ASBMB raises concerns about proposed NIH subaward policy
The NIH seeks to require foreign researchers working on NIH-funded projects to provide to the primary grantee copies of all lab notebooks, data and documentation that support the research progress report every six months. Instead, the society proposed that this material be made available upon request by the principal investigator.
NIH subawards, also known as consortium agreements, promote collaboration between a primary grantee and subrecipient(s) across institutions.
According to the National Science Foundation, laboratory principal investigators spend 42% of their time on administrative tasks, leaving less-than-adequate time for their research programs.
The ASBMB argued that the NIH proposal would require PIs to review an unnecessarily large amount of material and “place undue stress and time constraints on PIs who are already struggling.”
The other potentially harmful outcome is reduced collaboration, the ASBMB said. Between 2008 and 2018, 23% of science and engineering articles included international collaborators.
“Collaboration is absolutely crucial for science to push boundaries and advance society,” Sarina Neote, ASBMB public affairs director, said. “By increasing the administrative burden of PIs, this policy discourages collaboration across borders, which will harm the international research enterprise.”
The ASBMB acknowledged that some foreign collaborators have presented challenges to U.S.-based researchers. However, the society said the proposed policy is “inherently unequal” and urged the NIH to reconsider the rule’s purpose and potential unintended consequences.
Enjoy reading ASBMB Today?
Become a member to receive the print edition monthly and the digital edition weekly.Learn more
Get the latest from ASBMB Today
Enter your email address, and we’ll send you a weekly email with recent articles, interviews and more.
The working group developed six primary recommendations for the National Institutes of Health.
An updated memo from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has researchers, funders and publishers looking ahead
The society states that increasing student debt and financial strain are hurting the U.S. research enterprise and federal agencies must do more to ease this burden.
These funding mechanisms have been underutilized. The ASBMB public affairs staff offers recommendations to change that.