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NIH Has Made Strides in Reviewing Financial Conflicts of Interest in Extramural Research, But Could Do More

Extramural grants awarded to researchers working at universities and other institutions constitute more than 80 percent of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) $37 billion budget. These grantee institutions play a key role in protecting the integrity and security of U.S. biomedical research by managing their researchers' financial conflicts of interest and reporting significant conflicts to NIH, as required by regulation. Recently, the Director of NIH issued a statement expressing concern about the increasing risks to the security of intellectual property in its biomedical research enterprise. NIH stated that it is addressing these concerns, in part, by taking steps to improve accurate reporting of all financial interests. Grantee institutions must submit sufficient information that would enable NIH to both (1) understand the nature and extent of a researcher's financial conflict of interest and (2) assess the appropriateness of the grantee institution's plan to manage this conflict. The Departments of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law No. 115-245) and its Accompanying Report directed that OIG examine NIH's oversight of its grantees' compliance with NIH policies, including NIH efforts to ensure the integrity of its grant application and selection processes and to protect intellectual property derived from NIH-supported research. OIG will examine NIH's oversight and monitoring of the financial conflicts of interest reported by grantee institutions.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
Completed National Institutes of Health NIH Has Made Strides in Reviewing Financial Conflicts of Interest in Extramural Research, But Could Do More Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-03-19-00150 2019