The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed all our lives in so many ways, and it has certainly changed things for the ODP. Like many of you, we have moved to full-time telework as a means of physical distancing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is critically important for all of us to take these kinds of preventive measures, and we all have a role to play in protecting each other’s health. I encourage you to follow the latest public health information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and research updates from the NIH.
While our methods of staying in touch with each other and our colleagues have changed, our work of assessing, facilitating, and disseminating research in disease prevention goes on.
We are proud to be a part of the nation’s premier biomedical research agency and its work to build the evidence needed to respond to this new health challenge. We admire how our colleagues across the NIH are helping to lead the development and validation of new testing technologies, vaccines, and therapeutic candidates for COVID-19.
For our part, ODP Senior Advisor for Disease Prevention Dr. Jacqueline Lloyd and I have been collaborating with other NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICs) to develop plans for several new initiatives for COVID-19 related research. As of writing this message, the ODP has signed on to the following Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs), which are now accepting applications; additional announcements will be forthcoming in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts:
- Availability of Administrative Supplements and Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and the Behavioral and Social Sciences, led by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
- Availability of Administrative Supplements and Urgent Competitive Revisions for Mental Health Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, led by the National Institute of Mental Health.
We are so grateful for everyone in the prevention research community who is playing a role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and working to improve public health.
The ODP is also continuing to work to advance prevention research more broadly by:
- Rescheduling events like the Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Can Physical Activity Improve the Health of Wheelchair Users?, ODP Early-Stage Investigator Lecture, and Robert S. Gordon, Jr. Lecture in Epidemiology. We remain very excited about these future, potentially virtual, opportunities for scientific exchange.
- Maintaining our Methods: Mind the Gap webinar series. More than 800 people have joined us online to learn about measuring stakeholder engagement in research and responsive and adaptive survey design techniques. We are looking forward to our next webinar by Dr. Elizabeth Selvin on The Importance of Epidemiology in Screening and Diagnosis of Diabetes on May 20, 2020.
- Carrying on with our portfolio analysis work by completing coding of fiscal year (FY) 2018 awards and unfunded applications, developing relevant manuscripts, and starting coding of FY 2019 awards and applications.
- Encouraging researchers with experience in research methods to take the Prevention Research Expertise Survey (PRES). Now more than ever, it is imperative that the NIH fund the best and most rigorous research. You can help us by taking PRES, which adds your name to a directory that NIH staff use to identify reviewers with the most appropriate methodological expertise for NIH study sections.
- Working on new funding and co-funding opportunities in prevention research. In collaboration with several ICs, the ODP released two funding opportunities to better understand and address multimorbidity. We also extended the application window for funding opportunity announcements related to developing and testing interventions for health-enhancing physical activity, and joined new opportunities related to firearms injury and mortality prevention research and improving the interpretation of patient-reported outcomes. In addition, the Tobacco Regulatory Science Program issued a NOSI to advance the understanding of tobacco product pharmacokinetic research.
As we all adjust to new challenges and methods of working, we have compiled some NIH resources that may be helpful:
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding
- Coronavirus Resources from the National Library of Medicine: PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov, Research Datasets, and More
- COVID-19 Specific Survey Items Now Available on PhenX and the NIH Disaster Research Response (DR2) Platforms
- New NIH Resource to Analyze COVID-19 Literature: The COVID-19 Portfolio Tool
- Virtual NIH Activities for Trainees Outside the NIH (and University Faculty and Leadership): New Wellness Resources Developed/Collected in Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak
- NIH Director’s Blog: Dealing with Stress, Anxiety, and Grief During COVID-19
- COVID-19 Social Media Resources
Finally, I want to thank all of you who responded to our recent request for information on opportunities to better collaborate with our stakeholders. We are carefully reviewing your input, and I look forward to sharing the results and our next steps soon.