Policy Support for NIH's Division of Biomedical Research
National Institutes of Health/Office of Extramural Research/Division of Biomedical Research Workforce
Large organizations face numerous challenges when implementing crucial policy changes, particularly when stakeholders have diverse interests. When NIH’s Division of Biomedical Research Workforce (DBRW) needed to better understand their stakeholders’ needs and challenges before implementing policy changes, Ripple Effect provided critical support by facilitating meetings, convening stakeholder focus groups, gathering data through literature reviews and surveys, and developing meaningful plans and recommendations to measure impact. Ripple Effect’s knowledge of NIH programs and policies has helped organize, assess, and plan to help DBRW achieve their goals.
Ripple Effect began by generating and maintaining momentum among groups of expert stakeholders. We customized meeting facilitation processes to boost engagement and productivity, and assumed support duties by drafting agendas, capturing notes, tracking all action items, and creating a central SharePoint hub to store all committee information and assets. This took time-consuming tasks off of clients’ plates, and ensured they were able to focus on their most critical objectives. When it became clear that the committee’s recommendations required more supporting data, we designed an NIH-wide survey and focus groups with subject matter experts to gather the results they needed.
Our team’s technical expertise in biomedical workforce issues allowed us to provide comprehensive support for several interrelated DBRW efforts. We analyzed and returned the survey and focus group results via a custom-designed white paper and accompanying PowerPoint presentation to allow DBRW to share recommendations with NIH leadership. We reduced burden on DBRW staff, as our support allowed them to focus on critical decision making and coalition-building with stakeholders in and outside of NIH. Ripple Effect’s focus on the big picture, while handling all the small details, supported NIH’s commitment to building a diverse biomedical research workforce and provided a cost-effective solution for the government.