Strategic Planning at NIEHS: Your Input Requested!

The “Dear Colleague” message below is from Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  Please take a moment to read through and visit the links she mentions.

Dear Colleague,

The NIEHS has just begun the process of updating our Strategic Plan.

As a first step in this process, we have launched a new Visionary Ideas website to invite the input of key stakeholders in this critically important effort.  The website is designed to encourage a virtual dialogue across the global environmental health sciences community on issues and approaches for better understanding the role of the environment in human health.  It is possible to submit, vote on, or comment on Visionary Ideas, as well as discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for NIEHS.

The Visionary Ideas website can be accessed through the NIEHS homepage or directly at

Visionary Ideas are those broad-based and high level ideas that will help shape the vision and strategic goals for NIEHS over the next five years. They could relate to all aspects of current or future work supported by NIEHS and may even refer back to specific goals or objectives of the past strategic plan for the institute

They may include concepts that connect with any aspect of basic, clinical, epidemiological, or translational research/practice, but in all cases should relate back to how a better understanding the environment has the potential to positively impact human health.

The Strategic Plan web site also has more details about the timelines and process that we will be using for updating the strategic plan. As part of the process we will be hosting a three day Stakeholder Community Workshop July 12-14 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For this workshop, we will invite a broadly composed group of about 200 key stakeholders to engage in a discussion on visionary ideas for updating the strategic plan.

I encourage you to nominate yourself or a colleague to participate in the workshop by choosing “nominate workshop participant” on the Strategic Plan website at

I am inviting you to step back, take a broad view, think strategically and participate in the process by contributing your visionary ideas and making a nomination for the Stakeholder Community Workshop in July.  The Visionary Ideas website will be active through April 30.

The sooner we receive your ideas, the more time other visitors to the website will have to vote and comment on them, so it is best to provide your input as early as you can.  Many thanks for your ongoing interest and commitment to NIEHS; we are relying on your participation to help create a forward-looking strategic plan to guide our research in these exciting and challenging times.


Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S.

Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program