NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science

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The activity aims at aligning EOSC Strategic with US NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science.

The NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science describes NIH’s Overarching Goals, Strategic Objectives, and Implementation Tactics for modernizing the NIH-funded biomedical data resource ecosystem. The NIH Plan develops eight strategic objectives. Adherence to FAIR principles is key to this strategy.

In this respect, this plan has important similarities with the EOSC Strategy.

Besides, the NIH Plan is being developed in parallel with other U.S. federal government strategies, such as the National Library of Medicine and The National Health Research IT policy agenda of The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

Building on the strategy, the Office of Data Science and other NIH bodies are already generating policy documents for data management and sharing.

Finally, the accessibility and availability of the NIH Office of Data Science team to make contacts and discuss potential collaborations and the high level of transparency in publicly consulted policies and open documentation make it feasible to develop open science policy alignment activities such as this one.

Objectives & Challenges

The objective is to identify the similarities and differences between the different levels of this Plan (General Objectives, Strategic Objectives, and Implementation Tactics) and the EOSC strategy, currently the EOSC SRIA. Once the similarities and differences have been identified through analysis of terms and concepts used and their semantic context, a set of actions for collaboration will be proposed.

One challenge is to ensure that the activity can absorb the dizzying changes taking place, for example, the requests for information from the NIH to update their plans or the transition that EOSC is undergoing towards growth and sustainability as set out in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).

The alignment in time is also fundamental since both plans are being developed with the proximity in time, but with differences.

Main Findings

Six top-level documents of interest have been identified and analyzed, four by NIH (and related Federal Government) and two by EOSC (EOSC SIP and EOSC SRIA).

Eight second-level documents of interest have been identified and analyzed, five by the NIH (and related Federal Government) and three by EOSC.

This activity has identified the similarities between the objectives formulated in each strategy and between the EOSC activities and the NIH implementation tactics. The concepts with the most intersections were FAIR and Sustainability.

Finally, the activity has allowed participating in the requests for information for the "Strategic Opportunities and Challenges for the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health" and the "NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research".


Main Recommendations

Based on the findings and the opportunities for collaboration that have been taken advantage of, the recommendations we propose to EOSC from this activity are as follows:

  • Promote a Memorandum of Understanding between NIH Data Science Office and the EOSC Association to develop a Joint Research Center for Data Science in SARS-COV-2 and Covid19.
  • Effective collaboration in the development of the HL7 FHIR4FAIR Implementation Guide, currently in progress. In this work, the participation of NIH and RDA is relevant.
  • Develop a common reward and expectation system for Health investigators to make data FAIR and ensure open-source data analysis tools are available.
  • Establish sustainability models for the availability of health data resources and services.