Responding to Requests for Information (RFIs)

Why Respond to RFIs?
These decisions will impact the ability to conduct rigorous research in areas such as health, quality of life, and wellbeing. If we do not communicate when we have the opportunity, we would be likely to revisit the issue later on.

Also, federal agencies need to have input on decisions they’re making on the record. They often ask for different perspectives on specific policies since RFIs can identify blind spots in their policies.

FABBS responds on behalf of the community or shares opportunities for the community to respond. Depending on what the RFI says, we’ll think of what’s more important – broad community response or multiple similar responses.

Open Opportunities to Connect with Agencies

The Federal Register 

  • Stores documents such as rules, regulations, current Presidential proclamations, executive orders, federal agency regulations having general applicability and legal effect, proposed agency rules, and documents required by statute to be published 

  • Opportunity to submit comments for rulemaking in independent and executive agencies of the federal government

Some agencies also accept comments by mail, fax, or email.


  • Make sure you are very familiar with the regulation before you submit a comment
  • Include the regulation name and docket ID number in the heading
  • Establish your expertise and background
  • Be clear and concise – no jargon
Example: Transition Memo to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
FABBS contributed to this memo to offer some insight to the OSTP in the transition to the Biden Administration. This is a successful example of a response to an RFI because many of our priorities have been reflected in his work. For example, the Biden Administration has been receptive to increasing funding for the NIH and NSF and proposed new expansions to each, namely the NSF Directorate for Innovation, Translation and Partnerships (TIP) and the NIH Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Also, the Biden Administration followed through protecting scientific integrity by clarifying rules about scientific collaboration internationally and creating a White House task force.