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Open Recommendations (17 total)

Data Science: NIH Needs to Implement Key Workforce Planning Activities

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9 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH reassesses its data science competency and staffing needs periodically. (Recommendation 3)
Open
In December 2023, NIH stated that its working group of senior mission support personnel and data science subject matter experts was addressing this recommendation. The agency stated it would provide a status of the group's efforts in June 2024.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH requires reporting to agency leadership on progress made in addressing data science competency and staffing gaps. (Recommendation 9)
Open
In December 2023, NIH stated that its working group of senior mission support personnel and data science subject matter experts was addressing this recommendation. The agency stated it would provide a status of the group's efforts in June 2024.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH establishes a comprehensive data science workforce planning process that addresses the shortfalls noted in this report. (Recommendation 1)
Open
In December 2023, NIH stated that its working group of senior mission support personnel and data science subject matter experts was addressing this recommendation. The agency stated it would provide a status of the group's efforts in June 2024.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH implements strategies and plans to address identified gaps in data science competencies and staffing. (Recommendation 6)
Open – Partially Addressed
In December 2023, NIH reported actions it had taken and others it was planning to take to enhance its data science workforce. For example, in July 2023, NIH released a new Hiring Paths, Recruitment, & Incentives Playbook for hiring managers and human resource liaisons. The playbook outlines the numerous hiring paths (i.e., legal authorities), recruitment strategies, and incentives available at NIH. In addition, the agency issued a new GS-1560 (i.e., data scientist) standard position description and job analysis that can be used by hiring managers and human resource liaisons. NIH also launched the use of the OPM Agency Talent Portal to hiring managers and human resource liaisons. According to NIH, the tool offers targeted recruitment services and provides the ability to find talented data science personnel and invite them to apply to vacant jobs. NIH also stated that it plans to, among other things, build a data science workforce SharePoint site that houses sample position descriptions, job analyses, recruitment/outreach strategies, workforce planning and training guides, and other related information to help meet data science workforce needs. NIH's strategies and plans, however, are not linked to gaps in competencies and staffing because the agency is still working to identify these gaps. We will continue to monitor NIH's efforts to implement the recommendation.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH analyzes its workforce to identify gaps in data science competencies and staffing. (Recommendation 4)
Open
In December 2023, NIH stated that it had created a Data Science Workforce Working Group composed of data science experts and human resource professionals to implement its data science workforce efforts. The agency stated that a subgroup charged with addressing organizational factors had begun an analysis of the data science workforce to include metrics that would identify workforce gaps. NIH stated that the analysis would recommend strategies to identify workforce gaps in training and development, competencies, recruitment, and succession planning opportunities. NIH also stated that the subgroup was creating a change management plan to address workforce gaps including the need for an NIH-wide data science workforce strategy, defining, and communicating career path opportunities, better shared infrastructure and tools to support cross-NIH collaboration, and communicating new strategies for recruiting data scientists. We will continue to monitor NIH's efforts to address the recommendation.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH documents new time frames to complete the guidance its staff will need to assess data management and sharing plans, and ensure that the guidance is implemented. (Recommendation 10)
Open – Partially Addressed
We reported that NIH had delayed its plans for issuing its guidance for staff to implement the Data Management and Sharing Policy (DMS Policy) several times since July 2021. In February 2023, NIH issued the guidance, along with an associated list of checklist questions that program and grants management officials must complete to assess compliance with the DMS Policy, and an optional decision support tool for NIH program staff. In December 2023, NIH stated that these resources were being continually revised to ensure they are timely and clearly communicate to staff their responsibilities in implementing the DMS Policy. NIH also stated it was in the process of implementing the DMS Policy in the Research Performance Progress Report, with a target completion date of May 2024. The agency noted that it would then update the associated, non-competing checklists to implement the DMS and genomic data sharing policy compliance for continuation awards. We will continue to monitor the status of NIH's actions to address this recommendation.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH develops staffing requirements for the data science workforce. (Recommendation 2)
Open
In December 2023, NIH stated that its working group of senior mission support personnel and data science subject matter experts was addressing this recommendation. The agency stated it would provide a status of the group's efforts in June 2024.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH develops and tracks metrics to monitor the agency's progress in addressing data science competency and staffing gaps. (Recommendation 7)
Open
In December 2023, NIH stated that its working group of senior mission support personnel and data science subject matter experts was addressing this recommendation. The agency stated it would provide a status of the group's efforts in June 2024.
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH develops specific strategies and plans to address identified gaps in data science competencies and staffing. (Recommendation 5)
Open – Partially Addressed
In December 2023, NIH reported actions it had taken and others it was planning to take to enhance its data science workforce. For example, in July 2023, NIH released a new Hiring Paths, Recruitment, & Incentives Playbook for hiring managers and human resource liaisons. The playbook outlines the numerous hiring paths (i.e., legal authorities), recruitment strategies, and incentives available at NIH. In addition, the agency issued a new GS-1560 (i.e., data scientist) standard position description and job analysis that can be used by hiring managers and human resource liaisons. NIH also launched the use of the OPM Agency Talent Portal to hiring managers and human resource liaisons. According to NIH, the tool offers targeted recruitment services and provides the ability to find talented data science personnel and invite them to apply to vacant jobs. NIH also stated that it plans to, among other things, build a data science workforce SharePoint site that houses sample position descriptions, job analyses, recruitment/outreach strategies, workforce planning and training guides, and other related information to help meet data science workforce needs. NIH's strategies and plans, however, are not linked to gaps in competencies and staffing because the agency is still working to identify these gaps. We will continue to monitor NIH's efforts to implement the recommendation.

Data Science: NIH Needs to Implement Key Workforce Planning Activities

Show
1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that NIH documents new time frames to complete the guidance its staff will need to determine researchers' compliance with their data management and sharing plans, and ensure that the guidance is implemented. (Recommendation 11)
Open – Partially Addressed
We reported that NIH had delayed its plans for issuing its guidance for staff to implement the Data Management and Sharing Policy (DMS Policy) several times since July 2021. In February 2023, NIH issued the guidance, along with an associated list of checklist questions that program and grants management officials must complete to assess compliance with the DMS Policy, and an optional decision support tool for NIH program staff. In December 2023, NIH stated that these resources were being continually revised to ensure they are timely and clearly communicate to staff their responsibilities in implementing the DMS Policy. NIH also stated it was in the process of implementing the DMS Policy in the Research Performance Progress Report, with a target completion date of May 2024. The agency noted that it would then update the associated, non-competing checklists to implement the DMS and genomic data sharing policy compliance for continuation awards. We will continue to monitor the status of NIH's actions to address this recommendation.