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NIOSH Thanks National Academies Committee for Review, Recommendations on Research Planning


NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 245-0645
August 27, 2009

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) thanks a prestigious committee of the National Academies for the committee’s report, “Evaluating Occupational Health and Safety Research Programs: Framework and Next Steps.” The National Academies released a pre-publication copy of the report on August 25.

The report by the Committee for the Review of NIOSH Research Programs culminates a long process in which independent scientific panels convened by the National Academies conducted in-depth reviews of NIOSH research programs in eight program areas. The process began in 2005 at NIOSH’s request. The Committee for the Review of NIOSH Research Programs established the overall framework in which the eight study panels conducted their individual reviews by subject area.

The new report assesses the overall review process and identifies lessons learned through the experience. It also makes recommendations relevant to future program evaluations, based on those lessons learned. The pre-publication copy of the report is available online from the National Academies at

“Review by the National Academies is the gold standard of independent scientific assessment,” said NIOSH Acting Director Christine M. Branche, Ph.D. “NIOSH again wishes to express its appreciation for the hard work by all involved, including the staff of the National Academies, the members of the framework committee and the members of the review committees in the eight subject areas, NIOSH staff, and other stakeholders who have contributed to this intensive process.”

Dr. Branche added, “We look forward to reviewing the committee’s findings and recommendations with our diverse partners. This was an unprecedented effort for NIOSH, in terms of the design, scale, and intensity of the evaluation. As we would expect, we and our partners have learned much from the process. We are gratified that, overall, the report reflects well on NIOSH’s commitment to partnership, transparency, and accountability in its research planning. We also hope that the process offers a useful model for other agencies that may consider similar independent evaluations.”

The report identifies four general areas in which the committee recommended that NIOSH build on improvements to date: ongoing program evaluation, translation of research into practice, injury and illness surveillance, and integration of extramural and intramural research. Further improvements in these aspects and elements of research would provide additional information and clarity about NIOSH’s research planning, and that in turn would further enhance the ability of external reviewers to evaluate NIOSH’s research programs, the report suggested. NIOSH will review the recommendations closely. NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

More information about NIOSH can be found at Further information about the National Academies’ research program reviews, including findings and recommendations by the eight program-specific review committees, can be found at