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 the allocation, allowing for necessary adjustments throughout the year to reflect directives from Congress and the NIH, as well as emerging program priorities.
For FY 2008, the following guidance applies to the award of grant funds, reflecting modifications to the original guidance for FY 2008 under a Continuing Resolution:
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 commitment base for ongoing grants
- Insufficient growth in the NICHD budget to accommodate the first three factors.
New and Competing (Type 1) Research Project (R01) Grants
For all R01 awards up to $250,000 per year in direct costs, consideration is given to adjusting the level by an amount up to approximately 15 percent of the direct costs recommended. For awards greater than $250,000 per year, consideration is given to adjusting the level by an amount up to approximately 20 percent of the direct costs recommended. Additional reductions may be negotiated with the Principal Investigator, based on factors such as research scope, other support, and program priorities.
Program Project (P01) Grants
For program project grants, the NICHD sets a baseline for new competing applications (Type 1) at approximately 20 percent below the recommended level of support. This baseline serves as a benchmark for negotiations regarding the level of support. Competing continuation (Type 2) applications are funded at a level not to exceed five percent above the last non-competing (Type 5) award.
Non-competing Continuation Grants (Type 5)
The non-competing FY 2008 level of support is presented on the FY 2007 award notice and generally reflects a three percent yearly increase. However, the FY 2008 appropriation provides NIH a one percent inflation allowance for NIH investments in research supported by research grants. Implementation requires a reduction to previously established commitments based on a three percent inflation allowance. Therefore, NICHD will allocate the adjustment among its non-competing research grants (modular and non-modular) to ensure compliance with the one percent inflation allowance provided in its FY 2008 committed level, in accordance with NIH policy as described in Notice NOT-OD-08-036 ( http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-036.html).
Non-competing awards previously issued in FY 2008 at reduced levels will be revised to restore funds to the level consistent with this strategy.
Non-competing (Type 5) SBIR/STTR (R41/42/43/44), Fellowship (F), Training (T), and Career Development (K) grants will be awarded at the full 2008 commitment levels.
Other NICHD Funding Considerations
- The legislated salary limitation for grants applies to both competing and non-competing grants. No additional NICHD funds are provided for the increase. Grantees may re-budget within the funds awarded to accommodate the new salary cap.
- 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.
Applications submitted by new investigators are given special funding consideration. The funding range for R01s submitted by new investigators is five percentiles beyond that for other investigators. Special consideration also may include full funding of small grants or partial funding of larger grants to allow preparation and submission of revised applications for review. In addition, special funding consideration will be given to research project grant applications submitted by new investigators supported by NICHD Career Development Awards (Ks).