NICHD Funding Strategies for Fiscal Year 2021

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 flexibility to fund selected program priorities, support the NICHD Strategic Plan (PDF 2.3 MB), and respond to emerging scientific opportunities.

When the President signed the NIH Appropriation (H.R.133), funds for new and competing renewal research grant applications were allocated for this fiscal year. The Institute established 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.

The following information represents the NICHD guidelines and operating procedures for FY2021.

Next Generation Researchers

NICHD is committed to the goal of supporting Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) on grant awards as described in the NIH Policy Supporting the Next Generation Researchers Initiative https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-101.html. Therefore, NICHD will include ESI investigator status as one of the program priorities when considering funding of eligible applicants.

Adjustments to Requested Budget Levels

In the interests of awarding as many grants as possible, adjustments to the requested budget may be necessary for some grant mechanisms, in part due to the following factors:

  • A significant increase in the size of budget requests
  • A large and growing commitment base for ongoing grants
  • Limited growth in the NICHD budget to accommodate the first two factors.

Competing Grant Applications

Research Project (R01) Grants:

For all new competing R01 applications selected for funding, the NICHD will reduce applications (Type 1) on average by 14 percent below the peer review recommended level of support. The final reductions may vary depending on factors such as research scope, comments in the summary statement, availability of other support, and program priorities.

There is no fixed payline for R01 applications. NICHD will consider scientific merit, program priorities, the NICHD Strategic Plan (PDF 2.3 MB), portfolio balance, and availability of funds in making funding decisions.

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

There is no fixed payline for R03/R21 applications. NICHD will consider scientific merit, program priorities, the NICHD Strategic Plan (PDF 2.3 MB), portfolio balance, and availability of funds in making funding decisions.

NIH Research Enhancement Award (R15):

The FY 2021 payline for R15 applications is Priority Score 29.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) (R41, R42, R43, and R44):

There is no fixed payline for SBIR (R43, R44) and STTR (R41, R42) applications. NICHD will consider scientific merit, program priorities, the NICHD Strategic Plan (PDF 2.3 MB), portfolio balance, and availability of funds in making funding decisions.

Career Development Awards (K01, K08, K23, K25, K99):

The FY 2021 payline for competing K applications is Priority Score 23 with a differential payline for K99 applications of Priority Score 30.

Conference/Workshop (R13/U13):

There is no fixed payline for R13/U13 applications. NICHD will consider scientific merit, program priorities, the NICHD Strategic Plan (PDF 2.3 MB), portfolio balance, and availability of funds in making funding decisions.

Individual Fellowships (F30, F31, and F32):

The FY 2021 payline for F30 applications is Priority Score 28.

The FY 2021 payline for parent F31 applications is the 22nd percentile. The payline for Diversity F31 applications is the 30th percentile.

The FY 2021 payline for F32 applications is the 30th percentile.

Institutional Training (T32):

There is no fixed payline for T32 applications. NICHD will consider scientific merit, program priorities, the NICHD Strategic Plan (PDF 2.3 MB), portfolio balance, and availability of funds in making funding decisions.

Other (R24, R25, U24):

The FY 2021 payline for R24, R25, and U24 applications is Priority Score 21.

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 2021 (NOT-OD-21-057).
  • Future Year Commitments on FY2021 New and Competing Renewal Awards:
    • As in recent fiscal years (see NOT-OD-13-064) inflationary increases for future year commitments are no longer provided for all competing and non-competing research grant awards issued by the NICHD. However, adjustments for special needs (such as equipment and added personnel) continue to be accommodated whenever possible.
  • Modular grants do not receive escalation in future years. Additional information on modular applications and awards is posted at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

Non-competing Continuation Grants (Type 5)

The non-competing FY 2021 level of support is presented on the FY 2020 award notice and generally reflects no cost of living/inflationary adjustments. The NICHD will support FY 2021 awards at 100% except for non-AIDS R01s and R01 equivalents which will be funded at 98%.

Non-competing (Type 5) Fellowship (F) and Training (T) grants will reflect current FY stipend levels. Stipend levels may be adjusted as appropriate.

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