ments. Within the division are three branches: (1) the Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch is responsible for injury surveillance and descriptive epidemiology studies (see below); (2) the Analysis and Field Evaluations Branch is responsible for in-depth epidemiological studies; and (3) the Protective Technology Branch develops and evaluates new technologies to protect workers against injuries.
NIOSH administers occupational injury-related grants through the Office of Extramural Coordination and Special Projects. These are traditional investigator-initiated grants. All grants are competitively awarded after a peer-review process conducted by a study section made up of researchers outside the federal government.
NIOSH's intramural and extramural research is being guided by a pioneering national research agenda, the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). NORA was spawned by an innovative priority-setting process. It is designed to set the course for national occupational safety and health research, coordinated across the public and private sectors (NIOSH, 1998b; Rosenstock et al., 1998). The development of NORA priorities was performed in partnership with about 500 organizations that represent workers, employers, health officials, health professionals, and the public. The priorities were selected by consensus according to the following criteria: the seriousness of the hazard, the magnitude of the risk, the potential for risk reduction, and the possibility that research will make a difference, among other criteria. Several of the 21 top priorities relate to injury, including traumatic injuries, intervention effectiveness research, emerging technologies, organization of work, and special populations at risk. Within these major priorities, teams of experts from the public and private sectors forge a detailed research agenda. The team on traumatic injuries, for instance, recently released a research agenda, Traumatic Occupational Injury Research Needs and Priorities (NIOSH, 1998c). Plans are under way to track NORA's implementation and to evaluate its impact on research.
The scope of NIOSH training grants is restricted by federal law to occupational injury training for health professionals. The competitively awarded grants are largely for training at the master's, doctoral, and/or resident level. In FY 1997, approximately 18 educational institutions received NIOSH training grants in occupational safety (with "safety" defined programmatically as injury, safety, and ergonomics). About half of these occupational safety grants went to multi-disciplinary programs that are part of larger, university-based research and