T H E   N I H   C A T A L Y S T      M A Y   –  J U N E   2005

New Performance Management Appraisal Program


by Sue Fishbein

What is the PMAP?

Who Will Be Affected?

Efforts are underway at NIH to implement the new HHS-wide performance management appraisal program (PMAP). 

All NIH employees—including all research fellows and investigators, but excluding SES and Commissioned Corps employees—are to be placed on new performance plans incorporating PMAP requirements by the end of June. Basically, employees who served under performance plans and contracts before will now serve under one program—the PMAP—and will use the PMAP forms, rating methodologies, and processes.

The PMAP program aims to enhance organizational and individual accountability and results; provide clear information concerning performance expectations; and reward employees who perform exceptionally well. The program shifts employees from a two-level (pass/fail) system to a four-tiered rating system.

General Schedule and Title 42 appointment categories, including both extramural and intramural researchers, are included in the program.

Performance Liaisons

Working with the staff of the NIH Office of Human Resources (OHR), the ICs have designated individuals to serve as "Performance Liaisons."

These individuals have gone through orientation provided by OHR and are now helping to train supervisors and employees in their respective ICs, assist with the development of employee performance plans, and track PMAP progress. They are the first point of contact for questions about the PMAP.

Customized Performance Plans

For Varied Types of Researchers

Also, to expedite performance plan development, OHR is collaborating with subject-matter experts across NIH to develop generic performance plans for various occupations, such as senior investigator, investigator, senior scientist, and senior clinician. These generic plans can be customized and are available on the OHR PMAP website. http://hr.od.nih.gov/default.htm

Other prototype plans for targeted NIH occupational groups include staff scientist, staff clinician, research fellow, clinical fellow, senior research assistant, and research assistant.

Additional Support

The website also includes the list of NIH Performance Liaisons; detailed information on the PMAP program; suggestions for supervisors who would like to fine-tune their managerial skills, including the provision of feedback; and links to other related websites. 



New Vision Research Lecture Series/Award

The first Sayer Vision Research Lecture—"Stemming Vision Loss with Stem Cells"—took place May 25, 2006. It can be viewed at the NIH videocast site under "Past Events."

Martin Friedlander, professor of cell biology at Scripps Research Institute and chief of Retina Services at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., kicked off this new lecture series in vision research.

The lecture series is sponsored by NEI in collaboration with the Foundation for the NIH. Its focus is interdisciplinary research with special relevance to vision. Investigtators chosen to deliver a Sayer lecture may work within or outside NIH.

Additionally, the Sayer Vision Research Fund will award a grant-in-aid to a promising new intramural NIH investigator to pursue his or her current research. This individual will be asked to deliver the Sayer lecture during the year in which the award is given. More details about this award are forthcoming.

NIH research chemist Jane Sayer established the fund to honor her family and in memory of her parents, Winthrop and Laura Sayer.  



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