PAA Responds to Possible NIH Reform Legislation in U.S. Senate

By PAA Web posted 10-30-2023 14:35


NIH Building

On October 27, in response to a request from U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Population Association of America (PAA) and Association of Population Centers (APC) submitted comments regarding potential reform of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Senator Cassidy is the highest-ranking Republican on the HELP Committee, which has jurisdiction over the NIH. In his request for comments, Senator Cassidy asked NIH stakeholders for information on how the NIH could improve its process for approving federal research grants, better support the biomedical research workforce, bolster collaboration across academia and industry, and increase transparency into agency activities.

PAA and APC responded by, among other things, highlighting the integral role of behavioral and social sciences research (BSR) within the NIH mission. Specifically, the comments suggest that future NIH reform legislation consider existing recommendations to enhance trans-agency support of BSR and strengthen the authority of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR).  In addition, the comments address other topics including data sharing and management, peer review, and training. The comments also raise the need for greater transparency regarding the process by which NIH Institutes and Centers identify nominees to serve on their advisory councils.

Read the full comments in the Policy Center.