As part of its strategic visioning process, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is asking the research community to help identify the most compelling questions and critical challenges to tackle in the coming years to take full advantage of emerging scientific opportunities and bold new approaches for actively promoting human health, as well as significantly reducing and preventing disease.

This is your opportunity to submit compelling questions and critical challenges that will help the NHLBI identify the most promising opportunities in heart, lung, blood, and sleep research. Already, important ideas are being contributed. These ideas will influence NHLBI’s decision making about initiatives and large programs in the future. For this reason, it is important that you, as an investigator, share your ideas about the most important research needs and opportunities for your program area.

The deadline for submitting compelling questions is May 15, 2015.

To assist in this Strategic Visioning exercise, NHLBI recommends these four simple steps:

1. Take a moment (or a day) to reflect on what you perceive to be the most important areas for future research in heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. We are looking for ideas that are larger than can be accomplished in a single grant, but are specific enough to define a program of research.

a. When you identify a particular gap in knowledge that needs to be filled, express it as a Compelling Question, e.g., “What pathobiology underlies the interaction of X.”

b. When you identify a technical challenge or needed resource, express that as a Critical Challenge, e.g., “Investigators need validated non-rodent animal models of X.”

2. Register through the NHLBI Strategic Visioning website at http://nhlbistrategicvisioning.ideascale.com/?signup=1. Telling a little about yourself will help verify input is received from abroad range of individuals and groups.

3. Log in at http://nhlbistrategicvisioning.ideascale.com/a/showCreateTopic.do?template and click on the "Browse Submissions" button to peruse the Compelling Questions and Critical Challenges submitted by others. Use the "Search Ideas" box in the upper right to find things that match your favorite keywords. Refine your ideas to complement and improve on what has already been submitted.

4. And now the most important step: Click on the "Submit A New Question or Challenge" button and enter your Compelling Question(s) and Critical Challenge(s). You can also enter associated keywords (tags), background information, and comments regarding feasibility.

Following this input and collection phase, submissions will be reviewed and synthesized by NHLBI and advisory groups into a draft Strategic Vision Scientific Priorities, which will be released for public comment.

Click here to visit the NHLBI’s Strategic Visioning website to learn more.