NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2008

Notice Number: NOT-OD-08-036

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • March 27, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-09-075 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipend and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2009.
  • March 18, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-09-066 NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2009.
  • January 31, 2008 - See Notice NOT-OD-08-037.

Key Dates
Release Date: January 28, 2008

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

This Notice provides guidance about the NIH Fiscal Operations Plan for FY2008 and it implements the FY 2008 Congressional action that provided NIH with $29.2 billions or 1 percent more than FY 2007 funding. The NIH will continue to manage its portfolio of investments in biomedical research as described in the FY 2007 Fiscal Policy Notice (see and This includes continuing to address the need for a highly productive pool of researchers by providing support for new investigators and sustaining established investigators, who have little or no additional research support.

The following NIH fiscal policies are instituted in FY2008:

Non-Competing Research Awards: The FY 2008 appropriation as specified in P.L. 110-161 provides NIH a 1 percent inflation allowance to NIH investments in research supported by research grants. Implementation requires a reduction to previously established commitments, based on a 3 percent inflation allowance. Accordingly, each Institute and Center (IC) will use its own discretion to allocate the adjustment among its non-competing research grants (modular and non-modular) to ensure compliance with the 1 percent inflation allowance provided in its FY 2008 committed level. Future year commitments will be adjusted accordingly, as consistent with the FY 2007 fiscal policy. This policy does not apply to Career Awards, SBIR/STTRs, and Ruth L. Kirschstein-National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowships & Institutional Training Grants.

Non-competing awards previously issued in FY 2008 at reduced levels will be revised to restore funds to the level indicated above. (see

Competing Research Awards: Each NIH Institute and Center (IC) will manage its competing portfolio using funds that have not been committed for non-competing awards. Consistent with the FY 2008 Congressional action, the FY 2008 average cost of competing grants is allowed to increase by 1 percent over FY 2007 when compared to similar policies. It is estimated this will allow ICs to support the NIH investigator pool with approximately 9,700 new and competing RPGs. The following guidelines will apply to competing research awards in FY 2008:

  1. Maintain the number of new investigators comparable to the average of the most recent five years.

  2. Continue to use The NIH Director's Innovator Awards within the Common Fund ( and NIH Pathway to Independence Awards ( as previously described.

  3. Continue to use the NIH Directors Bridge Award Program (, which provides continued but limited bridge funding to meritorious investigators whose applications were close to the funding range of the relevant IC and have minimal other support. This program provides NIH with a flexible NIH-wide tool to help balance the grant cycling variation challenges and support other approaches to sustain established grantees and first time competing renewals. As in FY 2007, this program is designed to provide only one-year of continued but limited funding.

Each IC will establish fiscal policies consistent with these NIH-wide policies according to its specific scientific and programmatic imperatives. Additional i nformation on FY2008 Fiscal Operations, including specific funding strategies for ICs will be posted on February 6 at

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA): Funds for the NRSA program are held at FY 2007 levels and policies for tuition and training-related expenses established for FY 2007 remain in effect for FY 2008 (


Questions about specific awards may be directed to the Grants Management Specialist identified in the Notice of Award.