Excerpt: In order to ensure the integrity of NIH grant processes, prevent future breakdowns in NIH grant decision-making, and advance the critical research related to head trauma and sports related injuries, the committee leaders pose five questions for potential examination by the independent HHS watchdog:
- Why didn’t the NIH require the NFL to pay pursuant to the terms of the agreement?
- If the actions of the NFL or its advisors were clearly inappropriate, as the Democratic staff report concludes, why did NIH and FNIH engage with representatives of the League and perpetuate the impression that the dialogue was appropriate? If confronted with inappropriate conduct by a donor, what are NIH’s responsibilities to flag and address such behavior?
- Did NIH adhere to the terms of the MOU regarding donor communications?
- What are NIH policies for the control of non-public information, including information related to Notice of Grant Awards, as well as non-funded grant proposals? Were they followed in this series of events?
- How does NIH evaluate conflicts of interest between applicants and donors in public-private partnership grant programs such as SHRP?
To read the letter online, click here.