Notice Number:  NOT-NS-19-060

Key Dates:

Release Date: April 30

Response Date: July 30

Related Announcements:  None

Issued by:

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

Fogarty International Center (FIC)


The spinal cord injury (SCI) research community has experienced great advances in discovery research, technology development, and promising clinical interventions in the past decade. To build upon these advances and maximize the benefit to persons with SCI, the NIH hosted a conference February 12-13, 2019 titled “SCI 2020: Launching a Decade of Disruption in Spinal Cord Injury Research”. The purpose of the conference was to bring together a broad range of stakeholders including researchers, clinicians and health care professionals, individuals with SCI, industry partners, regulators, and funding agency representatives to break down existing communication silos. The participants were asked to critically evaluate the state of the science, assess areas of technological and community readiness, and build collaborations that could change the trajectory of research and clinical options for people with SCI.

Six primary sessions featured brief presentations of recent scientific advances and critical research questions for the future. Facilitators and audience participation were encouraged to identify opportunities and areas for collaboration. The North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium and other public members provided personal context of individuals living with SCI to defining future research priorities. In five final breakout sessions, stakeholders discussed and identified key gaps and priorities for SCI research in the next decade. The open sessions for both days of the conference can be viewed at https://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=30194&bhcp=1 and https://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=30198&bhcp=1.

Information Requested:

The NIH Institutes above are soliciting comments and suggestions on the top priorities identified in the five SCI 2020 breakout sessions as summarized below. The collated responses will be shared with the public and will be included in a meeting summary document prepared in collaboration with the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (https://msktc.org/about). The NIH Institutes encourage input from all interested stakeholders, including researchers, clinicians and health care providers, individuals with SCI, patient advocates and health advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, as well as other interested members of the public. Responders to this RFI are also encouraged to provide input on how the research and research capacity building in the priority areas may be adopted in low resource settings including low- and middle-income countries. Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of their organization and membership.