About the NIH Common Fund
Initiated in 2004 as the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, the Common Fund was enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act to support cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs that require participation by at least two NIH ICs or would otherwise benefit from strategic planning and coordination. This Act created the Common Fund as a separate appropriation and the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives within the NIH Office of the Director to provide stable and ongoing support and coordination for programs. This has allowed the NIH to continue to think strategically about the future of biomedical research and provided the opportunity to develop unique programs that could not be supported via traditional mechanisms.
In 2014, the Roadmap/Common Fund commemorated “A Decade of Discovery.” Please visit our Commemoration page for a book celebrating the history and achievements of the Common Fund, a Science article from NIH and Common Fund leadership, and videos submitted by Common Fund awardees showcasing their research.History of the NIH Common Fund History of the NIH Common Fund
Who we are:
The NIH Common Fund is a funding entity within the NIH that supports bold scientific programs that catalyze discovery across all biomedical and behavioral research. These programs create a space where investigators and multiple NIH Institutes and Centers collaborate on innovative research expected to address high priority challenges for the NIH as a whole and make a broader impact in the scientific community.
What we do:
- We make substantial investments in time-limited, goal-driven programs in order to change significantly the trajectory of biomedical research
- Our programs accelerate emerging science, enhance the biomedical research workforce, remove research roadblocks, and support high-risk high-reward science in ways that no other entity is likely or able to do
- We gather diverse input from NIH leadership, staff, and the broad biomedical research community to plan our programs
- We assemble consortia of multidisciplinary, innovative research who collaborate to tackle a shared, ambitious goal
- We manage our programs in partnership with nominated experts from the NIH Institutes and Centers
- We design our programs so that each deliverable will spur subsequent biomedical advances that otherwise would not be possible without our strategic investment
How we categorize our programs' goals:
The goals of Common Fund programs align with three general categories, each outlined in the graphic below.
Are you interested in learning more about the NIH Common Fund? Watch the "What is the NIH Common Fund" video to view a visual representation of our goals, programs, and mission.About the NIH Common Fund About the NIH Common Fund
The NIH Common Fund is managed by the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) within the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Coordination in the NIH Office of the Director (OD). The Office of the Director is the central office at NIH, and is responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components.
How the NIH Common Fund Fits Into NIH How the the NIH Common Fund Fits Into NIH
All NIH Common Fund programs meet a series of criteria in order to support its mission.
NIH Common Fund programs are:
- Transformative: Programs are expected to have exceptionally high and broadly applicable impact
- Catalytic, Short Term and Goal-driven: Programs must achieve a goal and produce deliverables within 5-10 years
- Synergistic/Enabling: Programs should be value-added to the NIH ICs
- Cross-Cutting: Programs should address complex issues that require trans-NIH teams to design and manage
- Novel: Programs should provide new solutions to specific challenges
Criteria for NIH Common Fund Programs Criteria for NIH Common Fund Programs
Learn more about Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC) and stewardship of the Common Fund
View all NIH Common Fund programs
This page last reviewed on October 13, 2022