Council of Councils

Common Fund Evaluation Working Group Charge

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap for Medical Research (RM) was launched in 2004 as a new way to plan and support science, with the goal of funding the most compelling initiatives that the NIH should pursue and that would make the biggest difference in biomedical research. The ensuing initiatives cut across NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) and integrated multiple disciplines. The NIH Reform Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-482) authorized and appropriated funds for the Common Fund (CF) to support the trans-NIH initiatives funded through the RM. The Reform Act created the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) within the NIH Office of the Director (OD) to lead strategic planning for, and coordinate implementation of, CF programs with the NIH ICs. The Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC), an office within DPCPSI, administers the CF. The Reform Act also required that CF-supported projects specify milestones and goals, include timeframes for funding, and ensure consideration of proposals from new investigators. To implement the CF, the NIH developed principles for prioritizing potential CF programs, focusing on those that are transformative, synergistic, catalytic, cross-cutting, and unique, and require a high level of coordination.

The first decade of the RM/CF has produced over 30 programs and experimented with strategic planning processes to identify research topics and develop and manage programs. In 2013, the NIH Director established a Common Fund Evaluation Working Group (CFEWG) to evaluate the principles and processes used to manage the CF, review evaluative information from a subset of CF programs to assess the impact of CF-supported science, and provide recommendations on how to optimize the success and impact of the CF as the program enters its second decade. The NIH asked the CFEWG to provide recommendations to be considered by the NIH Council of Councils (CoC) at their meeting on June 20th, 2014.

The CFEWG's overarching goal was to assess and advise on the processes used to manage the CF, including those used to plan and implement/oversee programs, by examining two major questions:

  1. Are planning processes optimal for identifying program areas that meet the CF criteria?
  2. Are management/oversight processes optimal for achieving program goals?

The CFEWG carried out its charge through a close examination of two fundamental CF processes: strategic planning and management. To assess these two processes, the CFEWG reviewed documents provided by OSC, the CF Handbook, and results from 2005 and 2014 NIH CF Evaluation Surveys. The CFEWG also conducted interviews with Directors of ICs, OSC Staff, Working Group (WG) members, Grants Management Officers (GMOs), Budget Points of Contact (BPOCs), Executive Officers (EOs), Planning and Evaluation (P&E) Officers, and members of the Extramural Program Management Committee (EMPC) of lead ICs of CF programs.

 

Common Fund Evaluation Working Group Roster

K.C. Kent Lloyd, D.V.M., Ph.D. (co-chair)
Affiliation: University of California Davis
Professor of Surgery, School of Medicine Director, Mouse Biology Program

Janice Clements, Ph.D. (co-chair)
Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Vice Dean for Faculty Professor, Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology

Steven DeKosky, M.D.
Affiliation: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Vice President and Dean

Marisa Bartolomei, Ph.D.
Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Martin Friedlander, M.D., Ph.D.
Affiliation: The Scripps Research Institute
Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Sam Gerritz, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Bristol-Myers Squibb Senior Principal Scientist

NIH Office of the Director Members

Elizabeth “Betsy” Wilder, Ph.D. (NIH Designated Federal Official)
Affiliation: The National Institutes of Health
Director, Office of Strategic Coordination, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Coordination

Scott Jackson, M.P.A
Affiliation: The National Institutes of Health
Associate Director of Management, Evaluation, and Communications, Office of Strategic Coordination, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Coordination

James Anderson, M.D., Ph.D.
Affiliation: The National Institutes of Health
Director, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Coordination

 

This page last reviewed on March 6, 2015