NIH: Office of Disease Prevention


Strategic Planning Process Overview

With the recent reorganization of the ODP and the increased attention to prevention research nationally, the ODP launched an extensive process to develop a strategic plan that outlines the priorities for the Office over the next five years and highlights the ODP’s role in advancing prevention research at the NIH.

Below is a summary of the steps taken by the Office as it developed the ODP Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2014–2018.

An initial step in the planning process was the recruitment of a working group composed of NIH scientific program and strategic planning experts, as well as representatives from other federal agencies, the extramural research community, the healthcare sector, and the patient community. The Strategic Planning Working Group was charged with the following:

  • Making recommendations on the scope of the plan and the planning timeline.
  • Reviewing and providing advice on new mission and vision statements and strategic priorities.
  • Reviewing and providing advice on the objectives, measures, and tactics identified to implement the plan.
  • Providing advice on key stakeholder groups, informing the selection of questions for each stakeholder group, and recommending engagement strategies.
  • Recommending strategies for assessing progress of the implementation of the plan.

The ODP captured comments from the Working Group on draft mission and vision statements, strategic priorities, and the overall planning process. This feedback, along with input from the NIH Prevention Research Coordinating Committee (PRCC), was used to develop revised materials that were then distributed to and reviewed by various stakeholders. Dr. David Murray, Director of the ODP, met individually with Directors of NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) to get their input on the draft mission and vision statements. These discussions also focused on how the ODP could help advance IC prevention efforts and how the NIH as a whole could strengthen the evidence base for prevention programs. Simultaneously, ODP staff worked with senior scientific staff at the NIH to gather additional insights on the mission and vision statements, as well as the strategic priorities for the Office.

Information gathered from discussions with these stakeholders shaped the development of revised ODP's mission and vision and revised strategic priorities. The updated material was used to populate an online Request for Information (RFI) which was open from March 13 through April 30, 2013. In addition to posting the material online, the ODP sent targeted emails to various stakeholder communities inviting them to submit comments via the RFI.

The purpose of the RFI was to gather public input on specific objectives for each strategic priority as well as ideas about measures and timelines appropriate to those objectives. Respondents were also encouraged to comment on what the ODP could do to improve processes the NIH uses to solicit, review, and administer research grants and cooperative agreements.

To encourage continued participation by NIH staff, the ODP hosted a series of facilitated focus groups with program and review staff designed to gather information on strategic priorities, measures, and timelines. As with the RFI, the ODP gathered perspectives on how the NIH could improve the processes used to solicit, review, and administer research grants and cooperative agreements.

ODP integrated and analyzed the comments we received through the RFI, focus groups, and other channels and worked with members of the PRCC to synthesize the feedback into concrete, measurable objectives, implementation timelines, and evaluation strategies for each of the strategic priorities. This information was compiled with the mission, vision, and other supporting materials to develop the draft strategic plan.

The draft strategic plan was presented to NIH leadership for comment. After receiving approval from NIH leadership, the draft plan was posted online for public comment through a second RFI. It was also circulated to those in the formulation process. The second RFI was open October 29 through November 22, 2013.

The draft strategic plan was revised based on input received via the second round of public comments. The final Strategic Plan was presented to NIH leadership for review and was approved on January 3, 2014.