HFES Responds to National Institute for General Medical Sciences RFI

By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC  |  July 7, 2016


On June 17, HFES submitted comments to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in response to a recent Request for Information (RFI) addressing "Approaches for Supporting Team Science in the Biomedical Research Field." The Society explains the instrumental role of human factors and ergonomics (HF/E) in the development of safe and effective technologies and highlights two particular areas in which HF/E intersects with team science: membership on science teams and scholarly work on team effectiveness. The Society's response to the RFI emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of human factors and the unique position of HF/E professionals occupy, which enables them to contribute to such a collaborative field and to maximize the effectiveness of scientific research teams.

HFES has demonstrated its presence in the health-care community through the International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care and via the Health Care Technical Group, which bring together human factors professionals for the purpose of encouraging interdisciplinary communication to solve pertinent health-care issues. The Society's response successfully illustrates the contributions of human factors to the health-care sphere and should put HFES in a position to be a valuable resource in team science moving forward.

These comments are part of the Society's ongoing effort to emphasize the importance of team science in federal policies, programs, and decision making. On May 31, HFES cosponsored a briefing in which HFES President-Elect Nancy Cooke (professor and program chair of human-systems engineering, Arizona State University), Missy Cummings (associate professor and director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory, Duke University), and Robin Murphy (Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University) spoke about the valuable role of human factors in team science and autonomous systems.

The briefing was very well attended by House and Senate staff and was a great opportunity to bring attention to the work being done by members of the Society.

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a leading Washington, D.C.-based government relations and consulting firm, represents the public policy interests of scientific societies and institutions of higher education. Lewis-Burke's staff of about 20 government relations professionals work to promote the federal research and policy goals of HFES and the HF/E community.