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Who should I reach out to if I have questions about NINR’s Strategic Plan?

For general questions, or to ask NINR’s Director, Dr. Shannon Zenk, to speak to your organization about our strategic plan, please email the NINR Infoline

For those with studies that are currently funded by NINR or who are planning to submit a grant to NINR, please reach out to NINR’s program officers with questions about specific grants or research topics.

Why did NINR change direction from past Strategic Plans?

This strategic plan represents what some may consider a change in approach for NINR-supported science, and the plan itself may look somewhat different than strategic plans from other research agencies. This overall change in approach was deliberate.

Although NINR’s past strategic plans have focused narrowly on a few topics, continuing to do so would limit the opportunities that nurse scientists have to make a difference and prevent the field from realizing its full potential to achieve significant impact. Instead, we want to give investigators the space to propose new and innovative research ideas that, as viewed through the research lenses, have the potential to solve our nation’s most pressing health challenges, rapidly respond to emerging health issues, and improve the health, lives, and living conditions of all individuals, families, communities, and populations.

These changes were made with the recognition that the persistence and magnitude of health inequities in the United States calls for an approach that fully leverages the strengths of nursing research, which excels at cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches that utilize nursing’s expertise in biological, behavioral, social, and public health sciences; nursing’s values of social justice, holism, coordination, and collaboration; and nursing’s contextualized perspective of people’s lived experiences. Learn more about NINR’s new approach.

How did NINR involve the nursing research community in the development of the Strategic Plan?

NINR sought extensive feedback from the nursing research community throughout the development process for the purposes of informing the strategic plan. Learn more about our multi-phased, iterative development approach.

What are NINR’s plans for training programs?

NINR is committed to supporting the training of nurse scientists in methodologies, strategies, and research approaches and will develop new training programs consistent with NINR’s guiding principles and research lenses. Training could include but would not be limited to: individual and institutional research fellowships; career development awards; scientific seminars, workshops, and symposia; and short courses in relevant research methodologies. Sign up for e-mail updates to be the first to learn about new training opportunities.

My research is on maternal health. How does that fit within a research lens?

NINR’s strategic plan allows for a broad range of research on topics that are viewed through at least one of our research lenses and that follows our guiding principles. Although not intended to guide research proposals, the following hypothetical examples illustrate how the lenses might apply to the topic of maternal health: 

  • Research under the health equity lens might look at how structural factors, like access to paid maternity leave, influence maternal health. 
  • Research under the social determinants of health lens might consider how traumatic experiences are passed down from mother to child through biological embedding. 
  • Research under the population and community health lens might look at how improving green space in urban communities affects maternal health outcomes. 
  • Research under the prevention and health promotion lens might consider how encouraging healthy behaviors among women of child-bearing age could prevent maternal morbidity and mortality.  
  • Research under the systems and models of care lens might investigate how integrated models of care improve uptake of prenatal care among people who are pregnant. 

The lenses may also be combined. For example, research through both the social determinants of health and the systems and models of care lenses might look at how to improve prenatal care through delivery models that provide care at locations that are easily accessible by public transportation.

Investigators are encouraged to consider how the research lenses might apply to their own topics and should contact their program officers for guidance.

What are strategic imperatives and how can I find out more about them?

Strategic imperatives are pressing health needs and emerging areas of interest where we believe NINR-supported science can make a difference. NINR will identify new strategic imperatives by regularly engaging internal and external groups, including the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research. New imperatives may also emerge from the NIH Strategic Plan and NIH leadership, the HHS Strategic Plan, Administration priorities, and importantly, through collaborations with other NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. As strategic imperatives are identified, they will be added to the strategic plan and will serve as the basis for new NINR research and training initiatives. NINR will issue Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) on specific topics when new strategic imperatives are identified. Sign up for e-mail updates to be the first to learn about new FOAs.

Will you have printed copies or a PDF available to download?

NINR has published the strategic plan as web content because this format is best suited to keeping the plan as a living document. This also ensures that the strategic plan aligns with federal requirements and best practices for accessibility. Although NINR does not plan to print copies or publish a PDF of its strategic plan, we do have a PDF available for download of the research framework.