Why Our Work Matters

Cancer. Alzheimer’s disease. COVID-19. These are some of the greatest challenges of our time – affecting our health, our loved ones, our communities, our livelihoods, our nation’s economy and even global security. 


The Foundation for the NIH is a not-for-profit organization that supports the mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by accelerating biomedical discoveries that improve the quality of people’s lives. 

We do this by forging strategic alliances that: 

  • Leverage the scientific and technical ingenuity of researchers across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors; 
  • Coordinate and focus scientific efforts strategically to maximize their impact; 
  • Marshal resources – including scientific creativity, technical expertise, money and political will – to build a better future, together. 

Support the Mission of the NIH

The FNIH was chartered by Congress in 1990 to facilitate groundbreaking research at the NIH, the world’s top biomedical research agency. Working with the 27 NIH Institutes and Centers, the FNIH catalyzes innovation and discovery by creating and implementing collaborations and programs to answer the toughest scientific questions. Speeding development of new diagnostics, therapies and even cures.

The FNIH aligns organizations, even competing ones, around one common cause to achieve results that no one entity can achieve alone. Over more than two decades, it has created hundreds of cross-discipline collaborations generating new ideas, overcoming obstacles and achieving groundbreaking biomedical research results.

Uniquely positioned to convene the NIH, the Food and Drug Administration and a wide range of private-sector experts, the FNIH works closely with the federal government, industry, foundations, not-for-profit organizations and individual donors.

For America to confront the next big public health threat, we need all hands on deck. The incredible research happening at the FNIH… complements and amplifies the work of the NIH...”

--Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)

The Foundation for NIH … has been incredibly successful over the years and is a strong steward of promoting innovation.”

--Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC)

FNIH alliances have strong checks and balances to ensure the integrity of its programs, maximize contributions from all sides and manage conflicts of interest.

  • Donors to the FNIH can designate their gifts for a chosen area of research or program area, or to provide support where it is needed most. 
  • Scientific and Major Funding Partners can work with the FNIH to identify, develop and implement game-changing research collaborations, often in partnership with the NIH. Programs like the Accelerating Medicines Partnership, the Biomarkers Consortium, and GeneConvene
  • NIH Institutes and Centers can suggest potential collaborations and request FNIH support through the NIH Office of the Director’s Office of Science Policy.

For NIH staff: How NIH can request support from the FNIH
NIH staff and contractors who would like to request the FNIH’s assistance in securing resources or managing a program or special event should contact the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) within the Office of the Director, NIH, which serves as a central clearinghouse for engaging the FNIH. The Office of the Director’s NIH-FNIH Steering Committee reviews all such requests on behalf of the NIH and those that receive the Committee’s approval are forwarded to the FNIH. The FNIH then undertakes a due diligence process including an assessment of the project’s interest to potential donors. The FNIH’s Board of Directors through its Portfolio Oversight Committee is ultimately responsible for authorizing new NIH-FNIH collaborations.

To begin the process, NIH staff should contact Dr. Tyrone Spady, Director, Science Policy Coordination, Collaboration, and Reporting Division. For events, please review the NIH Food Policy for NIH-FNIH Partnerships before submitting an inquiry.


How We Are Organized 

The FNIH is comprised of eight departments, including an Office of the President. 

Office of the President 

The Office of the President includes the President and Executive Director, who is the chief executive officer of the Foundation and oversees the strategic direction of the FNIH’s people, policy, operations and performance. A member of the FNIH Board of Directors, the President and Executive Director is the Foundation’s principal spokesperson on biomedical innovation, scientific leadership and public health policy to stakeholders and the public. A strategic partner to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and NIH leadership, the President and Executive Director aims to ensure that the Foundation fulfills its Congressional mandate to support the NIH in its mission and advance breakthrough biomedical discoveries that improve the quality of people’s lives.


The Advancement Department helps individuals further the biomedical research that is important to them and their family.

Through a collaborative process that is targeted to their needs, Advancement offers guidance and stewardship in meeting their philanthropic goals in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This bespoke service is made possible by the Foundation’s ongoing collaboration with the NIH and industry partners.

While many people designate their gift when donating online or mailing their check, other individuals benefit from more in-depth support from Advancement. Through giving where it is needed most or funding specific research, there are many ways to make a difference in medical discovery. We invite you to explore these opportunities with Advancement.

Communications and Events

The FNIH Communications Department raises awareness about the FNIH, its programs and its events. Using a multi-pronged communications and media strategy – including the website, e-mail marketing, social media and other channels – Communications amplifies messaging about FNIH programs to enhance visibility for the Foundation working with a variety of stakeholders.

The Meetings and Events Department conceptualizes, plans, executes and evaluates high-quality, productive, innovative and economical convenings that advance the organization’s mission. These convenings include, but are not limited to, research project team meetings and conferences, donor stewardship lectures and symposia and special events. The department oversees the management of FNIH highly respected awards and prizes. 


The Development Department secures funding and other resources that support the biomedical research, education and training, and other programs the FNIH undertakes. Our experienced team of fundraisers and relationship managers works with corporations, foundations, not-for-profits and other organizations to foster strong and effective collaborations to meet shared scientific goals and advance the public health mission of the NIH. 

Development also works closely with the Office of the NIH Director and other stakeholders to provide FNIH perspectives on potential partnership proposals originated at the NIH, and coordinates FNIH review of NIH-approved Requests for Collaboration, for inclusion in the FNIH program portfolio.


The FNIH Finance department is responsible for the Foundation’s finance functions.  Responsibility includes all internal and external reporting, including annual audits, the 990 form and 1099s.  Other areas of responsibility include cash flow management, investment strategies, coordinating the financial planning and budget processes, establishing and maintaining internal controls, supporting the compliance function and assisting the organization in making strategic decisions.  The department is also responsible for Accounts Payables / Receivables, Payroll, managing employee benefits, retirement plan, as well as managing banking and asset manager relationships. 


The Operations Department works with all internal departments to facilitate the Foundation’s activities and improve its corporate infrastructure. It is responsible for facilities management, information technology, general procurement, human resources, archival activities and other initiatives. Its goal is to deliver the tools and services needed for employees to perform their jobs effectively while supporting an environment of professional collegiality.

The Legal Department provides legal and business advice to all FNIH departments. The team offers legal oversight and documentation of FNIH grants and contracts, including those associated with biomedical research initiatives, to promote risk mitigation, efficiency and the participation and collaboration of our public and private partners. In addition, the Department helps develop the Foundation’s policies and supports and provides guidance on corporate governance and compliance.

Research Partnerships

The Research Partnerships Department creates and manages a broad range of public-private partnerships that advance and accelerate breakthroughs in biomedical research. Our diverse team of scientific program and project managers supports the effective execution of these collaborations, which include NIH, other government regulatory agencies, academic researchers, advocacy organizations and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Working together with our many partners, we are dedicated to innovative research that improves our understanding of disease and enables more rapid and effective development of treatments across cancer, inflammation, metabolic disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, infectious diseases and other human health challenges.


The Science Department supports biomedical innovation to reduce health inequity globally by addressing its biggest drivers, such as infectious diseases and maternal and newborn mortality. Our team of scientists and project managers builds and directs research collaborations with the NIH and other academic, philanthropic and private sector partners.