NIH opens pathways for collaborations between intramural and extramural investigators
The National Institutes of Health is taking steps to expand engagement with extramural investigators interested in collaborating with intramural researchers to use the unique resources of the NIH Clinical Center.
A new grant program, Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center, will support these partnerships. In addition, extramural investigators may access Clinical Center resources through previously existing formal funding relationships, such as contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements.
"The NIH Clinical Center is truly a national treasure and opening its doors to a greater pool of researchers will welcome fresh perspectives and cultivate new opportunities for discovery that will translate to greater human health," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Until now, the Clinical Center has served exclusively the NIH Intramural Research Program. The Clinical Center launched a new website illustrating the hospital's research resources, such as its metabolic unit, pharmaceutical development capabilities, and advanced research-related radiology imaging services. The website offers a toolkit that outlines steps for extramural researchers interested in working with NIH intramural investigators to use the Clinical Center and its research infrastructure.
"The Clinical Center should be available for collaborations that will further enhance the translation of scientific observations and laboratory discoveries into new approaches for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease," said Clinical Center Director and NIH Associate Director for Clinical Research John I. Gallin, M.D.
In addition to the new grant program, administrative supplements are available for short-term Bedside-to-Bench Awards Program projects that involve partnerships between intramural and extramural investigators pursuing translational research projects.
The 2011 recipient of the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, the Clinical Center is a 240-bed hospital and research facility with more than 1,500 clinical research protocols underway.
The recommendation that the NIH allow external investigators to use the unique resources of the Clinical Center to stimulate a broader range of research came from the congressionally mandated Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB). The SMRB is charged with examining the NIH's organizational structure and providing recommendations for enhancing the agency's mission. Read more in the SMRB's Report on the NIH Clinical Center.
The NIH Clinical Center (CC) is the clinical research hospital for the National Institutes of Health. Through clinical research, clinician-investigators translate laboratory discoveries into better treatments, therapies and interventions to improve the nation's health. For more information, visit http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov.