States and in the developing world.
We greatly appreciate every response we received and will carefully consider all of this information as we move forward in the process of developing the new document.
Tell us what you think!
Of course, an important aspect of NIA’s strategic planning process is receiving continued input from you—our grantees, reviewers, advocacy community, and public. To help this process along, we have posted a formal Request for Information (RFI). The RFI asks for feedback on the existing document, as well as new and emerging research topics and areas that should be reflected in the new one.
NIA staff will carefully review all feedback we receive via the RFI. Combined with input from NIA division directors and staff, as well as results of internal analyses of NIA’s current research portfolio, your comments will form the foundation of the new Strategic Directions. (Importantly, planning activities for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are, and will continue to be, carried out through a separate and parallel process.) We anticipate that the new Strategic Directions will be completed and made available in early summer 2019.
You can submit your response to the RFI by e-mail to the NIA Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation. We will accept responses until December 14, 2018. Your response is voluntary and will remain confidential.
And as always, THANK YOU! Your insights are crucial as we work together to plan for the future of the nation’s aging research.