The NHLBI Division of Extramural Research Activities (DERA) provides leadership and advice to the NHLBI Director on developing, implementing, and coordinating extramural research contract, grant, and training program policies. The Division also develops, implements, and coordinates cross-cutting, multi-disciplinary activities in the mission areas of the NHLBI. The activities of DERA affect all scientists who receive NHLBI research or training support, nationally and internationally.
DERA is comprised of the Offices of Scientific Review, Grants Management, Translational Alliances and Coordination, Committee Management, Referral, and Policy. Together, these Offices provide many essential activities for the Institute and extramural programs. These activities include: initial scientific merit review of research grants and contracts for the Institute; granting of awards and administration to the Institute's program divisions; coordination and management of the Institute's public advisory committees; and conference services in support of the Institute. DERA coordinates the Institute's research grant and training programs with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC). The Division also develops and provides extramural staff training and enhances communication across the Institute regarding standardized approaches, policies, methods, and procedures. DERA represents the Institute on trans-NIH extramural and collaborative program policy committees and coordinates such policies within the Institute. DERA supplies services to other Institutes and Centers fulfilling the requirement of service center agreements.
In 2011 the Division’s mission was further expanded with the creation of the DERA Office of Translational Alliances and Coordination, which was charged with accelerating the translation of basic discoveries and innovations into new diagnostics, devices, and therapeutics. The new Office was also charged with facilitating the development of new technologies via the Small Business Program and other new and innovative programs. In this role, DERA initiates and facilitates the development of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and other programs focused on emerging technologies of national importance in the areas of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders; serves as a focal point for the extramural research community for information about the NHLBI small business technology development opportunities; and facilitates strategic alliances between the federal and private sectors and other stakeholders. DERA disseminates the NHLBI vision of strategic technology development to the other NIH Institutes, Federal agencies, the small business and technology development communities, and private industry.
The Office of Committee Management (OCM) provides leadership, guidance, and resources to current and prospective committee members, the public, and those managing federal advisory committees at the NHLBI, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and the Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center (CC). The NHLBI OCM operates as a service center for the operational and administrative management, including ethics activities, of all NHLBI and client Institute Federal advisory committees that participate with the NHLBI Committee Management Service Center. It is also responsible for the administration of the NHLBI and client institute Scientific Review and Evaluation Activities (SREA) program, which provides the mechanism by which the members of the grant, cooperative agreement, and contract initial review committees are reimbursed. Lastly, the OCM Conference Management Team consults, plans, assists, and executes various types of meetings, symposia, workshops, and conferences.
The Office of Extramural Policy and Training (OEPT) promotes and supports effective and accountable leadership and stewardship of the Institute’s extramural research portfolio through the Initiative Development Process; generation of sound policies, procedures, and guidance; opportunities for training and enrichment of extramural staff; and the development and continuous evaluation of NHLBI’s extramural programs.
The Office of Grants Management (OGM) manages all business-related activities associated with the negotiation, award, and administration of grants and cooperative agreements within the NHLBI. OGM works directly with the grantee business official, principal investigator, and NHLBI review, financial management, and program staff to manage the Institute's research portfolio and provide timely and accurate awards. OGM ensures that both federal staff and grantees fulfill applicable statutory, regulatory, and administrative policy requirements. The Chief Grants Management Officer serves as the principal grants official for the NHLBI and provides leadership to the extramural community on grants policy, regulations, and guidelines for the submission, funding, and oversight of research grants.
The NHLBI Office of Scientific Review is the focal point for Institute-conducted initial scientific merit review of applications to support program projects, multi-center clinical trials, training and career development programs, research centers, and large trans-NIH programs such as the Regenerative Medicine Innovation Projects. The Office also provides technical merit review of research and development contract proposals. View the NHLBI Advisory and Peer Review Committee rosters.
The NHLBI Office of Translational Alliances and Coordination (OTAC) helps to accelerate the transition of new discoveries into innovative biomedical products to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart, lung, and blood disorders. OTAC coordinates the NHLBI Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, as well as two translational research initiatives directed at advancing new technologies from the university to the marketplace: the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) and the NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) programs. In addition, OTAC serves as a central point-of-contact for information about the NHLBI’s small business funding opportunities; facilitates alliances between the federal and private sector stakeholders; and offers resources and advisory services to support biomedical innovators.
The NHLBI Referral Office (RO) develops, implements, and manages procedures for assigning new applications to the NHLBI; re-assigning applications to and from other NIH Institutes and Centers; changing the locus of peer review of applications; and assigning non-standard application receipt dates. The RO handles about 12,000 applications annually and is the NHLBI primary point-of-contact with the Division of Receipt and Referral in the Center for Scientific Review. In addition, the RO is responsible publishing funding opportunity announcements for the Institute once initiatives have been approved by the NHLBAC.
The DERA's Office of the Director directs and coordinates all activities of the Division and serves as the focal point of contact with other NHLBI components, NIH Institutes, and external organizations in DERA-related areas.