Division of Comparative Medicine


This Request for Information (RFI) from the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) invites feedback from researchers in academia and industry, health care professionals, patient advocates and health advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and other interested members of the public on the scope of its programs and possible future directions to maximize the benefits of those programs. Individual investigators are strongly urged to reply. Specific organizations, such as advocacy or professional groups are encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of their organization and membership as a whole.


The Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) within ORIP has a long history of supporting research and resource programs which enable scientists to develop, characterize, and improve models of human disease involving animals, cells, and bioinformatics. DCM also sponsors mentored individual and institutional research training and early career development programs for scientists with a veterinary degree. Information about these programs can be found at https://orip.nih.gov/comparative-medicine.

The Division of Construction and Instruments (DCI; https://orip.nih.gov/construction-and-instruments) within ORIP supports improvements of research infrastructure by enabling access to state-of-the-art shared instruments and by modernizing animal and other biomedical research facilities. ORIP’s shared instrumentation program (“the S10 Program”; https://orip.nih.gov/construction-and-instruments/s10-instrumentation-programs) supports acquisitions of commercially available state-of-the-art instruments that enable and advance NIH-funded research. These instruments are too expensive for a single researcher to own and operate and must be used on a shared basis. Historically, the biomedical facilities construction program (C06; https://orip.nih.gov/construction-and-instruments/extramural-construction-programs), when funding is available, supports modernization of existing research facilities and construction of new biomedical research spaces advancing science and providing long-term impact and shared benefit to the broad scientific community.

Submitting a Response

All responses must be submitted electronically through this form by February 7, 2020. Responses to this RFI are voluntary. The submitted information will be reviewed by NIH staff and may be made available to the public. Submitted information will not be considered confidential. Responses are welcome from associations and professional organizations as well as individual stakeholders.

This request is for information and planning purposes and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation of the Federal Government or NIH. No funding will be made based on responses to this Request for Information. The information submitted will be analyzed and may be used in reports or presentations. Those who respond are advised that NIH is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of your comments or provide comments on your submission. No proprietary, classified, confidential and/or sensitive information should be included in your response. The NIH and the government reserve the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any future solicitation(s).

Information Requested

Please provide your perspective on any of the following topics as they relate to the mission and program areas of DCM (https://orip.nih.gov/comparative-medicine) with the aim of guiding the major objectives of ORIP for the next five years. Comments can include one or more of the following areas but are not limited to these areas:

Animal Resources and Biomaterials (DCM)

Gaps, challenges, and opportunities that can be effectively addressed by the development of new animal models and related biomaterials and "omic" tools for characterization and understanding of disease-related biological processes

2500 characters max

Ways in which ORIP can identify the need for and then implement methods to improve the viability, utility, and access to new and existing animal models, related biomaterials resources, and services

2500 characters max

Animal model use-related resources and biomaterials/reagents which require creation of centralized repositories/resources for wide distribution

2500 characters max

Role of informatic resources that integrate various types of data, including genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, imaging, or phenotypic data, to define the limitations of and improve the value of animal models for biomedical research

2500 characters max

Role of ORIP in promoting development of disease models or resources needed for trans-NIH research and programs, such as AIDS, Women’s Health, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, and the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative

2500 characters max

Measures of the impact and effectiveness of animal and biomaterials resources supported by ORIP

2500 characters max

Approaches to improve the rigor and reproducibility of animal models of human health and disease, including how those models should be validated

2500 characters max

Training (DCM)

Challenges and opportunities that should be considered for research training and career development programs targeting veterinarians or veterinary students wishing to pursue biomedical research careers

2500 characters max

Challenges and opportunities related to the integration and retention of veterinary scientists into the biomedical research enterprise

2500 characters max

Metrics (in addition to publications and NIH grant awards) to consider when evaluating the success of ORIP’s training programs (T, F, K grants and L awards) designed to support veterinarians wishing to pursue biomedical research careers

2500 characters max

To provide information related to The Division of Construction and Instruments (DCI) please visit this page: https://orip.nih.gov/SPRFIDCI

Please direct all DCM related inquiries to:

Stephanie Murphy, VMD, PhD, Director
Division of Comparative Medicine
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)
Telephone: 301-435-0744
Email: stephanie.murphy@nih.gov