NIH Extramural Center Programs:: Criteria for Initiation and Evaluation

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National Academies Press, Apr 21, 2004 - Medical - 230 pages
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Grants for research centers located in universities, medical centers, and other nonprofit research institutions account for about 9 percent of the National Institutes of Health budget. Centers are popular because they can bring visibility, focus, and increased resources to bear on specific diseases. However, congressional debate in 2001 over proposed legislation directing NIH to set up centers for muscular dystrophy research highlighted several areas of uncertainty about how to decide when centers are an appropriate research mechanism in specific cases. The debate also highlighted a growing trend among patient advocacy groups to regard centers as a key element of every disease research program, regardless of how much is known about the disease in question, the availability of experienced researchers, and other factors. This book examines the criteria and procedures used in deciding whether to establish new specialized research centers. It discusses the future role of centers in light of the growing trend of large-scale research in biomedicine, and it offers recommendations for improving the classification and tracking of center programs, clarifying and improving the decision process and criteria for initiating center programs, resolving the occasional disagreements over the appropriateness of centers, and evaluating the performance of center programs more regularly and systematically.

  

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
15
Charge to the Committee
21
Background on NIH
23
Centers Today
25
Context of this Study
26
Methods of the Present IOM Study
31
Organization of the Report
32
CURRENT USE OF CENTER AWARDS
34
Findings and Recommendations
88
CRITERIA FOR ESTABLISHING CENTER PROGRAMS
92
Implied Criteria for Center Program Establishment
93
Findings and Recommendations
101
EVALUATION OF CENTER PROGRAMS
106
Previous Evaluations of Center Programs
108
Challenges in Evaluation of Center Programs
110
Lessons from Other Agencies
113

Trends by Institute
36
Trends by Activity Code
40
Summary of NIH Data on Number and Cost of Center Grants
44
Comparison of Center Awards to Other Forms of Research Funding
45
Alternative Research Models
51
Problems with the Data on Centers
55
INITIATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CENTER PROGRAMS
62
Initiation of Center Programs
63
NIH Program Planning Process
77
Design and Management of Center Programs
83
Possible Methodologies
117
CLOSING COMMENTS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT THE FUTURE
124
The Future of Center Programs
130
NIH Center Programs
137
Biographical Sketches of Committee and Staff
146
NIH Research Award Activity Codes and Their Definitions
159
NIH Program Planning Process
164
Justifications for Center Programs Used in Recent RFAs and PAs
182
Summary of Selected Center Program Evaluations Previously Conducted by NIH
195
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Committee on Changing Health Care Systems and Rheumatic Disease, Institute of Medicine.

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