The NIH Common Fund was enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act to support cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs that require participation by at least two NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) or would otherwise benefit from strategic planning and coordination. The requirements for the Common Fund encourage collaboration across the ICs while providing the NIH with flexibility to determine priorities for Common Fund support.
To date, the Common Fund has been used to support a series of short term, exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs known collectively as the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.
The NIH Common Fund is an innovative approach to accelerate fundamental discovery and translation of that knowledge into effective prevention strategies and new treatments. The strategic initiatives to be funded under the NIH Common Fund will address critical roadblocks and knowledge gaps that currently constrain rapid progress in biomedical research. They will synergize the work of many NIH Institutes and Centers, and collectively represent a unique effort that no single or group of Institutes or Centers or other entity can do, but are the responsibility of the NIH as a whole.