The Office of AIDS Research (OAR), located within the NIH Office of the Director, coordinates the scientific, budgetary, legislative, and policy elements of NIH AIDS research. The NIH represents the largest and most significant public investment in AIDS research in the world. Our response to the epidemic requires a unique and complex multi-institute, multi-disciplinary, global research program. Perhaps no other disease so thoroughly transcends every area of clinical medicine and basic scientific investigation, crossing the boundaries of nearly every Institute and Center (IC). This diverse research portfolio demands an unprecedented level of scientific coordination and management of research funds to identify the highest priority areas of scientific opportunity, enhance collaboration, minimize duplication, and ensure that precious research dollars are invested effectively and efficiently. OAR sets the trans-NIH scientific priorities for this large and diverse program, which is conducted or supported by nearly every NIH Institute and Center. Through its unique comprehensive trans-NIH planning, budgeting, and portfolio assessment processes, OAR is enhancing collaboration and ensuring that research dollars are invested in the highest priority areas of scientific opportunity that will lead to new tools in the global fight against AIDS.
To carry out this mission, OAR has authority to:
- Plan, coordinate, and evaluate the large, complex, and multifaceted NIH AIDS research portfolio, which encompasses research projects supported by nearly every NIH IC. The major scientific areas of emphasis in the NIH AIDS research portfolio are: Natural History and Epidemiology; Etiology and Pathogenesis; Therapeutics; Vaccines; Behavioral and Social Science; Microbicides; Racial and Ethnic Minorities; Women and Girls; and Research in International Settings. Cross-cutting areas include Training, Capacity-building, and Infrastructure; and Information Dissemination.
- Develop an annual trans-NIH strategic plan for all HIV/AIDS research activities that guides the development of the AIDS research budget. The Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research is developed through a unique, comprehensive, rigorous, and collaborative process involving representatives from NIH ICs and other federal agencies; non-government experts from academia, foundations, industry; and community representatives. The Plan is used to: 1) frame the development of the NIH AIDS research budget; 2) determine the use of NIH AIDS-designated dollars; 3) track and monitor AIDS research expenditures; and 4) inform the public, the scientific community, Congress, and the AIDS-affected communities about the NIH AIDS research agenda.
- Formulate the annual trans-NIH AIDS research budget. Review and approve IC initiatives to ensure that funds are provided for projects and initiatives with the highest scientific priority, eliminating duplication, and assuring cross-Institute collaboration.
- Develop an annual Presidential By-Pass budget for AIDS research based solely on scientific opportunity.
- Identify emerging scientific opportunities and public health challenges that require focused attention; manage and facilitate multi-Institute and trans-Institute activities to address those needs; foster research by designating funds and supplements to jump-start or pilot program areas; sponsor reviews or evaluations of research program areas; and convene scientific workshops.
- Ensure that the NIH AIDS research portfolio is aligned with the highest priority AIDS research objectives, as articulated in the Plan, by conducting annual portfolio analyses. All expiring commitments funded with AIDS dollars are reviewed to identify projects no longer aligned with the highest AIDS research priorities, which can change over time due to scientific and clinical advances. Such projects that are no longer determined to be in accord with current priorities may not be funded using AIDS-designated dollars, although they may be funded by ICs with non-AIDS dollars.
- Track and monitor all NIH AIDS expenditures, including extramural, intramural and RMS, by scientific area and Plan objective.
- Convene the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council, and its associated working groups, including those that develop federal guidelines for treatment and prevention of HIV and its associated co-infections in adults, adolescents, and children.
- Facilitate international AIDS research and training.
More information about OAR can be found under the following headings:
- Director's Page
Information about and messages from OAR Director Jack Whitescarver, Ph.D.
The history of the NIH Office of AIDS Research.
- Strategic Plan
Each year, the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) develops a comprehensive trans-NIH research plan through a collaborative process involving broad input from government and non-government scientists and other experts from the United States and abroad.
- Organizational Chart
OAR organizational chart (HTML and PDF versions).
- Advisory Council
Information about the OAR Advisory Council (OARAC), including the Council roster, meeting dates, meeting minutes, and information on working groups and guidelines panels.
- Meetings and Events
sponsored by OAR
- Employee Directory
- Contact OAR