About NIH Collaboratory

About NIH Collaboratory

Our Mission: Strengthen the national capacity to implement cost-effective large-scale research studies that engage healthcare delivery organizations as research partners.

Supported by the Common Fund at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory aims to improve the way clinical trials are conducted by creating a new infrastructure for collaborative research with healthcare systems. The ultimate goal is to ensure that healthcare providers and patients can make decisions based on the best available clinical evidence.

The Collaboratory also supports the design and rapid execution of pragmatic clinical trial Demonstration Projects that address questions of major public health importance and engage healthcare delivery systems in research partnerships. These projects help to establish best practices and provide proof of concept for innovative designs in pragmatic clinical research.

In 2019, the Collaboratory began serving as the Resource Coordinating Center for a group of large-scale embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs) supported by the Pragmatic and Implementation Studies for the Management of Pain to Reduce Opioid Prescribing (PRISM), a program of NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative (NIH HEAL Initiative). The PRISM trials will determine the effectiveness of multiple non-opioid interventions for treating pain and assess the impact of implementing interventions or guidelines to improve pain management and reduce reliance on opioids. The Collaboratory will provide technical support and pragmatic trial expertise to the PRISM Demonstration Projects.

Five Core Working Groups, each focused on a specific topic, support all of the Demonstration Projects and initiatives across the Collaboratory.

Data, tools, and resources produced by the Collaboratory are made available to the greater research community to promote partnerships with healthcare systems and propel a transformation in how clinical research is conducted. Dissemination efforts include the Collaboratory’s Knowledge Repository, Living Textbook, and weekly Grand Rounds webinar series.

Leadership and Governance

NIH leadership for the Collaboratory is provided by Helene Langevin, MD, CM, Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), and Richard J. Hodes, MD, Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Wendy Weber, ND, PhD, MPH, Branch Chief for Clinical Research (NCCIH), is the NIH Project Officer for the program, and Catherine Meyers, MD, Director of Office of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs (NCCIH), is the NIH Project Scientist for the program.

For NIH staff supporting individual Demonstration Projects, please see the NIH Implementation Team.

Coordinating Center

The Coordinating Center for the Collaboratory comprises four member institutions. Together, they serve the following functions:

  • Provide national leadership and technical expertise in all aspects of research with healthcare systems
  • Work with the NIH to produce, document, and disseminate standards for healthcare systems research
  • Create durable infrastructure that facilitates multicenter studies and the responsible use of electronic health data
  • Support synergy among the Core Working Groups, Demonstration Projects, and Collaboratory committees
  • Coordinate communication and dissemination within the Collaboratory and to the broader research community

Dr. David Shurtleff of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) discusses the unique work of the Collaboratory.

Coordinating Center Members

Meet our Coordinating Center staff

Stakeholder Organizations

The Collaboratory builds upon and contributes to the work of several organizations engaged in related efforts. It has a close partnership with the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet).

Other stakeholder organizations include the following:

About the NIH Common Fund

The Collaboratory is supported by a grant from the NIH Common Fund. Common Fund programs cut across the missions of multiple NIH institutes and are expected to transform the way a broad spectrum of health research is conducted. The Common Fund provides limited-term investments in strategic areas to stimulate further research. Therefore, programs must achieve a set of high-impact goals within a specified time.


About NIH Collaboratory: About NIH Collaboratory. In: Rethinking Clinical Trials: A Living Textbook of Pragmatic Clinical Trials. Bethesda, MD: NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. Available at: https://rethinkingclinicaltrials.org/about-nih-collaboratory/. Updated March 12, 2020.