Faced with a markedly increased number of applications and applicants for grant support at a time of flat budgets with no inflationary adjustments, NIH is taking immediate proactive steps in FY2007 to manage its portfolio of investments in biomedical research. NIH is committed to buttressing core areas of vulnerability, such as the ability of new investigators to compete for support in these difficult financial times, and protecting our investment in well established investigators with little or no other significant support. In addition, NIH is adjusting the number of competing Research Project Grants (RPG) that will be awarded, with the goal of stabilizing to the extent possible the yearly variation in number of awards that are made.
NIH is instituting the following fiscal policies in FY2007:
- Inflationary adjustments for existing non-competing renewal awards will not be made in FY2007.
- Non-competing awards that were expected to include an inflationary increase in FY 2007, including modular grants will not receive any inflationary increase. Institutes and centers (ICs) will maintain the flexibility to supplement such non-competing awards on a case by-case basis according to scientific and programmatic imperatives. However, such supplements will not be considered as part of the base for future budgetary adjustments.
- Each IC will manage its portfolio by using uncommitted funds and the savings from not funding inflationary increases for non-competing awards in FY 2007 to maintain the stability of the NIH investigator pool by reaching approximately 9600 new and competing RPGs, a number similar to that of FY 2005.
The following guidelines apply in order of priority:
- 1 - Maintain a number of new investigators comparable to the average of the most recent five years.
- 2 - Develop IC specific mechanisms to insure that first time grantees applying for their first renewal and who receive review scores near the nominal payline of the relevant IC be given appropriate consideration with the goal of avoiding serious attrition or closure of new laboratories to the greatest extent possible.
- 3 - Develop IC specific mechanisms to insure to the greatest extent possible that established grantees with insufficient other support and who receive review scores near the nominal payline of the relevant IC be given appropriate consideration, with the goal of not losing outstanding laboratories.
- 4 - Each IC will have flexibility to adjust its policies for funding other mechanisms according to its specific scientific and programmatic imperatives.
Finally, NIH is currently operating under a continuing resolution, which was recently extended until February 15, 2007. The policy for issuing non-competing awards under the current continuing resolution will continue as stated in NOT-OD-07-004.
Questions about specific awards may be directed to the Grants Management Specialist identified in the Notice of Award.