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National Institute on Drug Abuse

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse

May, 2000

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Review Meetings

Chartered committee reviews of grant applications were completed for NIDA-E (Treatment Review Committee), NIDA-F (Health Services Review Committee), NIDA-L (Medications Development Committee), and NIDA-K (Training Committee). Two Special Emphasis Panels (SEPS) were held for conflicts in NIDA-E and NIDA-K, and several other SEPS were established for mechanism-based reviews such as those for centers, program projects, B-Start, and conference grants.

Contract reviews have been completed for the "Analytical Techniques Program," and for "Drug Supply Services Support" activities of the Division of Neurobiology and Basic Research. Contracts reviewed for the Division of Treatment Research and Development include "Medication Discovery Using Rat Models of Relapse to Cocaine Self-administration" and "Screening for Cocaine Pharmacotherapies Using the Rat Self-Administration Test." An SBIR review on prevention research dissemination was also held, and several concept reviews were completed. NIDA's Contracts Review Branch is collaborating with OSPC to complete the solicitations for SBIR concepts.

Extramural Staff Development

Dr. Mark Swieter, Scientific Review Administrator for the Basic Sciences Review Branch, OEA, has provided training on extramural issues to the NIDA Intramural Research Program in order to assist fellows there who will move to an extramural environment. In February 2000, he and Dr. Cindy Miner, OSPC, presented on opportunities for funding under K mechanisms. He presented "Review Issues in Grant Writing" on March 30, 2000.

As NIDA's representative to CSR's Workgroup on SRA Handbook Revisions, Dr. Susan Coyle took a lead role in updating and expanding Chapter 7, "Scientific Peer Review Group (SRG) Meeting Reports." The CSR Workgroup hopes to publish the revised Handbook in the summer of 2000.

The Office of Extramural Affairs Symposium Series continues to provide a forum for staff interchanges on topics related to extramural administration. Dr. Leshner engaged the NIDA staff in a lively question and answer session in January 2000. In February, Dr. Rita Liu, NIDA's Receipt and Referral Officer, and Dr. Teri Levitin, Director, OEA, presented information on NIDA's centers program and procedures for internal processing of applications. In March, Dr. Larry Seitz, a program official from the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research, led a discussion of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The April meeting used case studies to address complex decisions in extramural administration. The OEA Symposium Series is managed by Dr. William C. Grace, Deputy Director, OEA.

Extramural Outreach

Dr. Khursheed Asghar, Chief, Basic Sciences Review Branch, OEA, presented in April 2000 at the second annual Lonnie Mitchell National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Substance Abuse Conference in Baltimore. His topic was "The Grants Review Process".

Dr. Teri Levitin, Director, OEA, and Dr. William Grace, Deputy Director, OEA, presented "Research Grants and the Peer Review Process" at the April 14-16, 2000 Conference on Human Development in Memphis, TN. They presented an overview of NIDA's resources and procedures for funding, the policy on inclusion of children in research, information on modular grants, and an introduction to becoming a peer reviewer.

Dr. Mark Swieter, Scientific Review Administrator for the Basic Sciences Review Branch, OEA, presented an overview of review at a grant writing workshop at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco meeting in Arlington, VA in February 2000; this workshop was organized by Drs. John Hughes, Jay Turkkan, Cathy Backinger, Scott Leischow, Maxine Stitzer, and Janine Pillitteri.

Dr. Swieter presented "Introduction to Research Grants" to the NIDA INVEST and Humphrey fellows meeting organized in February 2000 by Dr. Pat Needle.

At the March 2000 meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescents, Dr. Levitin presented on recent changes in the application, referral, and peer review process for social and behavioral research applications. She also chaired a small group discussion period, "Social and Behavioral Research on Adolescence at NIH: Funding Opportunities".

On May 1, 2000 Dr. William Grace presented an overview of NIDA's extramural program and NIH funding processes to a group of psychology students and staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Dr. Marina Volkov, Scientific Review Administrator for the Clinical, Epidemiological, and Applied Sciences Review Branch, OEA, presented information regarding extramural review policies and the grant review process at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in April 2000.


Dr. Marina Volkov authored an overview of peer review at NIH for the Early Career Prevention Network newsletter.

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