National Institutes of Health (NIH) had an increase in its budget for 2016. However, after 10 years of essentially flat NIH budgets, eroded by the effects of inflation and worsened by the impact of sequestration, NIH’s purchasing power has been cut by almost 25% compared to a decade ago. Against this backdrop, the Online Partnership to Accelerate Research (OnPAR) was conceived to re-accelerate the biomedical research and development enterprise by seeking a larger return on NIH’s peer review investment on research proposals evaluated in the top 30% in each NIH Institute and Center.
The goal of OnPAR is to match quality biomedical research projects with priority areas of interest of private foundations, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies and/or other private biomedical research funders to advance research, discovery, and development that will benefit the world. OnPAR will eventually provide access to a global pipeline of research projects that can either supplement internal projects or provide innovative new ideas for future medical products.
NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs by funding thousands of scientists in universities and research institutions in every state across America and around the globe. NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. The NIH peer review process forms the cornerstone of the NIH extramural research mission; this helps to ensure that applications submitted to NIH are evaluated by scientific experts in a manner free from inappropriate influences. Currently, NIH handles approximately 80,000 applications and engages approximately 20,000 reviewers per year. NIH is responsive to congressional legislation that adjusts NIH’s programs to meet changing research needs. As a result of the NIH reauthorization process, NIH is able to respond strategically during an era in which medical research requires constant innovation and increased interdisciplinary efforts.
For more than 20 years, Leidos Health’s Life Sciences division has supported the full spectrum of biomedical research programs for government and non-government clients through program/portfolio development and evaluation, peer and programmatic review, comprehensive grants management, and marketing and communications. Leidos Health helps to manage programs from initial concept through exploratory basic research, development, and preclinical and clinical phases, up to product manufacturing and launching. Over the past two decades, our doctoral- and master’s-level scientists have been supporting biomedical research programs in the areas of military health and injury, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Leidos Health provides subject matter experts for federal funders and other research-focused programs requiring infrastructure, process, and policy support.