National Academies Evaluation of NIOSH Programs

From mid-2005 until the end of 2008, the National Academies conducted separate evaluation studies of eight NIOSH programs. The purpose of the reviews was to assess the impact and relevance of each program and to identify emerging issues. As “Science Advisors to the Nation,” the National Academies and their component organizations, the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, provided rigorous, independent expert reviews. The eight NIOSH programs reviewed were:

  • Hearing Loss Research Program
  • Mining Research Program
  • Respiratory Disease Research Program
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program
  • Traumatic Injuries Research Program
  • Personal Protective Technology Research Program
  • Construction Research Program
  • Health Hazard Evaluation Program

In order to conduct these reviews in an orderly and consistent way, in 2005, NIOSH charged the National Academies with impaneling a study panel to develop a framework that could guide all the reviews. That panel was chaired by David Wegman, MD, of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The framework documentpdf icon they wrote set standards and methods to be used in all the reviews.

A panel of experts was recruited for each NIOSH program review. Expertise included the content area, knowledge diffusion specialists, and program evaluation experts. Each panel received an evidence package of written materials from the managers of the NIOSH program under study. Program managers also presented evidence before the committees orally and interacted frequently with their reviewing panel. Each panel conducted the review over a period of time that ranged from nine to 20 months. Once the panel’s report was drafted, it was reviewed by a second, independent panel of experts. One hundred and eighty five scientists and experts were involved in the eight reviews. All of them served for no compensation in the interest of independent and rigorous review principles.

This project is part of a series of interactions in which NIOSH has asked the National Academies to conduct expert reviews of scientific questions and programs NIOSH faces in fulfilling its mission.

An archive of the materials.

Most recently, program progress in implementing select recommendations from the National Academies’ review was reviewed and scored by the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors and the Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee in 2014. The progress reports and score sheets from those reviews are available below.

Page last reviewed: March 26, 2018