Assuming he or she is not already your best friend, your program officer most certainly should be. I suspect I sound like a broken record here & at work cajoling investigators to make contact and communicate regularly with “their” program officer. Said program officer thinks of you in the trenches as “his” or “her” investigator. They are not untouchable deities – there is no conflict of interest in seeking their help & input. They absolutely want to hear from you, and I encourage you all to check out these handouts from this NIH presentation on exactly what an NIH program officer can and will do for you. Truly mind-boggling that every potential PI is not touching base with the appropriate program officer for his or her research.
Program Officer – NOT Parole Officer!