Please Comment on NCRR Fate

Larry Tabak and Alan Guttmacher have posted a grid laying out the proposed re-distribution of NCRR programs (thanks to Jeremy Berg for alerting us to this under the SMRB post).

They call it a straw model, which dredges up memories of mucking out barn stalls. Maybe that’s just me.

Unfortunately, it is a static PDF, so you cannot click on programs to learn more about what they entail and whether the re-assignment seems appropriate.

Also, there is a puzzlingly named column head (and this column has the most programs listed) with no additional explanation: Interim Infrastructure Unit.

Perhaps this IIU is how Collins will avoid having one too many ICs on the org chart for FY12.

Comments on NCRR programs can be left via the form at the bottom of the page, below the table and links to the NCATS “documentation” and FAQ.

Speaking of which, not surprisingly, they have had to archive the 1105 comments on NCATS received in the first month. Keep those cards and letters coming, too. I like the “a-fresh-start-2” part of this new NCATS Comments page address … oh, if only it were so easy.

Of course, the real question is, if this is so important and the NIH wants everyone’s input on NCATS and the fate of NCRR, why haven’t any RFI notices been issued in the Guide?

Update: Jeremy Berg posted on the NIGMS Feedback Loop notice of conference calls with various NCRR stakeholder constituencies. Of course, they only announced these calls, which are scheduled for Jan 19-21, on Jan 18. Plenty of notice.


  1. writedit said

    Jeremy Berg left a useful explanatory comment under the SMRB post that I thought I would cross-reference here:

    In general, the NCRR programs cut across the interests of many institutes and centers so that they align better with cross-cutting rather than categorical institutes and centers. The incorporation of the CTSAs into NCATS was part of the original vision for NCATS. The P41s (Biomedical Technology Resource Centers) include awards focused on synchrotrons and mass spectrometry (that align well with the structural biology and proteomics programs in NIGMS and medical imaging awards that align well with NIBIB. The Shared Instrumentation and High End Instrumentation program align with NIGMS research and technology development programs although these programs are widely used by investigators across NIH. The model organism resources align with NIGMS research programs utilizing a wide range of non-primate model organisms. The RCMI program (Research Centers in Minority Institutions) aligns with NIMHD (the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities).

  2. Alfred Hudson said

    Dr Berg’s explanation sounds very logical (homing powerful and widely used resources) if NCRR had never existed. Reading part of the feedback commentaries sent to NIH, it is apparent how many investigators are concerned about dismantling NCRR. The reasons for dismantling it are not that obvious in view of a possible second scenario never contemplated. What about adding to the present NCRR a “Unit for Advances in Translational Sciences”. Not sure if this is correct but it seems that it is at the NCRR where the first initiatives on Translational Research and the Resources for Advancing Translational Science were born. Those initiatives are in a fruitful maturation process. Why disturbing such a process instead of solidifying it and adapting them to the present and foreseen needs?. What would be the “fatal disadvantages” of this second scenario?.

  3. writedit said

    Jeremy Berg posted on the NIGMS Feedback Loop notice of conference calls with various NCRR stakeholder communities. Of course, they only announced these calls, which are scheduled for Jan 19-21, on Jan 18. Plenty of notice.

  4. Alex said

    What is the “a-fresh-start-2″ part of this new NCATS Comments page address” for??

  5. anon said

    A report in the New York Times on Janaury 22(Federal Research Center will Help Develop Medicines) suggests that NCATS will become a $1B entity with the funds coming from cannbalizing other parts of NIH. What fraction of these funds will come from NCRR programs and what fraction will come from other parts of NIH?

    • PKC said

      Collins and SMRB are saving a lot by naming it NCATS. The new center ought to be named NCCTSTADCR: “National Center for Cannibalizing Translational Scientists, Taxpayers, Advancing Drug Companies Revenues”……oh……….and all that
      AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT…….. How transformative and wonderful !.

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