Improve Research Methods

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Strategic Priority III

Strategic Priority III

Promote the use of the best available methods in prevention research and support the development of better methods.


Progress in prevention research depends on the use of the best available methods in prevention science. This includes methods related to research design, intervention development, measurement, and analysis. The ODP can encourage investigators to use the best available methods as they prepare their applications for NIH support and can encourage reviewers to look for those methods as they review the applications. The Office also plays a role in helping program and review staff understand those methods so they can more effectively guide the work of both investigators and reviewers. The ODP can also collaborate with other ICs to review both funding opportunity announcements aimed toward developing better methods and major projects to ensure the use of the best available methods.

Objectives for FY 2019–2023

  1. Refresh catalogues and directories of existing NIH and other federal resources pertaining to prevention science methods.
  2. Provide resources for review staff to identify experts in prevention science methods for recruitment to review panels.
  3. Provide training in prevention science methods to NIH program and review staff, NIH investigators, and investigators external to the NIH.
  4. Serve as a resource to ICs on prevention science methods as they develop new funding opportunity announcements, workshops, meetings, and other activities.
  5. Collaborate with ICs to strengthen NIH policies and procedures to encourage the use of the best available methods in applications for prevention research.
  6. Develop metrics to monitor the leading causes and risk factors for premature death (prior to age 70) in the United States on an annual basis.
  7. Conduct periodic reviews of methods used in prevention research.
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