Strategic Goal 4: Enhance good stewardship of public funds by promoting and employing efficient and effective management practices.

NCATS is a steward of public resources, and, as such, has the responsibility to deploy those resources in the most effective manner. This requires not only supporting innovative research, but also fostering continuous improvement in its operations to improve scientific stewardship. NCATS will use efficient management practices and will work with its employees, awardees and partners throughout the government and beyond to leverage available resources toward the development and dissemination of medical interventions. 

Just as NCATS seeks to increase the efficiency and efficacy of translation, the Center places a high priority on continually assessing and optimizing its own internal operations. NCATS will continue to foster an open and collaborative working environment with flexible approaches to best address and manage scientific, operational, and administrative change. This includes optimizing internal organization and infrastructure, including technology systems, and encouraging innovative approaches to internal operating procedures. 

Example approaches:

  • Identify and solve common operational issues in the translational space to optimize use of public resources.
  • Continually assess and adapt NCATS’ organizational structure to optimally support evolving Center programs and their operations.
  • Develop and implement information technology infrastructure platforms to facilitate workflow and enhance internal operating procedures.
  • Use all available authorities, funding structures, and business models, and establish new ones to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in accomplishing organizational goals.

As a public science agency, NCATS is committed to using transparent, scientific approaches in support of the most meritorious science that furthers the Center’s mission. To fulfill this responsibility, NCATS emphasizes accountability using defined indicators of success. NCATS is committed to objective assessment of all efforts through the use of clear metrics and deliverables; promoting data collection and analysis; ensuring the consistent application of measurement criteria; and exploring new research funding mechanisms and opportunities that optimize the impact of team science. This will advance NCATS’ mission in an innovative, collaborative and data-driven manner.

Example approaches:

  • Ensure results-based accountability of translational science programs using defined indicators of success.
  • Measure, actively manage, and report on the impact of NCATS-funded projects and programs.
  • Use robust data collection and analysis methods to guide data-driven decision making.

Collaborative efforts across NCATS’ programs leverage complementary expertise and tools, reduce redundancy, and ensure the best science is being conducted in the most efficient manner. Strategic alignment of NCATS’ scientific initiatives will continue to be reinforced by the creation of unique project teams that address scientific, administrative and management priorities in support of the Center’s objective of capitalizing on all available opportunities to accelerate translational science.

Example approaches:

  • Identify opportunities for complementarity between NCATS intramural and extramural programs to take advantage of their distinct strengths and increase efficiency.
  • Explore use of novel funding, program management and awards management approaches to support the best translational science.
  • Facilitate collaborative efforts among NCATS extramural programs to leverage resources and harmonize best practices.

Dissemination is a key principle of NCATS’ mission as a catalyst of translational science. NCATS will maximize the impact of the Center’s translational science efforts by proactively creating and sharing resources, methodologies, operational models, tools and data, as well as resources designed to facilitate sharing and collaboration. NCATS also promotes a culture of sharing and transparency among its grantees and staff, which fosters the trust and creativity on which team-based translational innovation is built, thus maximizing productivity and enhancing stewardship.

Example approaches:

  • Share databases, repositories and templates for establishing collaborations, guidelines, best practices and other material resources to empower the larger scientific community and facilitate crowdsourcing of ideas and solutions.
  • Encourage NCATS-supported researchers to develop dissemination plans that engage community, patient, and other relevant stakeholders in their projects.
  • Develop new approaches for sharing translational research results and resources for public use and benefit.