January 29, 2008

NIH Announces Fiscal Policy for FY2008

The National Institutes of Health on Monday, January 28, announced its FY2008 fiscal policy. The policy reflects the $29.2 billion NIH appropriation for FY2008; a 1% increase over the FY2007 funding level. Highlights of the NIH fiscal policy include:

1) Non-Competing Awards. These will be funded, on average, at approximately a 98% level of the previously established commitments. Note, previously established commitments were based on a 3% inflation allowance. Since the NIH appropriation resulted in only a 1% increase, the previously established commitments had to be adjusted, accordingly.

2) Competing Awards. The average cost of competing awards will be allowed to increase by 1% over FY2007. It is estimated this will allow the ICs to support the NIH investigator pool with approximately 9,700 new and competing RPGs, and will allow the number of new investigators to be comparable to the average of the most recent five years.

3) Career Awards, SBIR/STTRs. These programs will generally be funded at the committed levels.

4) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA). Funds for stipends, tuition and training-related expenses are held at the FY2007 levels.

Each IC will be required to manage its portfolio in compliance with the 1% NIH appropriation increase. However, the FY2008 fiscal policy does allow each IC more flexibility than was provided in FY2006 and FY2007 (both years also experienced sub-inflation appropriation increases). For example, individual Non-Competing Awards may be funded at a higher level, or a lower level, as long as the IC (in total) remains in compliance with its funding target (i.e., 1% increase).

Specific funding strategies for each IC will be available on February 6, 2008. In addition, institutions can contact an NIH Grants Management Specialist on questions related to specific awards.