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Strategic Plan

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The Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014‒2018 (PDF - 3MB) charts new directions for the Office over the next five years. Developed with input from a variety of stakeholders, the plan includes activities to strengthen existing programs and develop new initiatives to advance the prevention research agenda at the NIH and improve the public health.

The plan is centered around six strategic priorities:

Background

The ODP can play an important role in characterizing the portfolio of prevention research funded by the NIH. Currently, NIH prevention research is identified based on a broad definition of prevention that does not provide sufficient detail to classify studies into categories of interest. New methods are needed that identify characteristics of studies—such as topic area, study design, population studied—and summarize the findings in a meaningful way for program planning and reporting. This more specific characterization of the prevention research portfolio, along with portfolio analysis tools, would enable identification of patterns and trends, as well as research areas that may benefit from targeted efforts by the NIH Institutes and Centers. Such categorization also would enable assessment of the progress and changes in prevention research over time.

Objectives

The objectives supporting Strategic Priority I focus on the development of a taxonomy for prevention research that can be used to analyze the broader NIH portfolio. The ODP also will ensure that this process appropriately aligns with other efforts at the NIH, such as the Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization process. Furthermore, the ODP will work closely with colleagues in the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis to apply existing approaches and develop new tools to improve our understanding of NIH prevention research investments. Using these tools, the ODP will perform portfolio analyses to characterize the NIH prevention research portfolio and develop products (e.g., reports) that can be shared with collaborators within and outside of the NIH. The ODP will examine historical and prospective information using the new portfolio analysis tools to analyze the progress of NIH prevention research.

  • Objective I.1: Establish a taxonomy for prevention research that the ODP can apply to analyze the NIH prevention research portfolio.
  • Objective I.2: Develop, test, and implement portfolio analysis tools to classify NIH awards based on the taxonomy for prevention research.
  • Objective I.3: Develop and implement a process to regularly assess the progress and results of NIH investments in prevention research.
Learn more about Strategic Priority I

Background

The ODP can assist NIH Institutes and Centers by identifying prevention research needs and gaps, and prioritizing them on an ongoing basis. In this process, the ODP should make use of the variety of prevention research data sources available, including, but not limited to, NIH portfolio analysis and reports from other federal agencies and task forces. Regular engagement with stakeholders such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF), and the extramural prevention research community also will inform the identification of prevention research areas for investment or expanded effort by the NIH. In addition, the ODP will work closely with colleagues at the NIH to promote a research agenda that examines a variety of issues including health disparities and social determinants of health, as well as the role of the environment in disease prevention, and improves health across the life course.

Objectives

The objectives supporting Strategic Priority II include working with stakeholders to identify needs for prevention research, a comparison of those needs with the current NIH portfolio, and collaboration with the NIH Institutes and Centers to prioritize gaps in prevention research for additional investment. Results of these efforts will be compiled and shared with others at the NIH to identify areas that warrant further study; the ODP also will use these results to guide its own co-funding decisions. Strategic Priority II relies on building collaborations between the ODP and NIH Institutes and Centers, federal agencies, nonfederal task forces and other organizations that routinely conduct systematic evidence reviews (e.g., USPSTF, PSTF, Cochrane Collaborative, Institute of Medicine), existing evidence-based public health initiatives (e.g., Healthy People), and other stakeholders to identify, promote, and address needs in prevention research.

  • Objective II.1: Work with stakeholders to identify needs in prevention research.
  • Objective II.2: Compare those needs with the current NIH portfolio to identify gaps in prevention research (i.e., those areas that are not being addressed or have insufficient funding).
  • Objective II.3: Work with the NIH Institutes and Centers to prioritize the prevention research gaps for investment or expanded effort.
Learn more about Strategic Priority II

Background

The best available methods in prevention research should be utilized to move the state of the science forward. Increased awareness of and training in the use of newer and more efficient approaches for research design, intervention development, measurement, and analysis are needed to improve both the quality and success of prevention research applications submitted to the NIH. Opportunities exist for the ODP to support the development of these methods and to encourage training in their use for a variety of audiences, including NIH program and review staff, intramural investigators, and the extramural community.

Objectives

The objectives supporting Strategic Priority III include the development of a compendium of prevention science tools that focus on methods, measures, and analytic techniques. The ODP will identify training opportunities for NIH program and review staff and extramural investigators on methods research to foster better informed decisions and higher quality science in prevention research. The ODP will work with federal agencies that have interests in prevention science methods to share resources and materials. The ODP will work with the NIH Center for Scientific Review to identify experts in prevention science methods who could serve on NIH study sections. In collaboration with NIH Institutes and Centers, the ODP will develop Funding Opportunity Announcements to promote innovative research designs, new tools, and analytic techniques to help move the field of prevention science forward. The ODP also will work with experts in the field of methodology to identify and build consensus around best practices in prevention science.

