In many discussions including a recent one at Drugmonkey, issues around the role of the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research (DDER) (a position currently held by Sally Rockey) have arisen. DDER is a big job with many responsibilities. Below is the Organizational Chart of OER.
As you can see, OER is responsible for including extramural policies and programs, data analysis and sharing (e.g. NIH RePORTER), laboratory animal welfare, and administrative operations.
OER has a limited role in communications, specifically related to extramural research. This role expanded with the founding of Rock Talk blog. As Sally Rockey has credited the NIGMS Feedback Loop blog which I started when I was at NIGMS as a model for this blog, I take some pride and responsibility for the existence of this blog. With that said, I share many of the concerns that have been raised about NIH's reactions to comments of this blog.