Division of Extramural Activities

Dr. David Owen
David Owens, Ph.D.
Acting Director of the Division of Extramural Activities
The Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) oversees the policies and procedures that govern the NINDS extramural program and harmonizes activities across the extramural divisions. DEA is also responsible for the review of a subset of applications submitted to NINDS and for the process of awarding grants and cooperative agreements by the Institute. Finally, DEA organizes and oversees the meetings and working groups of the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council (NANDSC), which advises the Institute on policy and procedures affecting extramural research programs and provides the second level of review for all grants and cooperative agreement applications considered by the Institute for funding. 

Immediate Office

The Immediate Office of the Director oversees all the Offices and Branches of the Division as well as staff that coordinate receipt and scientific referral of grant applications submitted to the Institute and publication of funding opportunities in the NIH guide. In addition, the Immediate Office oversees and coordinates several crosscutting scientific programs including the P01, the R35, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.


The Division of Extramural Activities directs and coordinates the activities of the following NINDS entities.

Office of Research Quality
The Office of Research Quality, led by Dr. Shai Silberberg, promotes robust, high-quality scientific research by increasing attention to principles of good study design and transparent reporting. Meet the Office of Research Quality team.

Office of Programs to Enhance the Neuroscience Workforce (OPEN)
OPEN, led by Dr. Michelle Jones London, represents NINDS at all levels of NIH in matters pertaining to inclusion, equity, and diversity in the extramural biomedical workforce. OPEN develops and implements individual and institutional funding opportunities while working across the NINDS, Blueprint, and BRAIN scientific portfolios to promote a diverse scientific workforce in the neurosciences. OPEN develops training opportunities and organizes conferences, workshops, symposia, and professional development activities to enhance diversity in the neuroscience workforce. Meet the Office of Programs to Enhance the Neuroscience Workforce team.

Office of Training & Workforce Development 
The Office of Training & Workforce Development, led by Dr. Stephen Korn, develops, implements, and evaluates training & career development programs and activities to promote innovative, high-quality research training and excellence in mentorship. The goal of the Office is to build and sustain a workforce composed of well-trained neuroscientists with a wide range of perspectives equipped to drive discovery. Meet the Office of Training & Workforce Development team.

Scientific Review Branch
The Scientific Review Branch (SRB), led by Dr. William Lyons, provides unbiased, timely and expert peer review of grant applications and contract proposals, and provides advice and assistance to the NINDS extramural programs. The SRB is responsible for the review of all NINDS research and development contracts and certain grant applications of particular interest to NINDS. This includes various applications and grant mechanisms for which NINDS is specified in the NOFO, including the trans-NIH initiatives BRAIN, HEAL, ADRD and the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics program. Meet the Scientific Review Branch team.

Office of Research Operations and Analysis
The Office of Research Operations and Analysis, led by Dr. Anna Taylor, was established to ensure that: (1) the research activities of the extramural divisions are based on the results of rigorous scientific analysis; (2) extramural programs, activities, and communications are responsive to the evolving needs of the research community and are consistent and compliant with NIH regulations and grants policy; and that (3) NINDS research and administrative operations (i.e. programmatic, budget, grants management, and administrative processes) are coordinated and harmonized across the extramural scientific divisions. In meeting these objectives, the OROA is comprised of the Data Modeling and Analysis Branch, the Grants Management Branch, the Research Operations Branch, and the Extramural Administration Branch. Meet the Office of Research Operations and Analysis team.