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Biennial Report of the Director
National Institutes of Health Fiscal Years 2006 & 2007


NIH Overview

The NIH mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone.

To many Americans, the names of one or more of the 27 ICs that comprise NIH may be more familiar than NIH as a whole. The name of an IC generally reflects its focus on a specific disease (e.g., cancer, diabetes), an organ system (e.g., heart, eye), life stage (e.g., children, the aging population), an overarching field of science (e.g., human genome, nursing), or a technology (e.g., biomedical imaging, information technology). It is the strength of each IC's expertise that provides the firm foundation enabling NIH to address the remarkable breadth and complexity of the biomedical and behavioral research it supports and conducts in the interest of improving public health. The ICs support research and training through extramural activities and most also conduct research and training through intramural activities. (See information below regarding the intramural and extramural research programs.)

The Office of the Director (OD), NIH, provides leadership, oversight, and coordination for the entire NIH research enterprise. The Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, a new structure within the NIH OD, mandated by the NIH Reform Act of 2006, incorporates functions of the Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives (which has primary responsibility for trans-NIH research initiatives based on NIH-wide portfolio assessment, strategic planning, evaluation, and assessment) and the research coordination functions of the four OD Program Offices. These OD program offices fund research using IC award-making authorities. Often, ICs partner with an office, supplementing its funding on a specific program or project.

Also within OD, many offices develop NIH policy and provide essential NIH-wide oversight and coordination in the areas of Science Policy, Science Education, Biotechnology Activities, Legislative Policy, Communications and Public Liaison, Ethics, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management, Administrative Management, Budget, Financial Management, Human Resources, Research Services, Technology Transfer, Management Assessment, Management Planning, and Legal Counsel. The policies and activities of some of these offices are highlighted throughout the sections that follow as they relate to NIH research activities and policies. Also within OD are the Office of Extramural Research, which coordinates and oversees NIH policy on research supported by NIH and performed under grants and other award mechanisms by non-NIH institutions, and the Office of Intramural Research, which coordinates and oversees research conducted in NIH laboratories. These offices are discussed in some detail in the sections below.

Following is a list of NIH ICs and OD program offices linked to the home page on their Web sites. The ICs are presented in the order in which they appear on the appropriation table in the Congressional Justification. Appendix B provides brief descriptions of the missions of the ICs and OD program offices and live links to IC and office strategic plans. The mission statements and strategic plans provided by Appendix B classify and justify NIH priorities.

Institutes and Centers

Office of the Director, Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI)