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The Office of Research Resources (ORR)

ORR coordinates, directs, and implements initiatives related to research data (e.g., Understanding America Study, Health and Retirement Study (HRS), National Health and Trends Study, etc.) and resources (e.g., National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Gateway to Global Aging, etc.) supported by the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) and the NIA. The Office also sets policies and facilitates linkages to support analysis of NIA-supported studies to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other administrative data. This includes establishing and implementing policies for data dissemination and sharing.

Major ORR responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating BSR efforts to develop and promote data infrastructure for aging research, and reporting periodically on responsiveness to advisory committee recommendations, expenditure and data usage trends, gaps in the BSR portfolio, as well as the scientific impact of BSR data projects.
  • Managing data archive grants and cooperative agreements and data harmonization grants for BSR.
  • Managing BSR’s participation in the NIA-wide biorepository.
  • Informing NIA staff, applicants, and grantees about best practices in protecting the security and confidentiality of data on human subjects.
  • Housing a library of consents for large survey studies (e.g., HRS, Panel Study of Income Dynamics), tracking costs through grant funds, and storing information on topics and questions covered by relevant studies (e.g., biomarkers, CMS data files)
  • Managing all aspects of data access by BSR grantees and projects from CMS, including data linkages with major longitudinal studies; participating in CMS or other data enclaves; monitoring and approving data use (and reuse) agreements, contracts for data sharing, linkages, and archiving, and; communicating to potential data users. The Office advises NIA leadership on the relationship with CMS and other sources of administrative data to implement and manage new arrangements. Information on how to obtain CMS data for your research is available.
  • Participating in NIH-wide data initiatives and selected international harmonization discussions, in line with Division and NIA priorities.
  • Advising NIA leadership on new developments in data collection, analysis, and data sharing, supporting the NIA mission.

BSR supports a range of data infrastructure projects that serve as a platform for research studies from numerous investigators. In order to prioritize investments in this area, BSR maintains a vision of the research portfolio that would best advance its mission. Please refer to the 2016 Data Infrastructure Report for more information on the scientific needs of the behavioral and social research community.

Program Contacts:

Partha Bhattacharyya, Ph.D.

Prisca N. Fall, M.A.