NIA and NICHD Advisory Councils Meet 

Advisory councils within the National Institute of Aging (NIA) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) held meetings in January. Advisory councils make financial, regulatory, and policy recommendations to the NIH directors to advance the institute’s mission, and they also design research grant concepts, referred to as concept clearances, related to their institution’s area of focus. 

In 2022, President Biden signed the omnibus spending package into law, providing $47.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health. NIA will receive $4.41 billion for the FY23, an increase of more than $187 million over the FY22 enacted level. NICHD will receive $1.75 billion, an increase of $66 million. For more information, see FABBS science funding dashboard here


The National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) within the National Institute of Aging  (NIA) met on January 18th and 19th. NACA meets three times a year to consider applications for research and training grants. The agenda included an update from the director, reports from members of NIA laboratories, and concept clearances. 

Kenneth Santora, Ph.D., director of the Division of Extramural activities, chaired the meeting. NIA Director Richard Hodes, M.D., presented the Director’s Status Report, in which he discussed FY23 budget increases for the institute. The Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR) and the Division of Neuroscience (DN) saw an increase in funding. The FY23 budget also funds  the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative. 

The Council approved several research concepts relevant to the behavioral sciences: “Behavioral and Social Research on the Role of Immigration on Life Course Health and Aging, Including Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD),” ”Leveraging Social Networks to Promote Widespread Individual Behavior Change,” and “Networks to Develop Behavioral and Social Science Research in Aging and AD/ADRD.” 

The council also noted an upcoming program within the NIA. Junior faculty and researchers new to the field of aging who are interested in health disparities research may also apply to the Butler-Williams Scholars Program. The program offers a variety of perspectives and seminars on health, behavior, and aging. Apply here by April 21st for the 2023 program happening virtually on August 23rd-25th. 


The National Advisory Child Health and Human Development (NACHHD) council met on January 24th and 25th. The meeting agenda featured updates and recommendations to improve research and support for diverse communities and families impacted by stillbirth, as well as progress updates regarding NICHD’s Strategies to Enrich Inclusion and Achieve Equity (STRIVE) initiative.  

Diana Bianchi, M.D., director of the NICHD, chaired the meeting and presented a status report on the FY23 NIH budget and updates on the institute’s Implementing a Maternal health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) Initiative, among other agenda items. Appropriations for the year include $180 million to the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, $10 million for research on developmental delays, and $15 million for research on the health impacts on children of technology and social media use, among others. FABBS sits on the executive committee of the Friends of NICHD and will continue to advocate for strong funding in FY24. 


During both advisory meetings, the NIA and NICHD councils also heard from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)’s inaugural director Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D., and deputy director Susan Monarez, Ph.D., who introduced the new agency. ARPA-H provides funding for non-traditional, high risk research opportunities that lead to equitable, proactive health solutions. Dr. Monarez was a featured speaker at the recent FABBS annual meeting; see her presentation here

FABBS has been actively engaged in the establishment of ARPA-H, attending multiple listening sessions and stakeholder meetings. See FABBS’ sign on letter in collaboration with APS and APA highlighting the need for inclusion of behavioral and social sciences within ARPA-H’s structure and staff.  

Advisory Council, ARPA-H, NIA, NICHD, NIH