There is an important difference between what an applicant can request and what NIH will actually provide on an award. In this case, application instructions have not changed. Applications with a detailed budget can continue to request cost-of-living/inflationary increases in accordance with institutional policy. We recognize that institutions may desire to do this to document actual needs for budgeting and accounting purposes. However, under the current budget climate, it is likely that requests associated solely with inflationary increases will be eliminated from the awarded budget. Requests associated with special needs (e.g., equipment, added personnel or increased effort) will continue to be considered.
When preparing an application using the modular budget format, existing policy remains in place--the number of modules requested should be the same each year and variations must be justified. Requests for an additional module solely to accommodate inflationary increases will not be considered.
See also FY2012 Salary Cap Question and Answer #18 for similar guidance concerning applications involving the legislatively mandated salary cap.