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Research & Funding
HEI is dedicated to first-rate science from defining the goals through reviewing the results. The projects that HEI funds either provide scientific information of direct and immediate regulatory relevance, or pave the way for developing such information. Two independent committees, the Research Committee and the Review Committee, work in an environment uniquely structured to foster the necessary separation between selecting and overseeing research on the one hand and critically reviewing results on the other. This separation permits HEI to fund and guide research, as well as to provide credible peer review of that same research.
Every five years, HEI develops a Strategic Plan that lays out the main areas of focus for its research program, with a timeline for completing steps for specific research programs that are outlined in the plan. Subsequently, HEI develops a series of Requests for Applications (RFAs) during the next 5 years. HEI often holds workshops to discuss the latest research directions and science questions during RFA development.
Researchers can apply for funding in response to one of the main RFAs. HEI also regularly issues open-ended Requests for Preliminary Applications (RFPAs) for innovative, high quality research that falls outside the topics covered in the major RFAs.
Research funded by HEI is on a contractual basis and projects are renewed anually. HEI provides intensive oversight through evaluation of progress reports and site visits. Any change in direction of a project requires input and sign-off by the Research Committee. After study completion, the researcher(s) provide a detailed account of their multi-year project in a final report that is sent out for peer review and thorougly evaluated by the HEI Review Commttee. The Review Committee develops a Commentary to highlight strengths and weaknesses of the project and put it in regulatory perspective; the Commentary is published together with the Investigators' Report.