May 22, 2012

NIH Piloting Special Review for PIs with Over $1.5M in Research Project Grants

The National Institutes of Health published a Notice of NIH Piloting of Procedures for Special Council Review of Research Applications from PD(s)/PI(s) with More than $1.5 Million Total Annual NIH Support (NOT-OD-12-110) in the May 18 NIH Guide.

In a follow-up Rock Talk post, Dr. Sally Rockey, the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, writes, “This is not a cap on the total amount of funds an investigator can receive from NIH. It is a special review during Advisory Council deliberations to determine if additional funds should be provided to well-supported investigators.”

The Notice states that:

“During the current round of May IC Council meetings, NIH will be piloting the procedures whereby Council members will be asked to provide additional consideration of new and renewal applications from well-supported investigators who currently receive more than $1.5 million in Research Project Grants (RPGs). These RPGs are generally investigator-initiated research projects rather than NIH’s other grant programs which include support for investigator training and career development and center grants.  In addition to the common R01 grant program, the RPG level includes cooperative agreements (example: U01) and subproject costs where an investigator is a sub-project leader on a Program Project Grant (P01) or other multi-project RPG award.  Multiple PD/PI projects are also proportionally included in determining the $1.5 million level for a specific PD/PI.”

Exclusions to the pilot include applications in response to most RFAs, P01s and other multi-project RPGs unless all of the PD/PIs and sub-project leaders are at or above the $1.5M level, and multiple PD/PI projects unless all of the PDs/PIs are above $1.5 million.