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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2006

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Receipt, Referral, and Review

NIDA received 1214 applications, including both primary and dual assignments, for which the Office of Extramural Affairs (OEA) managed the programmatic referral process during this Council cycle. Of these, NIDA received the primary assignment on 736 applications.

OEA arranged and managed 18 grant review meetings in which 244 applications were evaluated. OEA's reviews included applications in chartered, standing review committees and Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs). In addition, OEA's Contracts Review Branch (CRB) arranged and managed 3 contract proposal reviews and 3 concept reviews.

NIDA's chartered committees consist of NIDA-E (Treatment Review Committee), NIDA-F (Health Services Review Committee), NIDA-L (Medications Development Committee), and NIDA-K (Training Committee). In addition to meetings of each of these committees, OEA staff held 14 Special Emphasis Panels for a variety of reasons:

Conflicts with the chartered committees
Center Grant Applications
Program Project Grant applications
Mechanism For Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities
Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition (B/START)
Imaging Science Track Awards for Research Transition (I/START)
Conference Grants (R13)

Completed Reviews from the Contracts Review Branch since the last Council are as follows:

Contract Reviews (R&D and non-R&D)

  • N01DA-5-9909: Residential Research Support Services


  • N44DA-6-8843: Automatic Delineation and Quantification of WMSH
  • N44DA-6-8851: Multi-focal Cortical Thinning in Drug and Alcohol Abuse

R&D Concept Reviews

  • N01DA-6-7758: Synthesis and Distribution of Opioid and Related Peptides
  • N01DA-6-8866: Development & Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products for Addiction Treatment
  • N01DA-6-9910: NIDA IRP Recruitment Services

The CTN Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) conducted a review of CTN 0027: Starting Treatment with Agonist Replacement Therapies (START) on November 17, 2005. START is a randomize d, open-label, multi-center study in outpatient settings.

Certificates of Confidentiality

Dr. Paul Coulis manages the processing of Certificates of Confidentiality. Between August 12, 2005 and December 06, 2005, 102 new certificates, 34 extensions, and 23 amendments were processed.

Extramural Outreach

Dr. Levitin, Director, OEA, is the newly appointed NIDA liaison to the Peer Review Advisory Committee (PRAC), a committee established late in 2004 to provide guidance on trans-NIH review policy and operations to the NIH Director and Deputy Director of Extramural Research, to provide guidance to the Center for Scientific Review Director on CSR-specific policy and operations and to assist other IC Directors on IC-specific questions of review policy and operations, as needed.

Dr. Levitin continues to serve as the NIDA liaison to the NIH Director's Pioneer Award Implementation Committee, one of the NIH Roadmap activities. She was also a member of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award Evaluation Advisory Committee which reviewed the evaluation of the first year of the Pioneer Award program.

In October 2005, Dr. Levitin was a plenary speaker at the Society of Experimental Social Psychology annual meeting where she presented some of the social psychological research supported at NIDA and showed how research on drug abuse could be enriched by a social psychological perspective.

Dr. Levitin continues to serve on various committees related to her membership on the NIH-wide Extramural Program Management Committee. For example, she is currently assisting in the development of a plan to evaluate the CSR pilot study on shortening the review cycle for new investigators.

Dr. Gerald McLaughlin, OEA, attended the first meeting of a NINDS/NIMH/NIDA committee led by Dr. Serena Chu of NIMH, to discuss options for inter-Institute meetings regarding operating procedures and training for review activities between these three Institutes.

OEA staff working at the NIDA booth at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C., included Drs. Gerald McLaughlin, Mark Green, Meenaxi Hiremath, Rita Liu and Ms. Loretta Beuchert.

Dr. Murat Oz, OEA, attended the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C., and presented 6 abstracts.

Dr. Gerald McLaughlin is the NIDA Liaison to the NIH-wide committee dealing with all aspects of the transition to electronic grant submission. He has also given a talk on this topic at the OEA Symposium Series.

Dr. Gerald McLaughlin participates in the NIH-wide Mitochondria Interest Group (MIG).

Dr. Gerald McLaughlin participates in the D.C. area Iowa Alumni Club. He has been a representative for three of its College Fairs in the greater Washington DC area.

Ms. Loretta Beuchert, OEA, served on a trans-NIH workgroup responsible for implementing the time line for electronic receipt of applications and working out procedures for converting existing grant mechanisms into the electronic 424 format.

Dr. Mark Swieter, OEA, attended NIDA's Bridging Science and Culture Conference in Atlanta on October 24-26,2005, where he organized and chaired two Grant Writing Workshops that included Kathy Sanders Phillips, Martin Iguchi, Aria Crump, Cece Spitznas, and Suman Rao King.

Dr. Meenaxi Hiremath, OEA, attended the Addiction Health Services Research Conference in Santa Monica, California at the end of October 2005. Dr. Meenaxi Hiremath participated in the trans-NIH workgroup dealing with public members participating in peer review meetings.

Dr. Mark Green, OEA, serves on the NIH-wide Contingency Planning Workgroup dealing with electronic submission of grant applications.

Dr. Mark Green serves on the NIH-wide workgroup developing the transition of the R03, R21, R33 and R34 grant mechanisms to electronic submission format.

Dr. Mark Green presented an NIH overview and grant writing workshop on November 2, 2005, at the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Staff Training and Development

The OEA Symposium Series, a forum for staff training and sharing of ideas and information, continued through the winter and spring. Topics addressed have included: a presentation by Jerry McLaughlin on the SF 424 roll out and use. Other topics led by Mark Swieter included NIDA's Policy Update on K Awards; NIH responses to hurricane Katrina and NIDA's participation in PAR-05-150: Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities; NIH Request for Information concerning updating the Standards of Care and Use of Laboratory Animals; Implementation of Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-funded Research; Request for Information on the Plan to Recognize Multiple Principal Investigators on NIH Grants; New Closeout Feature in the eRA Commons and Reminder to Grantees of Required Closeout Reports for NIH Assistance Awards; Notice of Change for Fiscal Year 2006 Competing Applications for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 Institutional Training Grant Support; and Guidelines for Inclusion of Clinical Practice Compensation in Institutional Base Salary Charged to NIH Grants and Contracts.


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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