OppNet Funding Uncertain
In October 2009, NIH launched OppNet, a five-year initiative to advance research in basic behavioral and social sciences research (bBSSR) relevant to NIH’s mission. With encouragement from Congress and backing from the former NIH Director, Dr. Raynard Kington, the cross-agency initiative was intended to “build a body of knowledge about the nature of behavior and social systems.”
Barely into its second year, funding for OppNet remains uncertain. The plan, as announced by NIH, was for the Office of the Director to pick up funding in the first year and for the Institutes, Centers, and Offices to contribute in years two through five as a percentage of their base appropriation. The first year’s funding was provided, but there is a great deal of uncertainty about FY 2011 funding in general as well as what it means for cross-agency initiatives such as OppNet. FABBS and other advocacy groups are working to assess IC commitment to funding the initiative.