APS campaign for basic research vs. clinical trials

Although APS members should have received this directly, others might want to also be aware of the current movement regarding NIH regulation of research. From Sarah Brookhart, APS:

Dear Colleague,

As you may be aware, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) wants to classify basic research with human subjects as clinical trials. (If you’re not familiar with this issue, here is some background.)

Besides being objectionable on principle, NIH’s proposal would be a huge step backward for basic psychological science and its potential to address the most pressing health problems facing people today. It also would present significant practical problems for basic researchers applying for NIH grants, and basic research would be subject to the same policies and requirements that apply to clinical trials.

You have an opportunity to tell NIH that basic research with human subjects is not clinical trials.

NIH has issued a Request for Information (RFI) that has doubled down on intentions to classify basic research with human subjects as clinical trials. APS has strongly objected to this in responding to the NIH RFI, which you can read online, but it is critical that you also submit your own objection.

You are welcome to copy, modify, and/or paste the [sample response obtainable from Joe], modeled after APS’s response, to use as your own. Here are the steps to follow to submit your own response:

  1. Read APS’s response to NIH’s RFI.
  2. Click this link to access NIH’s RFI. (Don’t be distracted by the title. This is not an issue of registering and reporting research studies.)
  3. Enter your comments (using the text below if you’d like to).
  4. Submit the RFI form as soon as possible, but prior to November 12, 2018.
  5. Forward this message to colleagues, students, and others; post your thoughts about the issue on social media.
  6. Share your response with me at sarah.brookhart@psychologicalscience.org

APS has repeatedly told NIH it should not consider basic research with human subjects to be clinical trials, and that policies should be designed with basic science in mind, rather than shoehorning basic behavioral science into a mold designed for clinical trials. Please make this point central in any response you provide to the NIH RFI.

Thank you for attending to this important matter. I would be happy to hear from you if you have any questions. Please email me at sarah.brookhart@psychologicalscience.org.