AIS Exclusive: New OER Director Discusses Need for Evidence-Based Funding

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In the March 2016 issue of Atlantic Information Services’ Report on Research Compliance, new Office of Extramural Research Director Michael Lauer teases changes coming to funding decisions.

In an exclusive interview with Atlantic Information Services, Inc.’s (AIS) Report on Research Compliance (RRC), Michael Lauer, the new deputy director for extramural research and the director of the Office of Extramural Research (OER) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said the agency needs to move to a model of making funding decisions that is based more on “evidence.” The interview appears in RRC’s new March 2016 issue.

“It has been estimated that less than 1% of all federal government policies or programs are based on any reasonable degree of scientifically analyzed evidence. And we are working on changing that” at NIH, Lauer said. He also said NIH plans to address “unconscious bias” that can creep into its funding decisions and discussed the imperative for researchers to publish results of clinical trials.

“[F]or a university or a scientist to receive money, do work with that money and then never reveal to the world whatever happened with that and never say what they found or didn’t find is not an acceptable state of affairs,” Lauer said, adding that NIH will be adopting several new policies designed to bring research findings to light in a timely manner.

Lauer, the seventh OER director in NIH’s history but the first physician to hold the job, spoke to RRC in mid-February, four months after he was named to the post by NIH Director Francis Collins. OER oversees about $25 billion in extramural research and activities, as it consumes 83% of NIH’s total budget.

Visit to read the article in its entirety, which also details Lauer’s statement confirming that NIH plans to require the use of a single institutional review board (IRB) of record in multisite human subject research it funds.

About Report on Research Compliance
Report on Research Compliance is the only news source on research compliance created and written especially for college and university research administrators, and provides the best information there is to help institutions avoid the negative publicity, financial setbacks and management problems that compliance requirements can create. With offices located in downtown Washington, D.C., RRC is well-placed to track news from NIH, NSF and other agencies, Capitol Hill, and elsewhere. It addresses the issues of greatest concern to research compliance administrators, in critical areas such as security and biosafety, financial compliance, human subjects and scientific misconduct.

Editor Theresa Defino is well-versed in the ethical and compliance issues facing researchers and institutions, having worked for an academic medical center affiliated with a major Midwestern university and having written hundreds of articles based on research studies. A veteran health care journalist and writer, Theresa has been based in Washington, D.C., since 1989.

About AIS
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for nearly 30 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals and health systems, health insurance companies, medical group practices, purchasers of health insurance, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, databases, websites, looseleafs, strategic reports, directories, webinars and virtual conferences. Learn more at

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