  • Objective III.1: Develop a list of existing NIH and other federal resources pertaining to prevention science methodology.
  • Objective III.2: Provide training in prevention science methods to NIH program and review staff and to extramural investigators.
  • Objective III.3: Develop NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements that encourage innovative and improved approaches to prevention science.
  • Objective III.4: Work with stakeholders to identify and disseminate "best practices" in prevention science methods.
Learn more about Strategic Priority III

Background

All of the NIH Institutes and Centers support prevention research in their own areas, which has helped to create a robust and diverse research portfolio that addresses a range of important scientific questions. Even so, enhanced collaboration and coordination among NIH Institutes and Centers, as well as with other research partners, could result in better outcomes and more efficient use of resources. The ODP will encourage coordination of prevention research across the NIH, throughout government, and with the private sector to identify common or cross-cutting topic areas and research questions, create an environment of collaboration, and improve complementary and collaborative efforts to enhance the return on investment for prevention research at the NIH. Collaborations can engage a range of public or private stakeholder organizations in identifying and working on research priorities.

Objectives

The objectives supporting Strategic Priority IV will set the stage for collaborative research efforts in prevention research within the NIH, across government entities, and with the private sector. Examples of successful research collaborations will be sought and used as models for future efforts. Existing collaborative relationships will be continued or expanded, and new relationships will be forged with public and private entities that can partner on prevention research efforts. These activities will lead to a coordinated development of funding opportunities in partnership with NIH Institutes and Centers as well as with other organizations, which will strengthen the prevention research portfolio to advance scientific knowledge in order to improve public health.

  • Objective IV.1: Identify, document, and share best practices for research collaborations within the NIH and with other stakeholders.
  • Objective IV.2: Establish or promote infrastructures and processes to foster research coordination and collaboration across the NIH and with other public and private entities.
  • Objective IV.3: Coordinate NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements to address areas of need in prevention research.
Learn more about Strategic Priority IV

Background

Part of the mission of the ODP is to disseminate the results of high-quality, evidence-based disease prevention research; foster the use of evidence-based interventions in practice; and promote the further development of implementation and dissemination research in prevention. Opportunities exist for the ODP to facilitate these important activities. To expedite the identification and use of evidence-based prevention interventions, the ODP will collaborate with multiple partners and audiences, including NIH Institutes and Centers, service providers, and community organizations, to promote the dissemination of evidence-based disease prevention strategies and interventions with the potential to impact public health.

Objectives

The objectives supporting Strategic Priority V will focus on the development of a web-based portal that provides access to evidence-based resources and best practices organized by different categories such as the patient population studied and research design. To ensure that credible information is provided, studies included must have undergone an independent systematic review by a credible government or privatesector agency. The ODP will work with stakeholders to promote the dissemination of best practices at the individual, organizational, community, and policy levels. To facilitate this process, the ODP will develop messages for stakeholders to use when communicating with various audiences about best practice models and effective interventions. The ODP also will work with NIH Institutes and Centers to develop strategies to promote implementation and dissemination research that examines both intervention-level features (e.g., core components, recruitment and retention strategies, training and implementation manuals/products, adaptation guides) and healthcare and community systems-level features (e.g., decision-making, selection, adoption, adaptation, management, financing, sustainability planning).

  • Objective V.1: Identify evidence-based interventions for disease prevention and present them in an organized structure.
  • Objective V.2: Enhance partnerships to promote the dissemination of evidence-based interventions for disease prevention.
  • Objective V.3: Enhance partnerships to promote research on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions in prevention.
Learn more about Strategic Priority V

Background

The ODP will play a central role in disseminating information to broaden the scientific and public health impact of the NIH prevention research portfolio. The ODP can enhance prevention research by disseminating NIH prevention research and resources, strengthening partnerships to improve information dissemination, and gathering input and feedback from stakeholders including researchers, program and policy stakeholders, and the general public.

Objectives

The objectives supporting Strategic Priority VI include the development of resources for the research community, the public, and other stakeholders. For example, the ODP will expand its website content by posting a list of NIH staff engaged in prevention research activities to promote networking and collaboration; explore the use of social media tools such as Facebook and blogs; create an e-newsletter about NIH prevention research activities and accomplishments; and optimize its website for mobile use to increase accessibility by stakeholders anywhere, anytime, and on any device. In addition, the ODP will promote the outcomes of all of its strategic planning efforts to ensure results reach the intended audiences. The ODP also will identify and develop a stakeholder community that includes the NIH, the HHS, and other public and private organizations and work with that community to advance communications, collaborations, and other actions to help disseminate information about prevention research.

  • Objective VI.1: Increase the availability of information about prevention research through the use of traditional and digital communication tools.
  • Objective VI.2: Increase communications and collaborations with stakeholders to coordinate communications about disease prevention.
  • Objective VI.3: Support Strategic Priorities I–V via the ODP website and other communication tools.
Learn more about Strategic Priority VI

The ODP strategic plan was highlighted in the January 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health in the articleThe ODP strategic plan was highlighted in the January 2015 issue of the American Journal of Public Health in the article, Enhancing the Quality of Prevention Research Supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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