NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 4, January 31, 1992


P.T. 34


  Grants Administration/Policy+ 


National Institutes of Health

Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration


The core principles described below will guide the  Institutes/

Centers/Divisions (ICDs) in making funding decisions on Research

Project Grants (RPGs) in FY 92.


Non-Competing RPGs


o  The award of non-competing grants at committed levels is the

cornerstone of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Alcohol,

Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) Financial

Management Plan and is the basis for credibility with the Congress and

the scientific community.


o  The total costs of the cohort of non-competing grants, on the

average, may not exceed 4 percent more than the prior budget period,

taking into account one-time, non-recurring costs such as equipment.

(ADAMHA noncompeting continuation awards will not come under this

policy until FY 93).


o  Every effort will be made to accommodate shifts in the fiscal

situation.  If conditions are such that funding at the committed levels

is not possible, the ICDs will obtain the approval of the Director,

NIH, or the Administrator, ADAMHA, before taking any action to reduce

the size of the non-competing awards.


Competing RPGs


o  The average costs of competing grants in one fiscal year will not

increase by more than the Biomedical Research and Development Price

Index over the average costs of competing grants in the previous fiscal

year (including Small Business Innovation Research grants).


o  In making funding decisions, ICDs should consider the total costs of

a grant, especially for applications a with percentiles at the margin

of the funding level.


o  An appropriate funding level for each award may be achieved by

making budgetary reductions based on recommendations of the initial

review group and advisory council/board, reviews by program and grants

management staff for cost allowability and reasonableness, and, if

necessary, programmatic adjustments.  Programmatic adjustments may

include reductions in investigator effort, adjustments of specific

budget items, and/or decreases in the number of specific aims.


o  Award reductions of 25 percent or more below the level recommended

by the initial review group on a single grant application may require

a revised statement of specific aims and a revised budget from the

Principal Investigator, properly countersigned by the institution,

which must be reviewed and approved by the ICD program and grants

management staff.  Program staff, in consultation with the Principal

Investigator and grants management staff, will decide if revised

specific aims are required.


o  For competing continuation grants, one factor in arriving at the

award amount will be the level of support in prior years and the extent

to which the ICD can permit growth within the existing constraints on

increases in average costs.


o  The average length of research project grants will not exceed four

years (excluding Small Business Innovation Research grants).


Indirect Costs


The NIH and ADAMHA Financial Management Plans propose that, the

effective indirect cost rate for competing and non-competing awards

would become the ceiling rate for the remainder of the recommended

period of support.  Implementation of the ceiling on the rate of

indirect costs is being deferred.  However, the Department of Health

and Human Services and the Office of Management and Budget, currently

are considering this and other options for government-vide policies

with respect to indirect costs.


This statement supersedes the previous informational footnotes on NIH

Notices of Grant Award regarding this subject.



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