December 7, 2022
Today, I am pleased to announce the release of the 2023-2027 NIDCD Strategic Plan: Advancing the Science of Communication to Improve Lives. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) will use the plan to guide research investments in our mission areas of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language over the next five years.
About one in six Americans has a hearing, balance, sensory, or other communication disorder.1 For these individuals, the basic components of communication—sensing, interpreting, and responding to people and things in our environment—can be challenging. NIDCD manages a broad portfolio of basic, translational, clinical, and public health research focused on human communication and associated disorders. Our vision is to advance the science of communication to improve lives.
In our new strategic plan, we identify six overarching themes and describe focused goals to advance each theme’s science within our mission. NIDCD reaffirms its commitment to advancing basic research and improving model systems that leverage recent technologies and cutting-edge techniques. I am excited about our new precision medicine focus on translating research into clinical care. I’m also looking forward to seeing ideas from interdisciplinary teams proposing to harness biomedical databases, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to improve the lives of individuals with deafness and communication disorders.
- Theme 1: Capitalize on advances in basic research to enhance our understanding of normal function and disordered processes. NIDCD encourages basic research that spans the traditional and emerging disciplines of life, physical, engineering, computer, behavioral, and social sciences.
- Theme 2: Develop and improve model systems to inform research. NIDCD encourages the development of new pre-clinical, in vivo, in vitro, and in silico model systems, as well as the improvement of current models to inform research and future clinical translation, leading to effective treatments.
- Theme 3: Promote a precision medicine approach to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. NIDCD encourages research to promote the identification of specific subpopulations based on biomarkers, risk factors, and other assessments that would improve diagnostic accuracy and facilitate development of targeted therapies.
- Theme 4: Translate and implement scientific advances into standard clinical care. NIDCD encourages research to improve the health, emotional well-being, and quality of life of all individuals impacted by conditions and disorders that fall within the NIDCD mission.
- Theme 5: Facilitate use of and best practices in biomedical data science. NIDCD encourages the management and sharing of scientific data generated from research.
- Theme 6: Harness advanced technology to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. NIDCD encourages development of new technology to prevent disease; improve diagnoses, clinical decision-making, and treatment; and facilitate communication, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and quality of life.
NIDCD continues to seek mission-relevant research ideas within the landscape of key NIH-wide crosscutting priorities:
- Seek innovation through partnerships
- Strengthen research training and career development
- Reinforce a culture of scientific workforce diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility
- Participate in international research to improve global health
- Advance research to improve women’s health
- Reduce health disparities
NIDCD developed our plan after an iterative and public process engaging industry, patient and consumer groups, professional organizations, and the scientific community. The plan reflects that collaborative effort and describes significant research opportunities to advance our mission and vision.
NIDCD welcomes scientific proposals that address strategic plan priorities
We anticipate that the same community enthusiasm that helped us develop the plan will now result in creative ideas and approaches to advance the science. We welcome research proposals that address the challenges and opportunities the plan describes.
Thank you for your interest in the NIDCD strategic plan. I appreciate the valuable input provided to us as we developed and finalized this vital plan to guide us for the next five years. Please contact NIDCD’s Science Policy and Planning Branch with any questions or comments about the institute’s strategic planning.
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