NICHD Funding Strategies for Fiscal Year 2012

The NICHD distributes its resources among many diverse programs and mechanisms. The institute is committed to funding the largest number of meritorious projects possible, while allowing the flexibility needed to support selected program priorities and respond to emerging scientific opportunities.

When the President signs the NIH Appropriation, the funds for new and competing renewal research grant applications are allocated for the fiscal year. The Institute establishes general guidelines for funding based on this allocation, allowing for necessary adjustments throughout the year to reflect directives from Congress and the NIH, as well as emerging program priorities.

For FY 2012, the following guidance applies to the award of appropriated grant funds:

Adjustments to Requested Budget Levels

The NICHD does not make "across-the-board" budget cuts to grants it intends to fund. However, in the interests of awarding as many grants as possible, adjustments are necessary, in part due to the following factors:

  • A significant increase in the number of applications submitted
  • A significant increase in the size of budget requests
  • A large and growing commitment base for ongoing grants
  • Insufficient growth in the NICHD budget to accommodate the first three factors.

New Investigators

NICHD is committed to the goal of supporting new investigators on R01 and R01-equivalent awards at success rates equivalent to those of established investigators. Applications submitted by new, early stage investigators are usually given special funding consideration, and the funding range for R01s submitted by new investigators extends beyond that for other investigators. In addition, special funding consideration may be given to research project grant applications submitted by new investigators supported by NICHD Career Development (K) Awards.

Competing Grant Applications

Research Project (R01) Grants:

For all R01 grants, consideration is given to adjusting the award level from the direct cost amount recommended. Reductions may be discussed with the Principal Investigator, with assessment of factors such as research scope, availability of other support, and program priorities.

The NICHD 2012 payline is the 10th percentile for new (Type 1) applications and 11th percentile for renewal (Type 2) and amended (-A1) applications.

For R01 applications from New Investigators and Early Stage Investigators, the payline is the 13th percentile.

Program Project (P01) Grants:

For program project grants, the NICHD sets a baseline for new competing applications (Type 1) at approximately 17 percent below the recommended level of support. This baseline may serve as a benchmark for discussion regarding the award level. Renewal (Type 2) applications are funded at a level not to exceed ten percent above the last non-competing (Type 5) award.

The 2012 payline for P01s is the 10th percentile.

Small Grants (R03) and Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21):

The 2012 payline for competing R03s and R21s is the 11th percentile, with no budget reduction.

AREA (R15):

The 2012 payline for R15 (AREA) is Priority Score 25, with no budget reduction.

Clinical Trial Planning (R34):

The 2012 payline for R34s is Priority Score 27.

STTR and SBIR (R41, R42, R43, and R44):

The 2012 payline for Phase I and Phase II SBIR applications is Priority Score 34. The payline for Phase I STTR applications is Priority Score 35 and Priority Score 37 for Phase II STTR applications.

Career Development Awards (K01, K02, K07, K08, K12, K22, K23, K24, K25, K30, K99):

The 2012 payline for competing K applications is Priority Score 25.

Conference/Workshop (R13/U13):

The payline for R13/U13 applications is Priority Score 30.

Individual Fellowships (F31, F32, and F33):

The 2012 payline for Fellowships is the 28th percentile for F31 applications and the 26th percentile for F32 and F33 applications, with no budget reduction.

Institutional Training (T32 and T35):

The payline for T32s is Priority Score 20.

Non-competing Continuation Grants (Type 5)

The non-competing FY 2012 level of support is presented on the FY 2012 award notice and generally reflects no cost of living/inflationary adjustments, in accordance with NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2010 (NOT-OD-12-036).

Non-competing (Type 5) Fellowship (F) and Training (T) grants will be adjusted to reflect FY 2012 stipend levels, per NOT-OD-12-033.

Other NICHD Funding Considerations

  • The legislated salary limitation for grants applies to both competing and non-competing grants. The limitations currently in effect were published in January 2012 (NOT-OD-12-035).
  • Modular grants do not receive escalation in future years. Additional information on modular applications and awards is posted at
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