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NIDCD Strategic Plan and Priority Setting

The NIDCD uses the NIH system of peer review to evaluate research grant applications. The system depends on scientists to submit their best research ideas to drive the spectrum of supported research. The NIH is committed to a transparent, evidence-based process of structured peer review. A panel of scientific experts from outside of the NIH (who work in the same or a related academic field) scrutinize grant applications. To identify research ideas with the highest overall potential impact, the panel evaluates applications for approach, significance, innovation, investigator(s), and quality of the academic environment. This system helps NIH select the most promising ideas to receive federal funding. To learn more about the NIH peer review process, see To learn how NIH continuously reviews and updates its peer review process, see

The NIDCD values investigator-initiated applications submitted to NIH that help achieve the NIDCD mission. In particular, the Institute encourages investigators to submit applications for research projects that directly address priorities within the NIDCD Strategic Plan (Plan).  The NIDCD also uses the Plan to develop targeted Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to stimulate research applications that address a particular and much-needed area of science.

The NIDCD Strategic Plan helps the Institute (including NIDCD staff and the NDCD Advisory Council) prioritize research investment. The Plan helps identify investigator-initiated research proposals for High Program Priority (HPP) funding so that these projects, if funded, will address a significant research need in the NIDCD portfolio. The NIDCD uses its HPP process to fill scientific gaps in the research portfolio, foster the entry of new investigators, encourage innovative research, and increase the diversity of the scientists who lead a research team, known as Principal Investigators (PIs).

NIDCD staff distribute the Plan to the research community at workshops and scientific conferences to increase awareness of Institute priorities. Additionally, the Plan informs the public about the state of the science and advances in diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders, while creating a vision for the future. To develop the 2017-2021 Plan, the NIDCD convened a series of working group meetings and solicited input from scientific experts, the NDCD Advisory Council, NIDCD staff, and the public. See Appendix B for more details on the Plan process.

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Last Updated Date: 
January 27, 2017