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Clinical Trials Stewardship

Revised May 2017

In October 2016, NIH launched a multifaceted effort to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical trials, an effort that is focused on a variety of key points along the “lifespan” of a clinical trial. “These initiatives will reengineer the process by which clinical investigators develop ideas for new trials, how NIH reviews and selects clinical trials for support and oversees the progress of the research and how results and aggregate data are shared broadly and rapidly. Specifically, these changes are aimed at enhancing the application and award processes, increasing NIH’s ability to assess the merits and feasibility of clinical trial applications; improving oversight and transparency; and increasing the sharing of clinical trial results. In combination, these initiatives are intended to ensure rigor and efficiency in the US clinical trial enterprise.” (JAMA. 2016; 316(13):1353-1354).

  • NIH Definition of Clinical Trial (Updated 2014): A clinical trial is a research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.  For more information, please refer to the Notice of Revised NIH Definition of “Clinical Trial” or NIH Office of Science Policy.

Good Clinical Practice Training

NIH Policy establishes Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training (Effective January 1, 2107) expectation that all NIH-funded investigators and clinical trial staff who are involved in the conduct, oversight, or management of clinical trials as well as NIH staff who design, oversee, manage or conduct clinical trials be trained in GCP, consistent with principles of the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) E6.

Registering and Reporting Clinical Trials: ClinicalTrials.gov

New HHS rule and NIH policy (Effective January 18, 2017) specifying requirements for clinical trial registration and summary results information reporting affects all NIH-funded clinical trials. Under the NIH Policy, all clinical trials funded in whole or in part by NIH, regardless of study phase or type of intervention will be expected to register at ClinicalTrials.gov and report findings. Read the summary

Funding Opportunity Announcements for Clinical Trials

Starting with application receipt dates on or after January 25, 2018, NIH will require that all applications involving one or more clinical trials be submitted through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) specifically designed for clinical trials. This means that, after this date, applications planning a clinical trial that are submitted to a non-clinical trial FOA will be returned without review.

This page was last updated May 2017

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