Skip to main content

April 19, 2023: NCATS’ New Strategic Plan Will Chart a Path for Realizing Our Audacious Goals

Last year, I laid out a set of audacious goals for the next 10 years to support NCATS’ vision of more treatments for all people more quickly. These goals will be our guide for building the center’s next strategic plan, and we need your help.

NCATS’ mission is to turn research observations into health solutions through translational science. We define translational science as the field that generates scientific and operational innovations that solve long-standing challenges along the translational research pipeline. Over the past decade, we have addressed many of these research bottlenecks through our programs and initiatives that leverage principles of effective translational science.

As we strive for our audacious goals, we must work even better and more efficiently. The NCATS strategic plan will be an important tool for doing that. The plan will reflect NCATS’ priorities, and I hope many of yours.

Our translational science community has always been the key to our success, and we want to work with you to co-build a plan for NCATS’ future that we can all support and carry forward. We would like input on meaningful and measurable ways we can make our audacious goals a reality.

During the strategic planning process, we will explore how data science; policy development; team science; training; diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and other cross-cutting areas can help NCATS make a bigger impact in support of more treatments for all people more quickly. Your input also will help us identify what is missing from our current portfolio, where we need to do better, and how we measure success.

While the strategic plan will cover 2024-2029, it also will support our decadal goals by including ideas for longer-term efforts that we could start within this 5-year timeframe. We want to tackle big problems in translation, so our plan needs to be flexible. It must allow us to “fail forward” and adjust any approaches that are not working. Similarly, we might need to pivot to address emerging concerns as we did during the COVID-19 pandemic or find translational science solutions for new or unmet needs with great potential to improve health.

Hearing from you now will help inform what we do in the future, so please make your voice heard by attending one of our strategic planning roundtable discussions:

  • Tuesday, May 9, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. EDT
  • Wednesday, May 10, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. EDT

These will be the first of different opportunities to guide the NCATS strategic plan. We are planning discussions with the NCATS Advisory Council at the public meeting on May 25 and will post a request for information this summer. The final plan will be launched early next year.

For real-time strategic planning updates via email, please sign up for my stakeholder listserv.

Your partner in science and health,

Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D.
Director
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences