Goal 4. Objective 2: Expand the capacity of the scientific workforce and infrastructure to support innovative research
Tomorrow's scientific breakthroughs depend on a highly trained and ethical scientific workforce, working in facilities and with tools that foster innovation. Efforts to expand the capacity of the scientific workforce and infrastructure can better prepare the nation for global health emergencies, extend the reach and impact of scientific investigations, and contribute to research of national or global significance.
Through various initiatives and programs, HHS recruits and trains students, recent graduates, and other professionals to conduct rigorous and reproducible research. HHS provides research training and career development opportunities to ensure that highly trained investigators will be available across the range of scientific disciplines necessary to address the nation's biomedical and scientific research needs. Scientific integrity is a priority for the Department. Divisions responsible for research have developed policies and procedures to ensure the highest degree of scientific integrity in the research HHS conducts, funds, and supports—to ensure that our research is credible and worthy of the public's confidence.
The Office of the Secretary leads this objective. The following divisions are responsible for implementing programs under this strategic objective: AHRQ, CDC, FDA, NIH, OASH, OGA, and SAMHSA. In consultation with OMB, HHS has determined that performance toward this objective is progressing. The narrative below provides a brief summary of progress made and achievements or challenges, as well as plans to improve or maintain performance.
Objective 4.2 Table of Related Performance Measures
By 2021, develop, validate, and/or disseminate 3-5 new research tools or technologies that enable better understanding of brain function at the cellular and/or circuit level (Lead Agency - NIH; Measure ID - SRO-2.12)
|FY 2018||Develop four novel neurotechnologies for stimulating/recording in the brain to enable basic studies of neural activity at the cellular level||Projects funded through the BRAIN Initiative led to novel innovations in four neurotechnologies to enable basic studies of neural activity at the cellular level.||Target Met|
|FY 2019||Test new and/or existing brain stimulation devices for two new therapeutic indications in humans through the BRAIN Public-Private Partnership.||The BRAIN Initiative Public-Private Partnership Program initiated testing of brain stimulation devices for six new therapeutic indications in humans and continued to enable current and potential BRAIN investigators to gain access to medical device tools and technologies from some of the top medical device manufacturers.||Target Met|
|FY 2020||Provide broad access to new research approaches and techniques for acquiring fundamental insight about how the nervous system functions in health and disease||12/31/20||In Progress|
|FY 2021||Expand our understanding of brain function at the cellular or circuit level using three to five new tools and technologies||12/31/21||In Progress|
The NIH-funded Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative® accelerates the development and application of new neurotechnologies that will enable researchers to gain deeper understanding of how the human brain functions in normal conditions as well as states of disease or dysfunction. One of the BRAIN Initiative programs is the BRAIN Public-Private Partnership Program. This program facilitates partnerships between clinical investigators and manufacturers of the latest-generation invasive brain stimulation and recording devices. These partnerships conduct clinical research on the human central nervous system. In FY 2019, BRAIN investigators initiated testing of brain stimulation devices in humans for six medical conditions: loss-of-control eating; neuropathic pain; essential tremor; freezing of gait from Parkinson's disease; epilepsy; and post-traumatic stress disorder. By increasing collaborations between researchers and industry partners, the BRAIN Initiative is able to accelerate the dissemination of tools and technologies to its investigators and spur research progress.
In FY 2020 and FY 2021, NIH plans to 1) provide broad access to new research approaches and techniques for acquiring fundamental insight about how the nervous system functions in health and disease and 2) expand our understanding of brain function at the cellular or circuit level using newly developed tools and technologies.
Increase the percentage of scientists retained at FDA after completing the Fellowship or Traineeship programs (Lead Agency- FDA; Measure ID – 291101)
|FY 2014||FY 2015||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018||FY 2019||FY 2020||FY 2021|
|Status||Target Exceeded||Target Exceeded||Target Exceeded||Target Exceeded||Target Exceeded||Target Exceeded||Pending||Pending|
To support the Department's mission and FDA's scientific expertise, FDA is launching a new FDA Traineeship Program while continuing other Fellowship programs. This performance goal focuses on FDA's efforts to retain a targeted percentage of the scientists who complete these programs. The size and focus of the new agency-wide Traineeship Program will be greater in number and scope than the current Fellowship Program. Since the scope of the program will increase, FDA will reset the retention target to 20 percent for FY 2021 to reflect the new program's expected baseline. Whether "graduates" from these programs continue to work for FDA or choose to work in positions in related industry and academic fields, they are trained in an FDA-presented understanding of the complex scientific issues in emerging technologies and innovation, which furthers the purpose of this strategic objective. In FY 2020 and FY 2021, FDA will continue to monitor its ability to retain scientists who have participated in the Fellowship or Traineeship Programs.